The hot start to the season continues with minimal rain falling on the golf course at Niakwa. This past week with all the thunderstorms around us we only managed to receive 2/10 of an inch total. The lack of rain and the heat have areas of the golf course that do not see proper irrigation under stress. To assist in protecting the course through this stretch we would like to remind members to keep golf carts to fairways where we have irrigation coverage and relatively healthy turf. On Monday, June 5th we extended the maintenance day to assist with the items we are behind on from losing a day to the long weekend and with the weather the inability to do anything the maintenance day after the long weekend. Additional information can be found on the course blog;
- Greens received an intense program to assist in trying to get the ball roll to increase. They have a vertical mow, a double cut, light topdress, and a double roll. We are hopeful this will begin the increase in speed as we make the turn into the prime playing months ahead.
- Water management has been critical. As previously reported we rely on the months of May and into June to grow healthy grass with a strong root system that can handle the stresses of summer, golf, and maintenance as we enter the prime 90 days of golf. While making an effort to ensure we are producing healthy turf we have been forced to water more than we would like. Water plays a significant role in ball speed. As we have been chasing health to ensure a positive summer green speeds from day to day have been variable based on watering demands. As we begin to firm greens up we should see an increase in ball roll.
- Our new greens mowers are another variable we are still learning. The new 2023 mowers replaced models from 2009. There has been a significant amount of changes to the mowers in the 14 years. We are still learning what the new heights of cut will need to be with the new units and the greens are still adjusting to a more aggressive mow. We can see scalping on greens that generally will recover. With the heat and wind, these areas are slower to recover therefore we are unable to take the next step as quickly as we like. We will continue to work on learning these variables to get the ball roll where we like.
- We have been spending numerous hours chasing areas of the property that do not have good irrigation coverage. This is a labour demanding task and we have had up to 5 people daily on hoses doing our best to keep the course healthy and looking good.
- Throughout the day we may have impact roller sprinklers plugged into areas of the property that are not properly irrigated. We will let these sprinklers run for up to 30 minutes. If you come across one of these running please play around it.
- We applied a liquid fertilizer to all fairways and tees on Monday, June 5th. We are hopeful this will aid in the drought stresses.
- We are watering at full capacity on these features nightly. We will continue to add additional water throughout the day to cool the surfaces and break the heat.
Shawn Major, AGS