Monday, April 13, 2015

Driving Range Improvements

Every year during the off-season we work on projects aimed at making Highlands Falls a better place to be a member.  While this winter has had its share of course improvement projects that you will all enjoy, one project has been a long time coming, improving the permanent tee on the driving range.
New teeing stations at the driving range.
Installing pavers at the driving range.
I am happy to report that the very unsightly "astroturf" permanent tee is no longer.  We have removed the artificial turf and begun installing brick pavers in its place.  The pavers are designed to give 12 separate teeing stations, an increase of 2 over the previous arrangement.  At each station will be the familiar mats that we have used in the past. 
A great project for a rain day
Being that the driving range is the first place a guest "plays" the course and thus the first impression they have of the facility, this was an improvement long overdue.  In addition to the new playing surface, we will be installing a new clock like the one at the putting green.  The clock was a donation from the friends of Dr. Al Mena in his memory.

Fairway Verticutting

We recently purchased a new verticutter for cutting fairways.  The SISIS Veemo is one of the best verticutters on the market and is especially well adapted for our environment. Verticutting is the process of cutting the grass in a vertical position as opposed to the horizontal position that most mowers cut.  Verticutting is a necessary agronomic practice that removes thatch, increases turf density, reduces grain, and promotes bentgrass.  It also makes a mess!
HFCC's new Verticutter
Deep verticutting on the #1 fairway.
Ever since implementing our fairway verticutting program about 5 years ago, the turf has steadily improved year after year.  We recently finished deep verticutting the fairways and due to the continued rain, have been cleaning up ever since.  Verticutting creates an excessive amount of organic matter that needs to be cleaned up afterwards.  Normally, we blow the material in the rough and mow it several times turning it into mulch.  However, the rains have hampered our ability to blow the material and in many areas we have had to clean the material up by hand.  While the clean-up is taking longer than desired, the benefits far outweigh the extra effort.
"Rooster tails" are a good indication that your getting a good cut.