Grow In Update by Joey Smallwood, Superintendent

Your golf course maintenance team has been hard at work on the renovation project. Since closing the front nine on April 28th, the golf course team has been tackling multiple projects and cultural practices, which I have detailed below, in order to prepare the course for new sprigs. Despite a few mechanical issues, I am happy to say that we have been able to complete the necessary prep work in a timely manner. We are continuing to aerify roughs, tees and fairways for the second time. This is being done directly in front of the grassing company, which is crucial because it is best for sprigs to be planted in as much soil as possible. I am very pleased with the kill that we received out here as well. All four spray applications have paid off. For the areas that have continued to have some growth, there are two crew members focusing on spot treatments daily.

All construction work has been completed. The cart paths were one of the first things done, and they look great. All rock walls around greens have been leveled. Now the GCM team will be able to maintain them properly. They could gradually sink overtime due to the summer rains, but we will be monitoring closely to be sure to address sink holes as they appear. The #7 tee boxes have been leveled. This will not only make it feel like a real tee box, but it will also give the members a flat playing surface. The tee box on #14 was extended from the clusia hedge. This gives us a fighting chance on growing some grass on that tee. We created a swale on the left-hand side of the #1 rough, closer to the green. This will allow water to flow to the existing drains. We also added irrigation to this area so we can facilitate grass growth there. Hole #15 was roto tilled three times and laser graded to soften some of the steep slopes that lead towards drains. It will hopefully help this fairway stay drier than previously. Around each green, we leveled every irrigation head. Not only does this prevent a tripping hazard, it also lets the irrigation head water properly. A few green surrounds had collars that were built up with sand over the years. This is typical on golf courses in Florida due to all the topdressing that is necessary for warm season turf. We will address this issue every summer during our closure by verti-cutting the collars aggressively in order to remove all sand and thatch build up. Doing this each summer will help prevent these build ups. The team was able to sod strip and re-grade the areas that needed it. Now, the water will be able to run off the green instead of being trapped on it. A good example of this was the front of # 3. We also extended the 3/4 tee deck on hole #4. This will help us get the correct yardage while remaining on the same tee deck.

Sprigging on the front nine, driving range and chipping green began on May 10th and was completed on May 20th. This covered forty-two acres. They started double sprigging the back nine on May 24th. As of May 26th, holes 12, 13, and 16 are complete. The back nine is trending at 40 acres. In total, this would comprise of sprigging 82 acres. Unfortunately, this project was budgeted for only 65 acres prior to my arrival. I re-evaluated the proposal and raised the acreage to 70 acres. Unfortunately, it seems that was not a large enough increase as we have come out 12 acres over thus far. If we continue to move forward without any additional mechanical errors, it should be completed on May 31st, just a few days past the original anticipated date of May 28th.

With the front nine completed and the back nine in progress, we are trying to balance water flow as much as possible. Due to recent winds and lack of rain, there has been low moisture. To make up for this, we are watering heavy at night to support the growth of the fresh sprigs.

The team has been working endlessly to ensure all tasks are being completed and are excited about what has been done thus far. There will be more pictures and videos to come but in the meantime check out the photos so far on our Projects2022 page.

Finally, we would like to give a special thanks to those who have served our country. We hope everyone has a relaxing and safe Memorial Weekend.

Thank you,

Joey Smallwood, Superintendent

Details of the Re-grassing Project and Additional Work to be Performed

Dear Spring Run Members,

We are getting closer to beginning the process of re-grassing the golf course using the “no-till” method. This method is frequently used when minimal dirt has to be moved around the property for redesign issues. Once we complete our spray applications to kill the existing bermudagrass, we will begin preparing the golf course for sprigs/sod the first day we close down.

A lot of work goes into preparing the soil properly for new turf. This is accomplished partially through aerifying and verti-cutting. We need to aerify the grounds as much as possible. This will help with compaction and also create cavities for sprigs to fall into. We also need to verti-cut, primarily focusing on tees, fairways, and approaches. Verti-cutting helps remove the thatch layer that builds up in turfgrass and helps the turfgrass stand upwards so we can get a good scalp on the turf. These are necessary for a successful re-grass. The less thatch and compaction we have results in a better growing atmosphere for the new sprigs.

