The first full week of summer has brought above average temperatures of up to 91 degrees! This drought, with limited irrigation water, has made things difficult for my crew. We currently are watering with a 1,500 gallon Hydroseeder, a 500 gallon water trailer and two motorized pumps. The motorized pumps allow us to water the greens around a water source (pond or creek). Even though these machines help, devoting three workers requires special schedule planning. The greens have responded very well considering they are only getting about 25% of the water they will once the new irrigation is installed. I apologize if anyone has been inconvenienced by this watering process; watering nine hours per day is our only option to keep the greens alive.
The progress on the irrigation construction is going very well. Work is now underway on hole #9, the driving range, chipping area and tennis courts. We closed the driving range for two days to install product in order to maximize having two trenchers and keep them working continuously. Once the back nine is closed, we will move to #18 and #10 first. I have been encouraged with the soil on the past couple of holes. It seems we have left the rocky conditions and have been able to dig much quicker in clay soils.
We will be able to partially reopen the front nine holes on Monday, June 29th. For the first week, holes 1-6 will be open. Instead of playing #7 & #8, we ask you to play #16 & #17 before finishing on #9. This will allow the holes finished most recently (#7 & #8) to germinate grass seed. After this temporary, quirky routing, the entire front nine holes will be open for play. Let me remind you that conditions will not be perfect, but I have been so impressed already with the abilities of the new irrigation system. Some of the pin placements and tee markers will be located differently; the greens and tees that were affected from no water on these holes continue to grow back in and need reduced traffic.
I would like to conclude with some reminders. Golf rangers will be on the course to monitor activity. These guys will be there to answer any questions that you may have and aid in maneuvering around the front nine holes. Please help us and yourselves and obey the requested rules. There will be a penalty for people that choose not to follow the rules. My staff will be painting an arrowed path routinely for carts to follow. This will be painted on the turf in bright orange paint. I remind you to stay on the cart path on the paved holes and in the rough on holes that are not paved. Please avoid driving across any exposed dirt. This dirt houses tender grass plants that are thriving and need to remain undisturbed to grow. Also, please ride two golfers per cart unless you are playing solo. The reduced tire traffic from fewer carts will aid in less damage to the grass plants.
I thank every one of you for your continued patience. This construction will be complete shortly and Laurel Ridge Country Club and Events Center will be thriving!
Logan H. Nesbitt, Golf Course Superintendent