As we move from Spring into Summer it is important to remind our members and their guests of their role in the course maintenance process. During the short couple of months of this year there has been a noticeable increase in unrepaired divots and ball marks as well as bunker rakes not being returned to their proper locations. The maintenance staff works hard seven days a week to keep the course in the best condition possible throughout the year for you and your guests and we ask that you please take the time to read the following and help us keep the course in the best condition.  Course Care: The maintenance staff spends considerable time filling divots, repairing ball marks, and raking bunkers during our normal day to day maintenance procedures however it is incumbent upon the members and their guests to do their part in taking care of the course as well. How golfers care for the course will have a tremendous bearing on the continuing quality of the course. Divots not filled with the seed mix will take considerably longer to grow over and heal. Hundreds of unrepaired ball marks on a green will quickly diminish the putting surface both in smoothness of ball roll and aesthetics. An unrepaired or incorrectly repaired ball marks will take weeks for each blemish to repair instead of days. Unraked bunkers and/or rakes not returned to a proper location causes interference to other players and lowers the general quality of the overall golfing experience we want all to enjoy. Divot Repair: The recommended way to repair divots is to fill the divot by using the mixture in the sand and seed bottles. Replacing divots rather than using the sand and seed mix does not provide adequate turf to soil contact and warm air dries the turf leaving an unsightly dead area of brown grass. The time for the grass to grow over these replaced divots is significantly longer than the growth of new turf from the mix. Ball Mark Repair: Ball marks should be repaired with a proper ball mark repair tool. When repairing a ball mark the tool should be placed on the outer edge of the mark and pushed inward toward the center of the mark around the entire mark. The turf should then be tamped down level. Marks should not be repaired by “lifting” the center of the mark from underneath.
Bunker Rakes: This year we have only placed rakes in the green side bunkers. After raking the area disturbed by footprints, ball marks, etc. place the rake on the low side of the bunker with the rake head in the sand and the handle parallel with the bunker edge. This is the proper rake place for all bunker rakes.
Driving Range: The practice tee receives heavy usage throughout the season and as with divots, ball marks and bunker rakes you and your guests can help maintain the range properly. The tee areas are rotated 3 to 4 times a year. Although we seed the range each morning before the range opens, the new turf simply cannot germinate, mature, and become as dense as the fairway in 4-to-6-week period.  For this reason we need to do everything we can from both an agronomic and player practice standpoint to maximize the quality of the hitting surface.  The way golfers’ practice can help preserve the existing turf and minimize the amount of growth time necessary to rotate the tee positions. The photo below shows three basic ways golfers hit on the range. When divots are spread out over the practice area, as in the photo on the right, this uses the most turf space.  When golfers hit balls from a solid area, as shown in the left side of the photo, this takes the longest for the area to fully recover.  Utilizing linear ball placement, as located in the center of the photo, disturbs the least amount of turf, and allows for the quickest growth in the recovery of the turf. As a reminder, the front tee is for warm up and the back tee is for practice.
Finally, we are putting fewer ropes and stakes on the course for cart traffic. Please always keep carts in the fairways or on cart paths. Carts should never be driven in the rough. Follow cart signs to return to the path from fairways. The signs designate the cart path leading to the side of the green.I would encourage you to keep course etiquette in mind for both yourself and your playing partners.  Fixing ball marks, filling divots, raking bunkers, and proper practice tee use are just as much a part of the game of golf as chipping and putting. Following these procedures, yourself, and requiring your guests to do so is the most proactive and effective means you as members have in the care and presentation of your golf course.  Thank you for your participation,David BieryGolf Course Superintendent