Last night's announcement from the governor was welcomed news for all of us golf enthusiasts! The grounds team at RiverCrest is so excited to have you all out here on the course with us in the very near future. These last few weeks of beautiful spring weather and no golfers was incredibly eerie for all of us.
The announcement did however catch us slightly off guard. We have been following the announcements and updates from Harrisburg on an hourly basis and it seemed like May 8th would have been the earliest possible date for golf until last night. Our plan for ramping up maintenance and to bring in a full staff was enacted last night. Our team this morning swelled from a basic function agronomy team of 7 to a nearly full in-season grounds staff of 12. With the help of an outside safety consultant the grounds team has a pandemic protocol to help ensure that we are all safe.
Now that the team has clear directions from the state we are beginning in earnest to get all the details right on the golf course. Ballwashers and rakes are being brought in off the course, trimming work around the hazards and bunkers are being completed, the cups and flags will be put back in the greens in a hands free position, and the course is being marked for normal play.
The grounds team is so excited to have the golf course open again! Please bear with us as the greens heal up from the aeration completed just 10 days ago, and as we work long days to get all the details right so that RiverCrest is in pristine condition all season long. I cannot wait to see you all soon, and I hope you and your families are well. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Over the last two weeks the agronomy team has successfully aerated, topdressed, and fertilized all the bentgrass playing surfaces of the golf course. By doing an extra aeration this spring the health of the golf course will be excellent this season, and we should not have to do as many cultural practices, that can compromise conditions.
At the end of this week and going into next week the team is making our next rounds of season long weed control. A product that combines weed barriers, season long insect control, and fertilizer was applied to all the clubhouse lawns and to the steep bunker banks. A spray-able form of these chemicals will be applied to the fairways and approaches. Next week the fescue areas on the course will receive a final herbicide treatment. The hope is to have consistent stands of beautiful fine fescue all season long.
Finally, as the days are slowly getting longer and warmer the grass is really starting to grow. The agronomy team is very busy simply trying to keep everything mowed and maintained to the high standard of RiverCrest Golf Club. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I hope all of you and your families are safe and well.
Yesterday was the perfect weather day to aerate! The warm dry air and sun made it great to work in and make getting our work done easy. With just a five man crew we double verticut all the greens and aerated 9 greens. The process went great, and with a clear day today we are hoping to have the aeration done.
Tomorrow, soil amendments and fertilizers will be applied, before the rain on Thursday. Then at the end of the week the greens will topdressed with some fresh sand to smooth the surfaces and fill any holes that need it.
After the greens process is done the agronomy team will be moving on to all the other playing surfaces. We hope to have everything freshly aerated by the end of next week.
Another Strange week has pasted. The golf course is continuing to green up as spring slowly warms up our region and the course received over two inches of rain in the last week, making it a very wet golf course.
The agronomy team focused on the irrigation system this week as our irrigation system is a vital multi-million dollar asset of the golf course. The team fired up the pumps, filled all the lines on the course, and began evaluating the performance of every irrigation sprinkler head. This is a lengthy process, that in a normal year would be done in our spare time over the course of several weeks at the begin of the season.
Minor repairs to some worn areas on tees, approaches and fairways are being worked on. It is our goal to address as many of the details that would be typically worked on during the weeks leading up to our Member/Member now to be as ready as possible for the return of golf.
Next week, our plan is to begin aeration to all the bentgrass playing surfaces. This was not a part of our original plan. We are trying to adjust the agronomy plan around the ever-changing reality of the global pandemic. This new plan is being put in place to minimize the disturbance to golf for agronomic practices, in what will likely be a condensed golfing season. The greens should be fully healed and in mid-season form by May 1st. It is our sincerest hope that our golfers can return to the course around (or dare I say before) that date.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I hope you all are well. You are all in my prayers.