Last season we purchased a piece of equipment called a Ventrac. The Ventrac is a very versatile piece of equipment with numerous applications and attachments that was purchased to replace an old rough mower we used to mow what we refer to as "native areas". These "native areas", like the banks of the pond on #1 & #9, the section of rough between #14 green & #15 tee's, are areas that prior to the purchase of the new Ventrac, were mowed with older rough mowers that had now been retired to native mowing, as these areas are typically very rough and rock & stump ridden.
|Enrique mowing with the Ventrac along the steep pond edge on #3|
When we first took it out and mowed the pond banks on #1 & #9 we found out just how versatile the tractor really was. It allowed us to cut back years of encroaching vegetation including aquatic bulrush and cattail's. In doing so we opened up "windows" on both pond edges which we now plan to enhance and maintain.
We always knew these banks were not properly irrigated to sustain desirable turfgrass and had been on our irrigation expansion list for quite some time. However the old vegetation obscured the banks from view of the clubhouse or restaurant so irrigation expansion in the area maintained a B to C level of priority. Now that the area's had been opened up, this irrigation expansion rose to an A level priority because, first things first, we need adequate irrigation coverage to have good turfgrass and these areas are very visible and exposed.
|GBGC installing adequate irrigation to pond edges on #1 & #9 earlier this year |
|New irrigation in operation on #1 pond bank.|
Once the irrigation was installed and in use, it became obvious that for this change to be truly successful we would need to eradicate the weeds prior to seeding, in particular the nasty Dallasgrass infestation, which was the dominant weed species on these pond banks. Dallasgrass is very difficult to eradicate as it is a perennial weed that need's eradication from the leaves and stems all the way down to the roots or it will just come back.
|A dallasgrass plant that escaped recent treatment on the pond bank of #9. You recognize it now dont you! This stuff is nasty and almost impossible to play golf out of. |
| # 9 bank in its current state after a few treatments to eradicate the dallasgrass. |
We still have some weed eradication to do and some minor grading work near the new left-hand fairway bunker on #9. Again to be totally successful, we really need to eradicate all the weeds, especially the dallasgrass. This like everything else we are trying to wrap up on the course takes time.
I think we are all going to enjoy the aesthetics of this project when complete. It might even keep balls from traveling into the pond. Time will tell. We just wanted to let everyone know what's going on over there.