Keski’s Kolumn: Mid-Season Maintenance Update

It’s hard to believe it’s mid-summer already. And what a beautiful summer it has been. The weather has been very good for golf, as long as you’ve been able to dodge a rain shower or two. The forecast looks good for the next couple weeks. Hopefully the Fourth of July weekend turns out to be as nice as expected.

The maintenance crew has done very well on our project list so far. Our main project man, Derek Benhardus, has done some fine work on course improvements. If you haven’t had a chance to look at the new black tee box he built on the north side of the house on hole six, take a minute to stop by and take a look. The new tee extended the yardage from 428 to 463 from the black markers, adding 35 yards to the hole. It also brings in the bunker on the left side for the long hitters. It is now a 240-yard carry from the black tee.

Derek has also been doing some work on a nursery green on the hill behind the green on hole eight. A nursery will allow us to plug out any bad spots on the greens, which can be caused by anything from disease to golfer damage. The nursery will be seeded with the same seed (007) we over seed our greens with. We hope to have the green ready by this fall.

We have done a small amount of tree work on the course and still have some work left to do. We limbed a few branches that were hanging over the right side of hole one. We also lost a tree on the right side during a storm earlier this year. On hole 10, we removed five trees on the right side to expose the hillside and improve shot opportunities. Our head golf professional, Cole Hornstein, was so excited to see this project underway he helped remove the five trees. A special thanks to Cole for his help.

The programs that were designed this winter to help keep the greens culturally more healthy are on schedule. Our verti-cut and topdress programs have gone very well. I think two programs have really helped keep the greens at a consistent speed this year. We have been able to roll the greens three to four times a week as well. The rolling seems to have made the greens more firm and healthy. Studies have shown that rolling at least three times a week decreases risk for disease.

Our fairways seem to like the organic fertilizer we use. Immediately after fertilizing they were a little “lush,” but the growth regulator we applied afterward really helped to slow the grass down. We have saved some time and money this year by doing a “zamboni” cut on the fairways. You may have noticed that it looks like half of the grass is lighter and half is darker. The mowers are now running for a shorter amount of time compared to a cross cut. I hope everyone has had a good summer so far and that the rest of it goes just as well. Happy golfing!