Spring has arrived in Central Ohio and in decidedly warm and sunny fashion. The golf course will be opening to play this Saturday, March 17th at 9:00 AM. With that in mind we spent the last ten days preparing the golf course to open. Several items on our pre-opening list are things we do every year such as edging and repairing bunkers, rolling and mowing greens and other playing surfaces, and cleaning up sticks and debris that fell throughout the winter. This year however, much of our tree removal project work ran into time we would normally spend working on our pre-opening list. We are pleased to say that we have worked our way back to being on schedule over the last two weeks and are poised to have the golf course in remarkably good shape for mid-March.
The recent warm weather has no doubt put us ahead of the curve with respect to grass beginning to grow sooner than normal. In fact, based upon our weather data from last year we are almost three weeks ahead of where we were in 2011. With that being said, we will have some tweaking to do with some of our cultural practices, in addition to our pesticide and fertilizer applications as we progress through the spring. This also means that for your lawns at home you will need to consider applying a pre-emergent herbicide for weeds like crabgrass in the next two to three weeks, if the forecast holds true.
One of the most time consuming and laborious tasks we do each year prior to opening is preparing bunkers for play. Each bunker is edged by hand, has its washouts fixed, and finally is checked for a uniform and consistent sand depth of four inches throughout the bunker. Some bunkers have excess sand in certain areas that simply needs to be moved to another part of the same bunker that is low on sand as seen in the photo below.
Those bunkers that do not have enough sand in them to provide a consistent depth have new sand added and then compacted to ensure good playability. As we move through the golf season, bunkers are continually checked for consistent and uniform sand depth throughout. The bunkers that have been renovated thus far are sure to have a consistent four inches, whereas the bunkers that have not yet been renovated were not designed and constructed to hold that much sand. With that in mind we do our best to keep all bunkers as consistent as possible however, until all bunkers have been renovated, there will always be some variability from one bunker to the next when it comes to sand depth and playability characteristics.
Opening day is quickly upon us and I can tell you there is no group more excited for it be here than our staff. We look forward you to showing you all of the project work that was completed over the winter, as well as the improvements that lie ahead. The weather looks conducive to both playing and maintaining the golf course for at least the next two weeks. Get out there and enjoy it!