While all that work is going on, we will have a team of GCM employees sod cutting two to three rings around the greens to remove the collar. This is a very labor-intensive task. Once sod is cut, we have to hand pick all of it up. The greens will need to be maintained throughout this entire process. The GCM team will also take advantage of the time closed to perform all summer practices that greens require in SWFL. This means we cannot have a cavity around the green sitting there for more than a day or two. Sod will need to be scheduled properly so the old sod can be removed and new sod laid down within that time frame. There will also be a two-to-three-person crew leveling all irrigation heads around the green’s complexes. All greens will need this done. Each green complex has roughly ten to twelve irrigation heads that will need to be dug up and leveled. This must be done before the sprigs are planted to ensure we are not in the way of the contractor laying the sprigs and the water that will be running as soon as sprigs are on the ground.

We have ten bunkers to renovate during this closure as well. We will need three to five crew members finishing them up. We will more than likely start before we close on the out-of-play bunkers. This will allow the crew and I some valuable time and experience before we tackle the remaining bunkers.

In addition to the tasks above, there are a few small projects that are beneficial to complete while the course is closed. These will be done by an outside contractor to ensure that the jobs are done correctly and in a timely manner. Briefly, these projects are described below. If there are any questions on these projects, please let me know. I can explain them in more detail upon request.

  • #1 Left rough closer to green by oaks – Create swale along course property for positive flow to drains. If necessary, add two new basins as well.
  • #14 Tee- Add 3 loads of clean fill to the side of the pro tee to move tee further away from hedges. Laser level and grade.
  • #15 Fairway- Add 3 loads of clean fill and create positive grade to raised drains. Lower old waste area bunker berms and create new coquina cart path going down left-hand side of the rough then cutting back through the fairway further down. This project is one of the bigger ones being performed. It will help this hole be less wet during summer. The architect came out and gave his opinion on where the new path should cross and thought the plan was a good idea.
  • Driving Range- Strip and laser level tee

I also have an operator with a box blade scheduled for two to three days for small odd jobs, such as leveling any unleveled #7 tee boxes, lowering any high collars that are trapping water on greens, fixing the drain on #17 cart path that retains water after it rains, and leveling all the rock walls that are next to greens 2, 4, 14, 18 so the GCM team can maintain them properly.

There is a small window to complete all these tasks. We will be working many hours to ensure it gets done properly. The GCM team is going to do everything they can to get the course back open by the middle of August. However, I cannot stress enough how vulnerable the new turf will be when we open back up. We want this new turf to be fully established and healthy before we add any stress to it. By making sure the turf is healthy it will ensure Spring Run to have great playing conditions for the remainder of the season.

Thank you for all your support and understanding. If you have any questions or comments, please email gcm@springrun.com

Joey Smallwood

Golf Course Superintendent, Spring Run Golf Club

Golf Cart Usage on the Course & Handicap Flag Rules

To keep you familiar with the golf cart usage and rules on the course, I have written this blog to better understand the not only the proper etiquette on the course, but the golf cart rules as well.

Each golf cart operator must be at least 16 years of age and have a valid driver’s license.  Only two persons and two sets of golf clubs are permitted per golf cart.  Operators of golf carts are responsible for any damage to the cart or damages to the golf course arising through negligent operation of the cart.

The following rules are applied and should be adhered

  • Carts shall remain on the cart paths with all four wheels on all tee boxes and near the putting greens:



  • Carts may leave the path where the white stakes are located just off the tee and 90 degrees to go to your ball, then exit the fairway directly to the path to head to the green.

  • Please do not drive the cart parallel to a fairway in the rough:

  • Carts may never be driven on the tee, greens, approaches, or the slopes of bunkers:
Be sure to keep the following rules in mind as well:
  • Carts should remain on the path with all four wheels on the path from the first thirty yards from the tee box to the last thirty yards of each hole.
  • The Golf Course Superintendent will, from time-to-time, direct golf cart traffic with appropriate signage.
  • Carts are to remain on the cart path with all four wheels on all Par 3 holes.
  • 90-Degree Rule is always in effect unless otherwise noted by email or by the Starter.
  • Carts shall avoid soft spot area on the fairways and roughs, especially after rains.
  • Club roadways must be crossed at the safety crossings mark on the road.
  • At no time should any golfer remove any ropes or barricades that have been installed on the course for cart traffic control.

