Heritage Oaks Golf Club
Ted Fuller – Golf Course Superintendent
January 29, 2019
Overall, I am happy with the course conditions, considering the weather we have had to fight over the last several months. We have not been able to accomplish everything I wish we could have during this time frame, but we have still been able to make improvements this winter.
The course has been drying out as well as a sponge due to the constant rain events, so it has been difficult to keep the golf course clean. However, we have plenty of things we needed to work on that doesn’t require too much equipment on the turf. We set some goals as soon as I started working at Heritage, all being based around three factors, 1) Course playability, 2) Player experience, and 3) Agronomics. One of our main goals that touches on all three factors is to level the low areas in the fairways. We have begun working on this project, and we are getting better as we go. We have been using plugs from the same fairway as the low area we’re working on, and as soon as the weather moves into the growing season, we will push theses areas to have them grown in as quickly as possible. We are attacking the worst areas first, and will continue to improve all low areas for as long as it takes.
Another area from our list of goals is the “smoothness” of the cart paths. We are removing areas of old cart path that are causing problems, and leveling the area with asphalt millings. We will continue to rake these areas smooth and compact them to create as smooth a surface as we can provide.
I am also proud of the improvements we have made in the bunkers. We are pushing the bunker sand back up the “faces” as much as we can, and are working to improve the standard we maintain them on a daily basis. This includes the turf management, which we will address in more depth during the growing season, but also the sand, edges, faces, and playability. We have repaired the greenside bunker on #3, and have plans for the two greenside bunkers on #8 and #9.
Last but not least, we are very happy with the shape of the green’s surfaces. Back in late summer / early fall, the greens were not in good shape, to the point we couldn’t even mow them properly. We immediately began cultural practices to the turf surface, adjustments to the greens-mower, as well as changing the weekly foliar applications to address the issues I saw. We had success very quickly, and eliminated about 95% of the scalping within just a couple weeks. That brought us up to the time to over-seed the greens. We are happy with the stand of winter grass, it is a little on the thin side, but overall consistent, and will give us a good surface to putt on throughout the winter months.
We have made some course improvements, have plenty more in our plans, and we are looking forward to seeing the results. Our goals are to provide the best playing conditions possible, and we set our priorities based on what we can do to best achieve that goal each day.