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Making Progress, Despite Weather Delays

Jeff Holmes, CGCS, Golf Course Manager

Just a mild set back with mother nature—she had to show us again that she’s always in charge, delivering about eight inches of snow to the landscape at EVCC. Boy, I get tired of her always flexing her muscle. But we will deal with it, move on, and know that we’ll be receiving another curve ball at some point. Wind storm, heavy rain, hail, extreme heat … no one ever knows until it hits. That’s actually part of the fun with this job. The environment is always changing and golfers need to realize this and adapt their game, as well.

As hard as we try to keep every playing surface consistent, it’s an ever-changing environment, sometimes on the hour. For example, when it’s hot and arid, or the first groups don’t play in rain and the rest of the event does, we adapt. The list goes on and on … the golf course is always changing throughout the day. You must adapt in your game and we adapt by redirecting our team. It makes it fun, interesting and challenging, all within a day or an hour.

It's unbelievable: The day we need to test the new pump station and turn on sprinkler heads, we get the snow storm that we were waiting for all winter. I cannot make this stuff up! The whole project has gone quite well (with only a few hick-ups) and then the big day arrives and it snows on our parade. Once again, it keeps the job interesting and it makes you adapt to the situation. The pump station round two happened this past week and we’ve figured out most of the bugs before the end of March, which was our goal.

The golf courses have been really greening up and normally when snow covers the course in the spring, the grass will come out even greener. The snow tends to work like a greenhouse effect. Temperatures are beginning to look very favorable, for the most part. Warmer evening temperatures, along with good day time temperatures, are what’s needed to really let the soil warm up and the turfgrass plants tend to kick in.

The driving range is looking beautiful from the parking lot and the teeing area, but it’s nowhere near ready to open for usage. The tee and fairway surfaces still need to mature and the rough height bluegrass really need some growing time. Balls will absolutely plug in the landing areas at this time. Please be patient—our projected opening is the end of May or beginning of June. The driving range needs some nice, warm weather. Please remember: Good things take time to mature or age.

The Ridge and Valley courses will be open starting later this week, but we will alternate back and forth with only one course open each day until the weather gets better and we have more play and staff to care for 36 holes in one day. We are currently hiring staff and so far, the field of candidates has been looking very favorable to fill up our roster. Several applicants with a wide range in ages, which is very positive for us.

The turf team is ready for the 2024 golf season to start. We are looking forward to another great year of golf and activities at the club! We opened for golf on February 27 this year and have remained open for the most part. This is the earliest opening ever since the club has been EVCC. It could be a good long year of golf, if we make it all the way to the end of November. It could be the year that you get the most rounds in one year. Now that’s a goal to shoot for!

See you on the courses!

Jeff Holmes, CGCS
Golf Course Manager