Course News

Course Update Sept 25

This past Monday September 25th the course was closed to allow the Turfcare team to perform the fall aeration program to greens, tees and fairways.  With the timing of aeration we did not pull a core rather we stuck with the heavy sand, needle tine and fertility program on greens. As the week progresses we will continue to finish up aeration on collars, approached and tee boxes until the program is complete across all prime play features. 

Mowing frequency has reduced across all prime play areas.  Greens heights of cut are beginning to increase to set the stage for winter.  With this we will no longer be able to provide consistent putting experience across all 18 greens.  From day to day ball roll and speed will vary.

Driving range is off of the mats for the remainder of the season as we work to establish turf on the deck for next season. 

The battle of leaves has begun across the property.  Daily we send blowers to clean the prime playing surfaces.  When we have wind it is difficult to keep the playing areas free of leaves.  We blow most of the leaves in the morning into tree lines.  This can create difficulties finding a ball that is not hit into a fairway of immediate rough.  When labor allows and when weather allows we will be in the tree lines mulching leaves to keep the course as playable and enjoyable as possible.  Hopefully the leaves will drop quickly and we can get them all cleaned up sooner than later.  Please be patient as we battle through this annual aspect of course maintenance.

Course Update September 5, 2023

Some excessive heat and wind to start September had the course very dry and in need of rainfall.  Monday night and into Tuesday we received this rainfall totalling just shy of ¾”.  The rain unfortunately did have a negative impact on course conditioning on Tuesday morning.  This with the loss of the maintenance day on Monday to the long weekend will have the Turfcare team behind in most mowing detail across the property this week.  Strong winds have begun to blow leaves off trees.  The trees are slowly beginning to turn for the fall.  We will continue to blow the property daily and when we can mulch leaves to keep the course as playable and presentable as possible through the fall.  Please be patient as we work to get back on top of all items this week for some great fall golf ahead!

Course Update August 29, 2023

With the arrival of September at the end of this week it is unfortunately time to say goodbye to the majority of the Turfcare team as they return to studies.  We would like to thank these team members for their hard work and dedication to Niakwa this season. Their efforts assisted in providing the members a great 100th year on the golf course.

With the reduction in team members and a property that is still in full swing, there will be challenges in keeping up with all the details.  There will be a reduction in mowing frequencies, weeding, trimming, and bunker raking.  With this reduction and to keep the property up to standards now would be a great time to get full cooperation from all membership and guests with basic game of golf etiquette items.  We continued throughout the season to have bunkers not raked, ball marks not repaired and divots not filled.  The Turfcare team will no longer have the resources to care for some of these items daily and it is your responsibility to ensure the course is left in the same if not better condition than when you went out to play. If you are playing in the evening please rake your bunkers as we will not be capable of raking bunkers Monday to Friday in the morning as has been the case all summer.  Your cooperation with this will ensure that we finish the 100th year in great condition for all members and guests to enjoy. 

Course Update – August 21, 2023

Wind was the story last week heading into the first two rounds of Club Championships.  The course handled the excessive winds well.  We do have some debris lingering in areas of tree lines and rough.  As we resume with rough mowing this week these things should tidy up with the cut.

As we are nearing the end of August we will be making a small mowing height adjustment to the newest of the clubs greens being 4, 7, 9 and 10.  These new greens just recently celebrated their one year anniversary since opening last year.  We need to keep in mind the youthfulness of these greens.  We have been happy with their performance this season keeping pace to date with the well-established greens on course. Over the past few weeks we have noticed some stresses on these greens that we are not experiencing on the established bent greens.  With this in mind we will be making the necessary adjustment to ensure a healthy fall and to assist in setting these greens up for a happy winter and successful future.  The adjustment will be minor and with proper water management performance may still be similar to the other greens on course.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we continue to establish these greens for a bright future.

Congratulations to all members who participated in Club Championships this past week.  We hope you had a great weekend of competition and golf!

Course Update August 14, 2023

This past Monday, August 14th the Turfcare team resumed with a light topdressing program.  Typically on the week of a major club event we would shy away from sand and focus on sharp cuts all week to ensure green speeds.  With the continued moisture events we needed to make this application to aid in providing smooth greens which brings speed and plant health especially the newest of the club’s greens.  We will battle some poor cuts to start the week but the plan will be to swap out reels on Thursday to begin to achieve some good cuts ahead of this weekend’s club championships.  We are hopeful for a week of sunshine to firm surfaces up and we would like to wish all members participating in the club championship this weekend the best of luck!

Course Update August 9, 2023

Greens over the past week and continuing into this week are performing a little below what we would like.  We completed an essential day of cultural and fertility practices to the greens on July 31st.  This program provided the greens with air, sand, and fertility to set the stage for the months of August and September.  Unfortunately following this we received a heavy thunderstorm with 1.5 inches of driving rain.  This essentially washed away all the sand applied and saturated the greens. With the long weekend this week, the window we require to improve performance was not there.  We have not watered greens overnight since the thunderstorm a week ago.  We are hopeful the forecast this week does not deliver too much rainfall to aid in drying out the surfaces and giving us control of the moisture which has an impact on ball roll.  With the fertility application, we have seen an increase in growth which is also slowing up greens.  We are also hopeful that the time required to spray greens this week is available around rainfall to regulate the growth.  This is unfortunately the second time this summer we have lost the benefits of the greens programs to heavy thunderstorms followed by a long weekend. Without the time to reapply sand which aids in smoothness, speed, and firmness we are at the mercy of the elements until the next window of time is available and greens simply will not be at the peak of their performance unless we get cooperation from Mother Nature. 

