As we get closer to Labor Day and the start of phase 2, you will notice we will begin preparation well in advance of the project. This past Tuesday we spent the day with Kevin Hargrave discussing phase two 2 plans, work to be done prior to renovation, and expansions of fescue areas and fairways.
You will notice a few different paint lines on the course; one line close to fairways on the back 9 and another line deeper into the rough. The lines close to fairways will be the new fairway contours and similar process to what you witnessed last fall during the project. The lines deeper in the rough and closer to the existing natural areas will become our new fescue areas.
**Please note, the paint color varies throughout the property. We do not have any additional hazards in place on the course. I apologize for the confusion with paint colors but assure you that these marks are only temporary.**
The fescue will be planted new between this fall and next, and grown in from seed. This process will give us the best chance for a thin stand that golf balls can be found and clubs can make contact. While sod would provide a completed look instantly, it will be far too thick and challenging to thin down in years to come.
Fine fescue takes about 2 full years to reach maturity. After 2 full growing seasons, fescue will begin producing seed heads and provide the contrast we are looking for. Fine fescue is slow growing and hardy, two great attributes for unmowed areas on the golf course. Unfortunately, the slow growing nature and amount of time needed to reach maturity means that for the 2 years following planting we will not see the product we hope for.
The first question that came to my mind when learning about fescue was, “what is happening during those two years that is so important to plant development?”
- Carbohydrates are being sent towards root development and developing strong cell walls. I could bore you with the importance, but will save a few hundred characters.
Second question being, “what can I do to ensure success with a new fescue area?”
- The simplest answer to the second question is…. NOTHING! Fine leaf fescues do not withstand traffic well, especially as a juvenile seedling therefor as the grass is germinating and developing throughout the first two years we want to minimize the amount of traffic we add the the areas. Even after fine fescues are fully mature, they still do not like any sort of continued traffic or heavy wear.
- We will not be able to apply herbicides to our new fescue until after the second full season of growth as the cell walls are not thick enough to withstand the herbicide application without damage
- After year 2, we will introduce a preferred herbicide program that will help to reduce weed pressure and ensure a clean stand.
Please bear with us while we perfect our fescue areas. Impatience with the grow-in can put us back to a fresh starting point and extend the process over a much longer period.
I will be sure to clearly mark any and all areas as restoration efforts ramp up, but please be on the lookout for signs and rope to help direct you away from any new seed or sod.
– J.R. Lynn, GCS