Same Course…New Look

Finally, some better weather is showing its face here in Indiana. Don’t get too comfortable though, the lovely spring rain is right around the corner. Last week we were able to get our first cut on the greens, and today got another cut on the greens and our first cut on the fairways. Just in time before we are to be getting an inch of rain of the next few days.

As we start to get into the swing of things with the course, you will be noticing a few different looks out on the course. Don’t worry it is still the same course you have golfed for many years, but I’ve decided to put my own little personality into the course.

First noticeable change will be the fairways. No easy way to put it, but I’m just tired of stripes and taking care of extra fairway that really doesn’t come into play. The mow pattern will now be a half and half look, but with the cleanup pass going in the opposite direction. Once it greens up a little more, I believe it will give the course a very sharp look. We are also shortening up some fairways. Meaning you will not be able to dribble a ball 20 yards and into the fairway, but will still be able to be in the fairway with a normal tee shot. What is the reasoning behind this you may be wondering. Simple. Money, money, money… By taking away parts of these fairways, I will be able to lower labor costs, lower fertilization costs, and lower other spray costs. Which will allow me to then invest those hours and savings into other aspects of the course. Another reason for removing parts of the fairways is because of our inadequate drainage situation. There will be fewer places to worry about mowing that have standing water. These places will now become rough height and be able to grow and become healthier to withstand damage from rain and drought. Two areas that I’m sure people are going to be upset about are on holes 5 and 8. For the time being, we will not be mowing an area between the approach and main fairway. There is going to be a gap of rough where those areas hold water. This will allow for the grass to regrow in those areas. Then once that happens, we will be able to work on the drainage problems in those areas. If all goes well, maybe the look may stay in those areas. We will just have to wait and see. Last change in the fairways…bye bye 150 yard posts. These days most golfers have range finders or GPS units. But for those that don’t, all sprinkler heads will be marked and the cart paths will be repainted with yardage.

This season is going to be a struggle, and I know I’m going to hear people’s frustrations with the new course, the existing course, this and that, and so on. People are going to whine, and people are going to want things their way. I will not be able to please every single golfer this season, or any season for that matter. My job is to take care of a 27 hole golf course, and my #1 priority right now is changing some of our cultural practices so that we can have healthy turf from tee to green. My spray program is totally different. I’m looking into different options for fertilization. I’ve got my team of consultants that are on the same page with me and what I’m wanting to make of this course. The goal is to start from the roots and build a beautiful course that the members are happy to call home. I have a vision, I have a plan, and I have great connections in my industry that I can lean on for knowledge and support. All I ask is that you bear with me, and trust me in this process. It’s not going to be an overnight fix, or a one year fix. It could at times seem worse before it gets better. But when it is all said and done, we are going to have one kick ass 27 hole golf course in our amazing small city of Decatur.

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” ― Ronald Reagan

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