Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Greens Rebuilding – is it a trend?

16th Green rebuild at Knollwood in New York
Tomorrow night there is a vote for a green rebuilding project at a Toronto area course. This is one of my “my” favourite courses in the country. Unfortunately for the club they have seen a combination of shade, tight soil and an evolution to a very weak stand of Poa force their hand. This is not a decision made to gain speed or raise conditioning to an extreme level. They have seen consistent winter damage and summer wilt for the past five years. This is a decision based upon having healthy greens year in and year out.

Interestingly, this may not be the last green rebuilding program I will be involved in around Toronto. I’m currently talking to a second club about the potential for the year after. I’m also slowly rebuilding all the greens at Pinegrove in Montreal one green at a time (They have 19 holes). I’ve always rebuilt greens most years, but the idea of all 18 at once is fairly new to my business.

But this is becoming a more common approach to problem greens. Donalda will rebuild their greens next year, Angus Glen will rebuild them this year, Deer Ridge rebuilt their greens last year and Mississagua rebuilt theirs the year before that.

I believe this is necessary when the agronomics are clearly a problem. I always thought this would be a rare decision for a club because of the cost and disruption, but I’m finding memberships are more willing to entertain this idea in recent times. I’m not willing to call this a trend yet, but it’s becoming a common discussion point.

I am hopeful for a positive vote tomorrow. It has nothing to do with workload or a desire to make changes to a golf course. In this case it comes down to the course needing to do something to change the cycle they are in. They need healthy greens.

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