We have many different jobs this week that we're working on. It's a big balancing act for us to prioritize all of the different elements of maintaining the course. This week, we're battling rough that you can almost watch grow, laying a truckload of sod, keeping sod and other areas watered since its hot and dry, installing plants and trees along our property behind 7, applying insecticide and crabgrass prevention based on soil temperatures, fertilizing and applying growth regulators to fairways and greens, and preparing for a large outing on Monday and the MSGA State Open and Amateur Qualifier on Tuesday. We also had to do this with 2 large outings with 12:00 shotguns earlier this week. This would still be difficult to keep up with for a much larger staff so we're doing our best to prioritize and work as efficiently as possible so everything falls into place for our members and guests.
We are doing our best to keep up with the rough. Obviously the biggest priority is the area against the fairways. We "Loop" the fairways (mow 5 or 6 passes outside of each fairway) at least twice a week. We could literally do this every other day but we still have to spend time doing the areas from the tees to the fairways and areas outside of the "loop" zone. Our 2 rough mowers are constantly mowing and we appreciate your understanding during our annual rough explosion. If you see a familiar friendly face in an unfamiliar area, we now have former Bag Room Attendant Ken Haynie working in the Golf Course Maintenance department. Ken will be strictly focusing on mowing rough for us so that staff members with more experience can be utilized in other areas on the course.
We had sod delivered Thursday Morning. This was used for stump holes and to finish the project on 3. We will still need to get more sod this year, but this will help finalize the majority of our projects. Along with laying the sod on 3 tee, we mowed the first round of sod that we put down AND mowed the tees for the first time! Its always exciting doing the first cut so I let Mark and his silly hat take care of it. We are currently mowing at 1". The front tee is farther along than the back tee because of the shade in the back, but some extra fertilizer should help it catch up. Still, I'm pleased with the progress and outcome and i'm looking forward to a Memorial Day opening.
We have an agreement with our neighbor behind 7 green to do some plantings along the fence to help aid in some privacy on his back porch. We used a large auger on our skid steer to drill the holes, and planted 2 types of viburnums and 2 types of dogwoods. The viburnums will grow quickly and create a nice border along our property line.
I'm sure you've noticed our new native areas are growing in nicely. They shouldn't get much taller than they are right now. When they become dry and it heats up a little more, they'll turn a nice golden brown. As you can see with the specific type of grass I've selected, the ball is easier to see and much easier to advance than from the original area between 5 and 6. I do ask that you PLEASE keep your carts out of the native areas. When they become dry, the plants will be brittle and do not recover after being driven on. I will be posting signs in the new areas when we remove the ropes, but I ask that you help monitor your playing partners and friends while you're on the course as well.
Chris has been busy fertilizing fairways and applying our grub and crabgrass prevention to the roughs. The timing is very important with these applications or we could have a crabgrass or grub outbreak. A lot of what we do in the early spring has a direct impact on the playing conditions and turf health for the entire year.
A lot of sprays and prep-work we're doing at the end of this week is to put us in position to have a successful MSGA event on Tuesday. Some of the best golfers in the state will be qualifying for the State Open and the State Amateur events. Along with this event showcasing the course at Hillendale, we never know if we could get a prospective member from it so we're eager to put our best foot forward.