It takes a lot of work to keep a golf course in good condition.
Once again, golf season is coming to a close for the year and Lacombe Golf and Country Club is getting things in order to prepare the course for the winter.
CJ Dahl, course superintendent said that maintenance staff is already trying to prepare the course for the off-season so that it is in good shape again come spring.
“Right now we are just mulching leaves and trying to make sure it’s playable every day,” said Dahl.
Dahl added as the season progresses and the grass and other plants begin to enter their dormant state for the winter, it becomes harder to maintain the course to optimal conditions.
“The product we’re offering now isn’t as good as mid-season,” said Dahl. He added the number of players on the course tend to dwindle this time of year as well.
Golfers can help maintain the condition and beauty of the courses they play on with good golf etiquette, said Dahl.
Repairing divots and ball marks as golfers play can significantly improve healing times for course blemishes.
He also said re-seeding divots is preferred to replacing them as it helps get new seed down on the course.
Dahl said without repairing ball marks and divots, those spots on the course will die and will require new seed to grow again. It can change a healing time from a matter of hours to a matter of weeks.
“You will see a lot of little dead spots all over the greens, that’s just another unrepaired ball mark,” said Dahl.
Even if blemishes are repaired an hour after occurring, they will not heal as quickly as if they were repaired immediately after.
Dahl added these effects become more damaging the later the season gets.
“The recuperative capacity is not nearly as good as it is mid-season,” said Dahl.
For now, Dahl and his crew have a long list of objectives to get through in order to prepare the course for winter.
There are several fungicide applications to be made to fend of snow mould and all of the water in the pump house and irrigation must be blown out to prevent water lines freezing. Last month, maintenance crews had already began winter prep by raising cuts to help plants over winter.
They had also begun mulching leaves so there is less organic surface matter to clean up after the snow melts in the spring.
Once the spring comes next year, Dahl and the rest of maintenance will begin the process again by shoveling remaining snow off greens, removing excess sand, dirt and garbage from the winter melt.
Any of these processes can take a month or more to complete, he added.
On the business side of things, Lacombe Golf and Country Club Head Pro Kevin Broderson had a late season start because of the long winter and massive amounts of snow, but things didn’t take long to shape up.
“We got off to a slow start obviously, we didn’t come through the winter as we had hoped but by the end of June it was back to the condition we expected it to be in,” said Broderson.
He said the club was down by a few tournaments this year, but did manage to host a leg of the Professional Golf Association of Alberta Player’s Tour.
Growth was also seen in Lacombe Golf and Country Club’s junior program once again, he added.
As far as the pro shop goes, Broderson said the only preparation to get that ready for the off-season is to clear out this year’s stock.
Once that’s done, the pro shop begins ordering new stock for next year and planning the next year’s tournaments.
Broderson also said the club is looking at doing some fundraising for the golf course as well.
He said no definite plans have been made yet and fundraisers may not even happen, but some ideas are currently being thrown around.