Good Afternoon and Welcome to Agronomy Updates.
This week we will discuss plans and improvements for the 2019 season and how we plan to achieve them.
Continued Greenside and Fairway Bunker Renovation:
Spring Creek Ranch has a total of 40 Green side Bunkers and 46 Fairway Bunkers. Wind, maintenance, and play all result in the movement of sand out of the bunker and into the surrounding turf. This settles into the turf and overtime builds up the ground changing the design/shape of the bunker.
Steps involved in Proper Restoration of our Bunkers:
Remove 3-4 feet of surrounding turf
Remove all build up of soil and organic matter (The course was originally covered with a 6’’ layer of a red river sand. This sand was only used in the construction phase, so it is a consistent indicator of original shape.)
Remove the sand from faces to determine original grass line based on bunker shape and liner.
Re-sod with Palisades Zoysia
Repair liner imperfections
Add a 4’’ layer of an angular sand known as “Premiere Play”
This process allows for a dramatic improvement in both playability and maintenance with minimal interruption to the membership. The angular sands move less with heavy rains and pack to a firmer, more consistent surface. 12 of the “Most Played Green Side Bunkers”, will undergo this process throughout the 2019 season.
Cart Path Repair:
Cart path will be assessed, and repairs made throughout the year to areas in need. A towable concrete mixer will allow us to repair small areas as weather permits. Larger sections will be removed 7 at a time, reframed, and poured/finished the following day. One full truck of concrete will complete these 7 sections of cart path, while it would take 80 of the 60 lb bags.
Native Grass Management:
There are 50 acres of native grass throughout the Golf Course that are typically cut 2-5 times each year. The mowing process prevents the establishment of woody plants/trees. Moving forward these areas will be cut once in the spring and fall. A herbicide will be applied as the unwanted trees/woody plants/broadleaf weeds begin to emerge in the spring. Our goal is to leave these native areas tall throughout most of the season while providing a “clean” and natural appearance.
Aquatic Weed Management:
Overtime, several ponds have become covered with aquatic plants, beginning in the shallow areas and working into deeper depths. This vegetation can be unsightly to some and creates an excess of organic matter that builds up on the bottom slowly filling in the ponds. The direction is to clearly define the water for all players by first removing some of the material in key areas and implementing a spray program to keep these areas clean. You will see improvements on Hole #6, #9, #11, #12, and #15.
Tree work will continue throughout the golf course to promote optimal sun to the turf and improve aesthetics throughout each hole. Greens, Tees, and landing zones will remain top priority. The removal of certain trees/limbs will also help to decrease the length of Frost Delays we see throughout the cooler seasons.
Drainage Line Repairs:
Spring Creek Ranch was designed with maximum drainage and a layer of sand to increase the number of days golf carts could be allowed off the path. These pipes range from 4’’ in diameter up to 48’’. Overtime, some of the drain pipes may become cracked or clogged, requiring repair. These repairs are made as needed and scheduled accordingly to provide minimal disruption to the golfing experience.