Whittle Springs GC May Greens Staff Newsletter
The course as a whole survived fairly well with not much damage, one of the worst winters in a very long time in East Tennessee. The new Champion Bermuda Greens stood the test of a very harsh winter. The discoloration that you see on the greens is “tarp damage.” At this time it is not aesthetically pleasing but with time it will grow back in. Some of the other courses in the Southeast region that have Champion Bermuda and use covers like we do did not fair as well as we did with the tarp damage. As a staff we were prepared and had the greens ready to survive the winter. We are not expecting much but any area that does not grow in will be plugged out after our aerification process which will begin on May 4, 2015. Our Champion Green Representative has been to the course recently and stated that we are in great shape. He really likes the direction that the greens and course are heading. He along with others feel that this course is set up for a great golfing season. The fairways and teeing areas are struggling a little to recover after a harsh winter. With the course being covered by snow and ice for almost one month straight and the cold spell after the snow melted caused us to delay our spraying program for those areas. For Bermuda to really thrive you need NIGHT TIME temperatures to be above 60 degrees consistently and we have yet to have that happen. The fairways and tees will recover and thrive as much as Mother Nature allows them to. We are not expecting much but whatever does not recover will be sodded or sprigged. With us being in the transition zone for growing grass our time line for grass popping up and growing is erratic and never the same. Some years the common Bermuda could already be thriving but in others like this one it may not. Keep in mind this past winter was one of the harshest in recent memory, so please bare with us as we transition into the summer. Trust me, no one want a more perfect, beautiful course than we do.
I would also like to take time to address some issues or concerns that I have heard about, but before that I want to ask that if you have any questions or comments about the condition of the course to please approach me directly and please do not approach my staff or the pro shop staff. I make myself available to everyone all the time so feel free to approach me and ask. I will be more than happy to address any question or concern. If I am not available please email me at email@example.com and I will respond to you as soon as possible. The first problem is the leak on #16 green. That leak is coming from a water line that we believe is not ours. We are waiting on KUB to come out to help us with that issue. It will be resolved as soon as they let me know. The next problem is drainage around some of the greens which will be addressed and fixed in the fall. The next is the Poa Annua/Goose Grass in the greens. That is a problem that no matter where you are at in the country you will have. Poa Annua/Goose Grass is a weed just like all of the others we spray to remove. When it appears we spray it to remove it. We sprayed to remove it on April 20, 2015. The height of cut for all of the different levels of grass will be set by the grounds staff. Right now we plan to mow fairways at .450 of an inch, collars and approaches at .390 of an inch, tees at .450 of an inch, greens at .120 of an inch, intermediate rough/pro walks at 1 inch, rough will be at 1.5 inches and native areas will grow unmowed until the fall. All of these heights are subject to change with tournaments/outings and how much weather allows. All of these heights are fair for every type of golfer. We don’t set the course up for one type of golfer, it is set up for all levels of golfers to enjoy. Please keep this in mind as you are playing your round. The average handicap for our course is 20-25 all the way down to a scratch golfer, that is a huge difference and challenge to get the course fair for everyone. The logs from the tree project that are on the course are all in the rough areas. After cutting down over 50 trees and having a harsh winter it has been a process to remove them that we are slowly accomplishing. They will be gone by the time of the member guest tournament in mid May. Lastly is the cart path renovation. The course is unable to be manicured and detailed as much as we would like due to the renovation. We are having to work around the construction company to finish our projects. When they are finished we will begin to dial the course in and get it to the level that we expect. Again please bare with us as there is a lot going on around the course.
Our aerification project will begin May 4, 2015. We completed the putting green ahead of time to see how it would react and so you as the golfers would be able to see how the course would play for a week to ten days after we aerify. This process will not be as aggressive as the one in July will be. We will have the course ready to play with as little of an inconvenience to the everyday golfers.
Again please feel free to contact me to talk about your concerns or with any questions you may have about the future of the course. We are looking forward to the upcoming season and giving you the best public course in East Tennessee so we can maintain our Best in 2014, Public Golf Course.