Players in need of a handicap flag for their golf cart shall obtain a written doctor’s statement or copy of a handicap parking permit, verifying that need and give it to the Golf Professional.  At that time a Golf Shop attendant will advise the cart rider of the rules of a Handicap Cart driver.  Under NO circumstances are carts to be any closer than thirty feet of any green, as shown here:

Making a conscious effort to drive the golf cart properly on the course will ensure better playing conditions not only for you but your fellow members.

Thank you,

Jeff Carter
Head Golf Professional

Watering the Golf Course            

Dear Spring Run Member,

There have been concerns expressed about the watering practices on the golf course and its overall wetness. It was discussed in the previous greens committee meeting and agreed upon that we would keep the golf course under drier conditions, even if that meant having some browned out areas. While we are working toward drier conditions, we are still going to strive to keep things as green as possible. We have already put a lot of adjustable heads on the golf course which have made a major difference. We are going to continue to identify areas that need adjustable heads and install them where needed. Another tool we use consistently is our moisture meters.

These moisture meters are vital to helping us know when we need to water. We also use soil probes to physically measure the soil moisture as well as all the above ground physical symptoms of dryness. We are using all these tools in our arsenal when we are deciding what needs water. I can assure you that we are not running water wall to wall every night. We are making constant irrigation adjustments in the computer in order to run water only where the golf course needs the water. I have personally gone through the computer and fixed numerous issues that were causing some wet spots on the course. Monitoring course moisture and wetness has been an ongoing battle, but one that we have made many major positive strides in over the past months. My number one goal for our course is to provide a healthy and green golf course but to also have top notch playing conditions. While we will monitor course wetness and do our best to manage the conditions, it will not always be possible to catch everything. So, if any of our members happen to come across wet areas that they feel need addressed, please feel free to email me or let the pro shop know so we can look into it and get it fixed. Also, if you see water running it does not always mean that we are over-watering. My assistant and I are constantly making adjustments in the computer to only put water on the course where it is necessary and not adding to areas that are already wet.

Thank you for all your support and we will continue to strive toward making Spring Run Golf Club the best bundled community in Southwest Florida.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Spring Run Golf Club

Superintendent

End of Season Survey Questions and Answers: Golf Operations

Dear Spring Run Members,

The Golf Operations would like to thank everyone that participated in this year’s survey.  Our goal is to answer your questions and provide feedback on various topics of the survey.  We also want you to know that we are striving daily to provide you with the best overall golfing experience at the Club. Thank you very much for your support of Golf Operations. We value your participation in the survey and please contact me anytime with your comments at golfpro@springrun.com  Looking forward to the upcoming season!!

Jeff Carter

Head Golf Professional

Q: Do not understand why there are special groups of men get to have weekly blocked times??

A: The Golf Shop does not block weekly times for any special groups. All members have equal access to tee times via the Chelsea Tee Time Reservation system. The system is a points-based system meaning the more points you have relative to the other members, the less likely you are to receive your ideal time. The only tee times that “reserved” are for leagues or any club events.

Q: Have rangers understand better when play needs to speed up and when not to tell a group to speed up when they are stymied by a group right in front.

A: All rangers undergo training on how to properly deal with on-course pace issues. The Professional Staff are always working, training, and assisting with rangers to ensure proper pace of play is followed on the course.

Q: Maybe you should change your reservation System so we could reserve on line instead of having to call the golf shop when the tee times appear online. It would be more efficient and less time-consuming.

A: The Golf Shop continuously looks for ways to improve the member experience when reserving a tee time, and your feedback will be taken into consideration. This comment will be forwarded to Chelsea Tee Time System.

Q: Improve the invoice time between Golf Guys and Spring Run

A: We apologize for any delays; with the Golf Guys being a third party, it can be a challenge to control the invoice timing.   The Professional Staff will continue to work diligently at improving the member shopping experience between The Golf Guys and Spring Run which will include timeliness.

