Achasta Members,

The golf committee met this week and in addition to interviewing our new course superintendent, Kevin Diver (more below), we discussed various upcoming activities.

Course Re-rating:  The GSGA will be coming out sometime this summer to evaluate and re-rate our course.  In addition to this effort, we want to evaluate the handicap numbering for our 18 holes.  To do that via USGA guidelines, we need to collect both Men’s and Women’s scorecards.  Beginning June 1, there will be a box in the pro shop or near the handicap computer for you to place your scorecards.  We need you to put your name, tees played, score by hole and handicap on each scorecard.  There can be multiple people listed on each scorecard (i.e. 4 players).  We will need to collect approx. 400 scorecards to make the hole evaluation effective.  Please help us out by turning in your scorecards beginning June 1.

Pin Placements:  Many have noticed and commented on the changing pin placements we have seen over the last few months.  the pins have been in places we have never seen.  This allows us to use more of the green and not have an area which gets over used.  To allow this to continue and give the grounds crew more options, we will be changing soon (could be as early as this weekend) to using flags to show the location of the pins v pin sheets.  You will see the Yellow Achasta flag for pins in the “front” of the green; the Green Achasta flag for pins in the “middle” of the green; and the Red/Yellow Check flags for pins in the “back” of the green.  There will no longer pin sheets on the carts, instead that space will be used for information from the pro shop.

We then asked Kevin some questions about the golf course.  Our questions and his answers follow below.  Kevin can be reached at kdiver@achasta.com.

Driving Range and some Tee Boxes have taken a long time for the grass to grow.  Why is that and what are we doing about it and what should we expect?

Two major factors have impacted these areas.  First, late last summer/fall we were in drought conditions.  We get our water from the pond on 18 which is feed by rain water off the hill and what we are allowed to pull from the River.  When the river reaches a certain level we can no longer pull water from it.  We have to check each day with the Corp on what the level is and whether we can pull water or not.  Last summer/fall we were only watering our greens and specified areas and not watering much of the course due to the drought.  This caused much of the grass to die out.  Second, for bermuda to grow, it has to be above 65 – 70 degrees at night and 80 – 85 during the day.  While this spring we have not had any water issues, we haven’t had the consistent warm weather needed to get it growing fully.  We have verticut all tees and brown spots and the range tees.  We have also sprayed a wetting agent which allows the area to retain more moisture and have been fertilizing on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.  We fully expect to see a major difference by mid June in how these areas appear.  Due to the severe drought, we lost the ladies tee on #13 so we built a new tee and we might lose a section of the driving range tee.

Mowing Patterns and frequency:  As you see what is mowed today, will be what we focus on over the summer.  Basically it’s everything inside the cart paths – fairways, greens and rough.  Once the grass really begins to grow – mid June to end of August, we will be mowing almost full time.  There will not be time for any special projects from our grounds crew unless there is an emergency.

Poa on the Green Aprons?

This is caused because we did not spray a pre-emergent in the fall and spring.  With the coming heat it will die out.  As you see it turn yellow, it is dying out.  Thus, the fix for the future is to be sure we spray the pre-emergent, but once you start having poa, it will return.

Bunkers:  We see a new raking pattern and a different mowing pattern around the bunkers?  

Our previous practice has been to mow right to the edge of the face of the bunkers and mechanically rake the entire bunker.  we will no longer be doing that.  Mowing to the edge and creating a “sharp” edge is not good for stabilizing the soil above the bunker.  You need to have stabilized soil and allow the grass to grow over the edge to help hold in the bunker liners.  The bunker liners are coming up due to the soil/sand erosion and that has caused us issues.  We have placed 30 tons of sand in ALL green side bunkers and changing the way we edge should help improve them over time.  we will no longer mechanical rake to the edge because that also caused issues when the blades hit the edge i.e. more soil erosion.

So, when you get in a bunker, please rake it, place the rake back entirely INSIDE the bunker (preferably where it has been mechanically raked – not on the edge).  DO NOT simply pull the rake behind you thinking you have raked your footprints – that NEVER works.  Please, please, please rake the bunker properly so those behind you can enjoy a chance at making a good shot without having to contend with your foot prints!

If you have any questions, policies or practices you would like discussed, please submit them to us.  We will be meeting once a month throughout the season and report back to you on your requests.

thanks and have a great golf season!

Your Golf Committee

Tom Fowler

Jordon Arnold

Jeff Fox

Jim Maher

Jean DeArmon

Dave Lubin