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Welcome Spring!

Jeff Holmes, CGCS Golf Course Manager

Happy spring everyone! It’s getting close to “go time” for playing some golf in Michigan.

We do need the main player, mother nature, to help give us some warmth for two reasons: One, that you want to play golf. The other reason is because we need the soil to warm up so the turf can start growing. The golf courses came through the winter in excellent shape. No winter trouble at all. In one of the articles this past winter, I mentioned some of the things we watch for in the winter months. Thankfully, we didn’t have any trouble with snow mold (winter fungus), ice damage or wind desiccation. There are other factors that we watch for, as well, but these three are the main ones.

We will need your help this spring when taking out a golf cart. Please do not drive down the old cart path areas where we are trying to grow grass. These areas will need some time to mature, so feel free to drive down the fairway or other rough areas. The main areas are Ridge nos. 9, 12, 13, and eventually 16. Avoiding the old path area on Valley no. 17 would also be helpful. For the start of the golf season, there may not be a bridge back in place yet on Valley no. 8. It needed some major repairs and we are still trying to put the entire project back together. The bridge on the right side of the fairway that’s shared with no. 2 Ridge is where you will have to cross. It’s a top priority to put back together, but we are waiting for supplies.

On another good note, we’ve been receiving some new equipment over the past few years. Believe it or not, we had mowing equipment and carts that were from 1995. Our motorized sod cutter we just replaced is a 1988. Thank goodness for the influx of new equipment. Better technology and efficiency are key factors with labor being hard to find. The more automated we can get, the better off we’ll be towards caring for this beautiful piece of property. The supply chain is still behind in our industry, as well as others. We have items that were ordered over a year ago that have still not yet been received. New equipment is being ordered for 2024 and 2025, due to the back log. You get in line with your order and hope for the best with delivery!

Starting August 7, the driving range is going to be renovated. The teeing area will be made into one level and there will be a row of synthetic turf across the back of the teeing area, with the addition of a synthetic area for teaching and short game hitting in a different location. There will also be a new fairway area with target greens throughout, along with different types of movable targets to shoot towards for better club accuracy. The entire driving range will look like a field of soil. Grading changes will happen, storm water drains will be added and subsurface drainage will be put in the range tee. The entire range will receive new irrigation. We’re hopeful that the grass seed will be going in the ground by early September so it can have a good start before winter. The following spring (2024) will be used to finish growing the turf in.

The fall will continue to be busy with the addition of our new pump station—the first phase of upgrading the 35-year-old irrigation system. Getting contractor for this project takes about two years advance notice. We’ve been working on the pump station project for about a year and a half so far. By the time it’s in and finished, it will have been over two years waiting in line.

Life is good in our department! It’s exciting to see new equipment and upgrades being made to the property. Many positive changes are continuing. Make sure you check out the new patio and the view from up above no. 18 Valley.