Q: As a single person, I did not feel safe sharing a cart with another random club member. I felt I had to choose between my health and safety and playing golf. I think the club should have allowed the option of single cart use for those without a spouse/partner. As a result of my reluctance to share a cart, I only played golf 3-4 times this season. Not enjoyable. I would have paid extra for the option of single cart use.

A: We understand your concern. The club has 80 carts in the fleet and member demand for tee times could not accommodate this season for single riders.

Q: In order to increase revenue, it may not be possible, I would consider a way to allow at least some play on Wednesdays since Spring Run is loved by Reciprocals. Possible Options:

– Only Close Every other Wednesday

– Have Tee Times Until 10 Only and Front 9 would then be available to work on sometime after Noon.

– Have an 8:00 AM Shotgun and, again, the course would be available for work sometime after Noon.

There are probably good reasons the Course has to be Closed every Wednesday, but being the Financial Person I am, I am always looking for ways to get a few more Dollars in Revenue.

A: Thank you for your feedback. The course is closed every Wednesday to allow for a full day of maintenance in the off season to prevent any negative on-course conditions.

Q: We think there is too many events that take away tee times.

A: The golf staff along with the board create a calendar of events that balances out regular member play and special events that take place. We will take your input into further consideration.

Q: Rangers need to be eliminated or given instructions as to what their duties are. I would hear comments from rangers saying, things will clear up after hole 4. The ranger would be on hole 3 going to 2. I am of the opinion he should be at 4 attempting to speed things up. Also, they will say its’s really slow today. Never saw a ranger attempting to speed things up all season.

A: We appreciate your feedback and these comments will motivate us to improve the experience with our rangers and how they manage pace of play. We are looking to improve ranger training so that all rangers have clear expectations of how to mitigate any pace of play issues.

Q: I have not played golf this year.

A: If you have not played for any specific reasons, please contact a member of the golf staff to share any thoughts or concerns.

Q: Our staff is very courteous, helpful and professional without being stuffy. My wife deals with Kelsey through the nine-hole Ladies and she is a pleasure to work with and a great addition to the staff. Nothing but good praise for our golf staff.

A: We enjoy hearing such kind words! Thank you and we will continue making your experience and exceptional one here at Spring Run. They’re the best!!!!!

Q: I think the tees that women use for the golf league should be based on handicap at the start of the season rather than randomly picking what is used. An unfair advantage is given to good golfers who choose the 6-tee box.

A: Thank you for your feedback. The SRWGA bylaws states that members get to choose their tees for league play.

Q: Front-9 should be the Back-9 and v-v

A: Thank you for the feedback and we will take this concern to the golf committee.

Q: Favorites get early tee times same people. Same winners often.

A: For open play, all members have the same access to request a tee time through the Chelsea Tee Time system 3-7 days in advance. Chelsea will place members in tee times based on their points relative to other members. For league play, tee times are based off of either handicap or randomized by Golf Genius. The Golf Professional staff along with the handicap committee work diligently to ensure the integrity of all leagues at Spring Run. 

Q: Having been at another golf course other than Spring Run for 19 years, you FAR Exceed the other club, events, friendliness, helpfulness, golf shop items. My husband & I have found out final place in SR.

A: We are so excited to hear this! We value our members and want them to have the best experience possible. Thank you for the kind words.

Q: For me the tee times were fine; however, I have an issue with allowing PGA Pass People to take blocks of prime tee times from our members. This is a private club. Yes, I realize these Passes bring in some revenue but those prices could be higher, to benefit us if our block of tee times are taken out of service. PGA Pass people love our course no matter what condition it is in. I do not think the Pass people should be allowed to bring in their own coolers. Some did.

A: Thank you for your constructive feedback. By putting in requests through Chelsea 3-7 days in advance, the Spring Run membership will always have first access to tee times. PGA Pass players are allotted the leftover tee times that are not initially taken by the membership. With our course being in such good condition, Spring Run is a very desirable place to play in the summertime. We will continue to look at pricing and will make any adjustments deemed necessary. The policy of the club is that no outside players are permitted to bring coolers on to the golf course. We apologize if any coolers have been seen on the course and we will reinforce this rule with all of the staff members to ensure this does not happen moving forward.

