update and a tree remembered

It has been a busy two weeks since my last post. We have accomplished many things: we hydro seeded the weak areas of the bunker faces, re-furbished the right green side bunker on 5, fertilized the greens and sprayed the tees and fairways for crabgrass to mention a few. I would be remiss not to mention that we removed the defunct 150 cedar tree on the right side of number 4. This has proven to be a very controversial move as the tree had become what we call in the industry a "sacred cow". I have been trying for years to correct the mistake I made by leaving the tree when we constructed the bunker. 20 yards to the right and we could have lived with the tree but to be in a bunker behind a tree is overly penal and an example of bad architecture. The fairway also slopes towards the right side so as you avoid the left bunker you get a kick to the right and then you would be behind a tree. You could then hit a cut around the tree and find yourself short of the green on the right side behind yet another tree. Too much trickery and not something our original creator would have had in mind. The sight lines, from the right side and also the tee for that matter, are nothing short of stunning. You can actually see the green from the tee now. It was an improvement to the hole and I would like to publicly thank the Board for allowing me to correct this mistake made at the very beginning of my career. It should have been done as soon as the bunker was put in and then the green moved back so it wasn't even at 150 any longer. The property is changing as our mature trees die off (oak on 8 green, pine on 2 fairway) and will continue to evolve. Change is hard sometimes but a golf course is a living landscape and forever changing and adapting.
gone but not forgotten 
hydro seeding of 7 bunker

As the fertilizer kicked in the greens became more uniform in color. It also stimulated some seed head production from the annual bluegrass. We were seeing very good control from our chemical application but any fertilizer offsets that process. Nothing is ever perfect when tinkering with nature but the alternative of putting on unregulated greens is not an option. The fairways are pure white with seed heads right now and if the greens were allowed to seed that much the putting would be worse than after an aerification. This will subside as the weather continues to improve and the plant gets this flush out of its system.
5 green looking towards 4 fwy

5 green expansion creating false front
The above pictures show the expansion of the 5th green a couple of years ago quite clearly. This may not be as noticeable now since we fertilized and everything is greening up and getting more uniform. At the time of these pictures the turf was very lean and it was clearly visible so I thought I would discuss it with you. I expanded several greens to create a false front. These are visual tricks to make you think the edge of the green is somewhere else. Once you know the property intimately you know you need to reach the plateau  or the ball will roll off but as we all know "doing is different than knowing". People always think staff have an advantage because we work the course and know every bump and roll but the reality is you still have to execute the shot. The main reason for the disparity in color is simply the difference between decades of maintenance as a green at that height versus collar at a different height. It will blend in a little more each year and eventually disappear completely.
9 green sunrise

Mink Meadows pond sunrise

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