Course Update – August 18, 2022

A very unfortunate start to Club Championship week with just shy of 6 inches of rain falling heavily on the property. These storm events will have an impact on course conditions and member experience for a number of days ahead.

On Tuesday we began to repair and replace sand in bunkers from the 3 inch rain early Tuesday morning.  After heavy wash outs this process involves shovelling out contaminated sand where the soil migrates.  We then stir the sand with an aggressive rake and relocate the sand in the bunker prior to raking it.  This process begins once we pump water out of those bunkers that no longer drain.  In excess of 350 man hours is required to attend to this issue when it happens.  We will begin this process again this week when conditions allow (sand workable) and will continue with the process into next week.

  • On a very positive note the new bunker complexes around the new greens will require no maintenance and have drained as fast as the rain has fallen.  No contamination, no sand loss and a playable experience as soon as golf resumes!

The drainage system on the property continues to pay dividends.  However our rough mowing program has not been able to take place this week as we do not drain well in many rough areas.  At the current time the weight of the mower would not allow mowing due to the saturated ground conditions.  This program will fall well behind and it will take well into late next week to begin to catch up in the prime rough playing areas. 

Our prime play areas including fairways and tees will also be behind.  The repetitive daily grooming assists us through these scenarios but without mowing for a couple days it will take time for the clean look of these features to return.

Greens are now very soft.  Ball mark repair is a concern not only for the new greens but all greens.  When conditions are this soft the turf explodes leaving little in the form of repair. It is critical and essential that you repair all ball marks.

Cart paths will once again need to be attended to and in very poor condition for next number of days.  When cart traffic is able to resume please slow down and travel through water and bumps on paths.  Do not travel on turf around them and create turf loss. 

While we cannot control Mother Nature the one thing we can control is the time, attitude and effort required in getting the golf course back to excellent condition.  It is the time of year when the turfcare team has begun to lose team members and our staff size is greatly reduced.  Please be patient as this week’s storm events will create significant challenges in providing the conditions expected here at Niakwa for many days ahead. 


Shawn Major, AGS

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