Q: PGA players during Nov. & December make Spring RUN A SEMI-PUBLIC golf course. False advertising to prospective buyers to say we are a private club.

A: Spring Run is a private club that does allow limited access to a select population of non-members. The staff at Spring Run will always do our best to describe the golf course accurately. In the high-season, we only allow play from members and their guests. During the slower season, we do allow for reciprocal and PGA Pass play, along for hosting outing events.

Q: The golf staff has grown together very well under Jeff’s leadership! They are a well-trained team with many special and unique traits. It has been a pleasure to see Kelsey grow into her role at SR. Scott is so patient with questions and continues to make Golf Genius work for us. Patti and Susie do a great job with merchandising and ordering. Always lessons available from the team. Particularly enjoyed the Pop-up events. Should be more and better attended. A big plus for the club. Thanks, Jeff, for a great year despite adverse conditions. I am very happy with the condition of the golf course! I don’t remember a season in 21 years that the fairways have been any better. A little damage to the greens but so what. Enjoyable season all around!

A: We appreciate the kind words! The staff is always looking for new, innovative ways to create a memorable experience for our members at Spring Run. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Q: We need to train the younger bag boys to be more thorough. Several times our club covers were NOT put back on. Luckily, we found them in the lost and found. The older men are very good.

A: We apologize for any inconveniences you have experienced regarding outside services, and please know that we find this to be unacceptable. We will put our best foot forward to ensure that with proper training, this does not happen again. We look forward to giving you a pleasurable golf experience moving forward.

Q: Why can’t the 18-hole ladies’ league have 9:00 shotguns??

A: Due to daylight issues in the high season, the 8:00 am shotguns allow for a second shotgun at 1:00 pm, ensuring all players have adequate access to sunlight.

Q: How about a 9-hole couples event Sunday pm?

A: The Professional Staff is always looking for new, creative ideas. For all events, not only golf is involved but food & beverage is as well.  Thank you for the idea and we will take it into consideration moving forward.

Q: I feel the rangers are a waste of money.

A: We appreciate this honest response. We will do our very best to lead the rangers so they can exceed all expectations in the future. Not only are rangers responsible for preventing and handling any pace of play issues, but they also are player assistants when a club is lost or a player needs a ride in. Rangers are also responsible for stocking the on-course restrooms with cups, straws and lids, and are usually the first to notify the golf shop when a restroom needs assistance.

Q: Stay longer than 5 pm. Why do we have a “blackout” and are unable to look at golf things, scores etc. in the late afternoon? Why can’t this be done later in the evening?

A: The Chelsea Tee Time system turns “off” every day between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. for tee sheet placement. During this time, members can call the Golf Shop if they would like to put a request in or book a tee time. Our scoring program, GHIN, does not turn off and you are able to access it at all times of the day. Chelsea must be turned off during golf shop operating hours. This allows the professional staff to ensure a correct tee sheet and input any league play or general tournaments into the tee sheet.

Q: Slow play needs to be addressed!

A: The Golf Shop will continue to do our best at educating the membership on how to improve pace of play. We do our best to send out e-mail communications to members, and will continuously educate staff and golfers on the importance of keeping up with the pace of play.

Q: Golf staff – Name tags with bigger lettering, would be appreciated.

A: This valuable feedback will be taken into consideration. Thank you!

Q: Thank you, Kelsey, for trying to accommodate personal preferences when it came to scheduling either earlier or later times for league play. Greatly appreciated. Staff did an outstanding job.

A: We are always striving to make our membership happy, and we are glad that we were able to do that. We will continue to put our best foot forward in accommodating our members!

Q: With the Chelsea system for tee times it seems you get punished for playing often.

A: The Chelsea Tee Time system is a points-based system and is designed for equity purposes so that those who have not played golf, get an opportunity to play. We do offer the ability to play golf without receiving a Chelsea point. By booking a tee time on the day of or 1-2 days in advance, you will not receive a Chelsea point. Thank you

Q: All new members should have spent time with one of the pros and learn local rules, golf etiquette, golf operations (booking tee times, etc.), and meet the whole golf team including the head Professional.

