If you have played golf this summer you are aware of the challenges that all golf courses faced with the extreme weather in the spring and the blistering heat during the summer. As a result we have used the weather as a learning tool and have been able to better understand what is happening with our grass and soil conditions at Wilderness Ridge. Below is a message from our Golf Course Superintendent, Derek Nicholson in regards to some of the measures that we will be taking to improve playing conditions not only for this year but for the future as well.
We want our membership and guests to be informed about our practices so that everyone understands what will be taking place to make Wilderness Ridge and even better golf experience.
Message from the Superintendent: Coming up from September 21, through September 24th, Wilderness Ridge has decided to subcontract out a cultural practice that I have wanted to do for a very long time. With the help of Dr. Terry Riordan retired professor from UNL, we are going to verti-drain aerify our fairways. Verti-drain aerification basically means deep tine aerifying. Brian Wood from Commercial Turf and Tractor will be coming in with three machines and punching holes in our fairways with solid tines anywhere from 8 to 12 inches deep. The purpose of such aggressive aerification is it creates incredible pore space, and it gives deep avenues for oxygen, roots, and water. We all saw what happened to our fairways this summer when it got extremely hot for a long time; verti-drain aerifying will help this condition. With deeper roots the plants will be able to handle environmental stresses much better. Also, the fairways should be drier. The water from irrigation or rain will go in to the soil down these channels instead of across. It should also help me not have to water fairways as often. All in all it is important for us to do at this time and since they are solid tines you should see minimal disruption while playing.
Now a quick note on fall projects going on the golf course. Seeding, seeding, seeding is our priority right now. We have already aerified our tees and greens so we will overseed throughout the month of September on tees, collars, fairways and the rough. We are also in full swing on sand trap renovations. It seems lately we have just been removing traps, but I do have a written plan detailing work to be done on every trap out here. We have several drainage projects going on and soon we will be into fall fertilization. It has been a tough year weather wise for turf on all golf courses. We are doing things to prevent future problems and I personally am looking forward to the fall season. I missed last years hunting season but I don’t plan on missing this one.