Course Update July 31, 2023

On Monday, July 31st, the golf course remained closed for an additional two and a half hours to provide the turfcare team time to address some cultural and product requirements.  This additional time is critical to allow the team the opportunity to look after some much need product applications and to set the stage for the final two months of golf. 

Over the past week, we have had a severe outbreak of dollar spot disease on tees and fairways.  This disease is driven by high humidity and the conditions were perfect last week with humidity very high.  A complete fungicide program and fertility program was applied to all tees and fairways on Monday with the additional time.  We should see the results of this application to eliminate the disease and repair the turf within the next week. 

Greens received a mow, topdressing, vent, and granular fertilizer followed by deep irrigation.  These applications are challenging to complete without additional time.  Our irrigation system only allows a certain number of heads to apply water at once and the fertility program alone can take in excess of 5 hours to complete with watering making it difficult on days with morning tee times.  There is little room to complete this without additional time.

To start the month of August following these practices the greens will be soft and receptive.  Ball roll will increase as the surfaces begin to firm up setting the stage for what we hope is a great month of August for the game of golf! The Turfcare team would like to thank the membership for its support and understanding with the additional time provided.

Course update July 24, 2023

Some fortunate rains have fallen over the past week here at Niakwa.  With these repetitive rain events, we have become soft and wet throughout areas of the course.  Cart and traffic control, when these weather events arrive, are essential to minimizing wear patterns on the course, minimizing turf loss, and keeping the presentation of the property acceptable. The club has a cart policy and rules for cart use.  Carts are to stay in fairways at all times when there is no path option available.  Driving aimlessly through the rough creates additional wear and can track the course leaving an undesirable presentation for days.  This is especially true when traveling out of the fairway between holes 13 & 15.  This tree line has many areas of soil from lack of sunlight, irrigation, and the inability to have a good stand of grass in a tree line.  We continue to see carts traveling through this area creating additional wear and tracking up the golf course. Please follow the club policy in place for travel and assist us in providing a great member experience regardless of the weather scenarios.

Course update July 19, 2023

Goose removal and relocation took place first thing in the morning on maintenance day last week.  In total 100 geese were captured and transported safely to the Whiteshell area.  While this should reduce the number of geese on the property it can be expected at some point we may see a new family move into the ponds on course.  Foxes continue to thrive on the property for the second consecutive year. 

Over the past couple of weeks, the foxes have begun to cause some damage to the greens.  Through the night they have begun to dig holes into the putting surfaces in the areas of 6 & 7.  We repair these holes each morning and are looking into ways to deter the foxes from continuing this moving forward.  The other issue with the foxes is their urine.  They have been spending enough time on greens that when they urinate they are killing areas of greens from the high nitrogen volumes in the urine.  We have also been busy trying to keep up with these repairs.

This week the greens program consisted of a vent.  With daily rolling, lots of play, and some recent rain events the greens were in need of oxygen. This process, though minimally invasive does loosen the canopy and create softer and slower conditions for a few days.  Monday we resumed light topdressing which will increase ball speed and trueness.  With the recent rains, some heavy at times, a light topdressing is very much needed to improve greens performance.  With the loss of a maintenance day due to the past holiday had the greens programs behind and in need of both these items to maximize their performance.

Course Update July 3, 2023

Some much needed rainfalls blessed the property here at Niakwa the past week.  In total between the three rain events, the course received just over 2.25 inches.  The driving force of a couple of these rainfalls left bunkers washed out and in need of repair.  It will take some time to address all in the capacity required to have them playing and presenting well again.  Green speeds have also slowed slightly with the additional moisture.  In the next couple of days, we should see them begin to dry out and return to the speeds that we are accustomed to. Overall a very beneficial week with rain that removed some stresses to the turf and has the course in a good position for the month of July ahead.

With the arrival of July, we now have the full complement of Turfcare staff for the next couple of months.  The safety of the Turfcare team is a priority as we continue to work on the course throughout the day.  Many scenarios arise on the course throughout the day where maintenance and golf interact.  The number one item as it relates to the safety of the team is awareness.  This awareness needs to come from both the Turfcare team and its members.  As a member when you come across the Turfcare team working and prior to taking your shot please ensure that they are aware of your presence and intention to hit a golf shot.  At the same time, we are always working on ensuring that the Turfcare team is aware of their surroundings and prepared for the game of golf.  A simple acknowledgment of each other can ensure that we can continue to improve and work on the course throughout the day providing both the membership with an enjoyable golf experience and the staff with a safe place to work.

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