A: Most new members are given an introduction to the golf operation and rules of Spring Run. The staff is always available to assist members, and if a golf professional is not available at that moment, we will happily schedule a time to meet. We will take your advice into further consideration as we move forward and strive to empower all Spring Run members with the information they need.

Q: The new personnel should wear name tags.

A: It is protocol at Spring Run that each staff member wears a name tag, and we apologize if that has not been the case. We will make sure to enforce this standard moving forward. 

Q: Kudos to all in this year of the pandemic. All went above and beyond to make golf a safe and fun way to live thru this time, we were thankful to be here and live in a beautiful area to walk, walk and play golf, ride and play golf with cart dividers and then without. None of this would have happened without the wonderful staff. We were far better off than any of our other friends no matter what community they lived in in Bonita Bay, Bentley @VI, Pelican Sound

A: We value your kind words, that is what keeps us motivated to give our best every day to the Spring Run community! The staff wants all members to feel proud to be at Spring Run, and we will continue to strive for excellence.

Q: Kelsey had done a great job in her new position. We took lessons from her – excellent instructor. She is customer service oriented and was very helpful with the Ladie-9 events. Outside Services guys are super – Trevor, Brian, Pete and Al are so helpful. They work so hard. I hope they all return next year.

A: We thank you for your kind words, they mean so much to all of us. Each one of us hopes to continue providing you with an excellent experience here at Spring Run!

Q: Why do we need rangers? You have GPs in house and can see and correct any problems. With 5 of 6 people in the pro shop, why should the phone usually go to voice mail?

A: Rangers have a multitude of responsibilities. Not only do they act to prevent and mitigate any pace of play issues, they also assist golfers with lost clubs and bringing players to and from the course when needed. Rangers also drive the course to spot any potential hazards/issues, and also are responsible for stocking the on-course restrooms with cups, towels and lids. The Golf Shop does have access to GPS; however, many on-course issues that arise are able to tended to in a timelier manner with the use of rangers.

The phone should only automatically go to voicemail during non-operating hours, from 5 pm to 7 am the next day. The golf staff always does our best to make sure every phone call is answered. There are only two phones at the golf shop counter, and in the rare case that they are both are in-use, we ask that you please stay on hold or hang up and call again.

Q: PGA play has really torn up our course, they don’t take care of our course the same way as members do. I would appreciate their play ending prior to our season beginning end of October. I would rather pay more in fees and not have them at our club at all particularly now with course in the condition that it is in presently.

A: All outside players, including PGA Pass play, are given a speech from the starter regarding “care for the course” and pace of play information.  If proper care of the course is not being done by non-members, they will no longer have golfing privileges at Spring Run.   We understand your concern and value your feedback.

Vents for Greens Drainage

Dear Spring Run Members,

Everyone is aware we have had issues with some of our greens this past year. We have been working diligently to ascertain the reasons as to why theses areas are not performing as well as the rest of the greens. Through our investigation and discovery, we found several issues. One was nematodes and disease which we remedied very quickly with some chemical applications. While we saw some improvement in the areas these areas continued to struggle. Through our continued investigation we discovered that the topography around some of the greens was causing collection areas on the greens. These collection areas are not allowing water to properly drain off the greens. These thin and struggling areas are right where water seems to be collecting and are drowning the turf. With this new knowledge we have implemented several remedies to help correct the problem. One remedy we have implemented is constant aerifications to these areas. The aerifications will not be big holes not will they impede playability. By aerifying these areas, it will allow these areas to dry out and remain drier more consistently. When these remain wet for so long it not only drowns the roots but it can also cause excessive harmful gas build ups in the soil. When we try to fix the areas by plugging and re-sodding, the gasses in the soil prevent the new plugs and sod from rooting and the turf eventually stresses out again and dies. Along with the aerifications we will be correcting the topography issues so that water drains properly around the greens. We will also be installing these vents in the drains on the fall out on some of the greens.

