Happy New Year.

I’d like to send out a generous thank you to the entire membership for your continued support of the Green Department. 2014 had its ups and downs for us, mistakes were made, lessons learned and new techniques applied in order to bring to you a well prepared golf course that we all could be proud of.  As always, we take all of our successes and failures with great optimism as we prepare for the upcoming season.

One of the highlights for me from 2014 was the member survey! In my opinion, it is the best tool to get a pulse of the course from our members. The overall results are listed below.

Course Condition Overall Ratings:
Fairways – 4.28/5
Greens – 3.97/5
Tees – 3.85/5
Bunkers – 3.71/5

Our goal for 2015 is to improve the green to move them into the first position for the next survey. I will explain how we’ll accomplish this in my next post. I will also address and explain the ins and outs of the maintenance of the other golf course features listed above in subsequent posts though out the winter.

Speaking of winter, you may be wondering what we do over the winter. Of course the weather and the budget dictates what we can accomplish. Here is whats on my list of things to do in no particular order.

  • Level the back tee on # 6.
  • repair damaged edges on bunkers
  • tree removals (3) and pruning
  • back-fill stumps
  • repair the drainage on 3 landing area
  • repair the stairs through out the course
  • tree root pruning
  • improve the short game area teeing surface
  • grade the rear of #3 green for surface drainage

Its a hefty list when you consider we have normal maintenance practices that we do this time of year, but it would be great if we were able to complete the list. Luckily you have supported the lease/purchase of two new pieces of equipment pictured below that will assist us in routine maintenance and working on the above list.

The Ven Trac is a multipurpose tractor that has over 20 available attachments for various tasks. I purchased 5 attachments with it including mowing decks and an aerator/seeder. We have aerated and seeded around all the greens in the last two weeks and we are currently using it to mow down all the naturalized areas!

Ven trac 003

Waiting in the wings for spring is a new bunker rake!

JD rake

This replaced the 14 year old rake that was purchased when I first came here! it served us well and exceeded its life expectancy by 9 years!! (average life expectancy of a bunker rake is 3-5 years) The rake will be an improvement to our bunker maintenance program for 2015.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous new year to the entire Bala membership and staff!