These vents are designed to give the gasses in the soils another route to escape from the ground so they do not build up in the soil. This will also help us when we plug the back pack blowers into the flush outs on the greens as we will be installing a slide valve in front of the vent that we can close when the back pack blowers are pushing air through the drain lines.

This will allow us to push more oxygen up and through the soil and hopefully aid in the gas exchange and get the gasses out of the soil. With all of these remedies we are confident that we will see a much healthier and improved putting surface for next season and many seasons to come. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing everyone next season.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Superintendent

Missing Spray Rig Nozzle

Dear Spring Run Members,

As you are playing golf you may notice the streak of brown grass on #14 green. This was a result of a nozzle that fell off the spray rig as we were applying our weekly foliar fertilizers. When a nozzle falls off like this, the hose where the chemical comes out has a much larger hole. This allows for a lot more spray to flow out than desired, and in a much more concentrated stream. Because the amount of chemical applied is at a much higher and more concentrated amount it can cause a burn to the grass like you see in the picture. This was caught and fixed immediately, and the affected area was flooded with water several times to try and minimize the damage.

 While the grass did turn brown, the chemical should not kill the grass and this brown streak should heal up quickly over the next week or so. Thank you for all your continued support and we hope everyone is having a great summer.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Superintendent

Explanation of chemical applications to be used during re-grassing project

Dear Spring Run Members,

It has been brought to my attention that there are some questions and concerns about the spray applications that will be applied next year prior to re-grassing. I would like to take this opportunity to educate and inform everyone about the products being used and all the precautions that we will take to ensure the safety of all our members, their guests and the environment.

Before I had this posted, I made several calls to fellow superintendents who are either doing renovations this year, or who have done renovations in recent years, to find out what they used for their applications. I contacted Heritage Palms, Palmira, Bonita Bay, and Kensington, as well as talked to several vendors to ask if anyone they knew had substituted something else for round up. Every single one of the people I spoke to all said they used Roundup. The reason is that it is the only thing on the market that will give the most effective and proper kill on the grass. There is no substitute for it. If you remove Roundup from the spray, nothing can replace it, and the effectiveness of the kill will be compromised. As we stated in the Board Meetings, the most important aspect of this project is the kill of the current grasses. If we can’t get a good kill then there is no reason to even do the project. We will because we will be right back in this current situation in a few years and we will have wasted $500,000. Because Roundup is not the only chemical in the applications, we will be using a lower, but still effective, rate of in conjunction with two other products: Trichlopyr and Turflon Ester, along with some ammonium sulfate, and an additive to help the chemical stick to, and be absorbed by, the plant.  

I understand the concerns about Roundup, considering all the news that has been written about it in recent years. A couple facts to keep in mind though, is that it would take years of direct exposure to Roundup to have any harmful effects on anyone in the community. We will just be doing four sprays to the course and it will be completely closed on those days so no one except myself or my assistant will be around the chemicals. No members or guests will be allowed on or anywhere around the golf course.  Once the chemical is dry, it is in the plant and doing what it is supposed to be doing. The morning after the spray, we will run an irrigation cycle on the turf to wash off any residue that might be left. This will ensure that no one will come in contact with chemical applied the previous day. There has also been some concern raised about waterways and the chemicals getting into waterways. We are not going all the way down to the ponds when we re-grass. We will stay about 18″ to 2 feet away from the edges of the ponds, so there is little to no risk of us contaminating any water sources around the property. To ensure that our water is safe from chemical contamination, we will spray down to about 3-4 feet from the pond edge. The remaining 1-2 feet will be hand sprayed to control the application and apply it only to where it is intended. We will also watch the weather closely and make sure not to spray if rain is expected to negate the risk of run off. Leaching is not a big concern since the chemicals being applied are sprayed at low enough rates that the soil will be able to break it down and prevent it from getting to any subsurface water sources.

I can assure everyone in Spring Run that we will take all precautions to make sure that no member or guest comes in contact with the chemical. I hope this answers any questions, but if not, please don’t hesitate to email me or talk to your greens committee representatives. I will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns anyone has. As always thank you for your continued support as we strive to make Spring Run Golf Club the Best Bundled Golf Community in Southwest Florida.

Thanks

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Superintendent

Fertilizer Burn

Dear Spring Run Members,

As you are playing golf the next few days or so you may see some holes out there that are brown or tan in color. This is due to a fertilizer burn on 15 & 16 fairway. We are currently applying our mole cricket prevention application and incorporating some foliar fertilizers to help with the heal up from the winter damage and struggles we have experienced. The fertilizers can sometimes singe or burn the leaf blades on the grass a little if the air temperatures get to warm before the application can dry.

This is what happened on a few holes. We have made the adjustments to the timing of the application to avoid any future burn issues. This fertilizer burn will not kill the grass or set it back. The burn will disappear in a few days or so and everything will be greened up and growing rapidly. As always thank you for your patience and understanding as we strive to make Spring Run Golf Club the best bundled community in southwest Florida.

Sincerely

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Spring Run Golf Club

Superintendent

Course Conditions and Remedies

Dear Spring Run Members,

I am aware of the many comments and concerns about some of the course conditions we are experiencing this season. I want to assure you that no one is more aware of these issues than me, and we are working diligently to resolve them as quickly as possible. I would like to take this opportunity to explain why we have struggled this year more so than in recent years, and tell you what we are doing to remedy it.

This past year was been very trying for everyone for sure. Beginning in March of 2020, we had to change react differently to a changing and uncertain environment. One of the decisions we made was to perform our closure procedures early last April when the course was shut down and we were in the midst of lockdown. We performed extensive maintenance, and decided to forego the 2nd closure in August so we could stay open and bring in more revenue to help the bottom line. This idea initially worked great, and the club did much better than expected financially. The reasoning was based on the idea that we would be able to do various cultural practices and spot aerifications to weak or struggling areas on the course throughout season that would allow us to get by. That did not pan out like we had hoped, because of the extensive cold spells from November through February. Because of this we had to hold off on some practices as the turf would not have healed properly, creating worse conditions. Bermudagrass needs several things to grow vigorously and heal properly: Sunlight, which we definitely don’t lack here in Florida; Water; Fertility, which we have been pumping out as fast as we can; and most importantly, Warm Temperatures. This turf needs a minimum soil temperature (not ambient temperature) of 65 degrees F to grow. The soil takes a lot longer to warm up after it gets cold. If you get a 2-3 day cold spell where the ambient temperatures fall to 55 degrees or less, the soil temperature will also fall, and once the soil temperatures fall below 65 degrees the turf slows or stops growing altogether. The result is slower healing and increased stress. It can take 6-10 days of warmer weather to get the soil temps back to optimal growth conditions. Therefore, a 2-3 day cold spell stop the growth for up to a week and a half. When the turf stops growing, the canopy of the grass becomes tighter and shrinks. This causes the appearance that we are mowing the turf more tightly… and I can assure you we are not! We actually raise the mowing heights during these periods to reduce the stress on the turf and mow less frequently.

Also, it is important to note that some off-type strands of Bermudagrass, like common bermudagrass (of which we have a lot), will tighten up and thin out, leaving the patches you may see out there in some of the fairways. Common Bermuda occurs when our normal 419 hybrid bermuda, which is an initially sterile plant, mutates back to an “of-type” contamination. Unfortunately, the only way to eliminate off-type grasses are to dig them up and replace them with more 419 or Bimini. The areas on the fairways and approaches that look nice and lush are the 419 and Bimini. The thin areas are mostly common bermuda.

The good news is that we appear to finally be breaking the cycle for the year and moving into much warmer conditions for the remainder of the season.  This will allow us to do a number of invasive procedures that will help these struggling areas healed up. Some of the things you will see us doing is something called “knife-tining”.

These are slits in the ground that will help get water and nutrients into the soil faster, as well as loosen up the soil so the turf and its roots can more easily grow. Along with the knife-tining, we will also be doing some localized core aerifications where we will be removing material from the soil and top dressing it to help provide better growing conditions. I am confident that all these efforts will result in marked improvement very soon.

I will be publishing another article that describes some different practices that we have tried and the results that we have seen.

As always, thank you for your patience and support.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Spring Run Golf Club Superintendent