Practice Makes Perfect, But Only Where Appropriate

This is not the Practice Facility

As I came upon #18 green this morning during my usual morning tour of the golf course, I was greeted by these lovely divots right in front of the approach to #18 green.  I realize that this green is the “shiny new toy” that everyone wants to play with, but please consider the consequences.
This green has only been open for a little over two weeks and is still not completely “mature”.  While the health is good and the roots are actively growing it still has a ways to go to reach the maturity of the other 17 green on the golf course.  Excessive traffic on this green has the potential to cause poor plant health as we head into the stressful summer months.  The proverbial adage of “monkey see, monkey do” plays a big role here as well.  Because this is a high profile area, if individuals are consistently using this as a practice green to figure out all of the nuances, other members will be inclined to do the same.
Lastly, you have probably noticed that as you finish your round, the edge of the hole on this green is in far worse condition that the other greens.  This is caused by all of the practice putting that goes on throughout the course of the day.  The more often balls are removed from the cup, the more often the edge is damaged and can actually cause the hole to become smaller. 
Please take this into consideration and choose to use the fantastic Practice Facility that we have for you to work on your short game instead of the golf course.

Am I Losing My Mind?

What do you notice about this picture?
Take a minute to look at the picture and see if you can find anything different or new (No, Waldo is not in the photo).
I can hear it now: “He’s crazy! It’s only May and he’s already gone off the deep end. There isn’t anything different!“.

While this response wouldn’t surprise me and I assume that many of you have probably already had that thought that regarding me, the picture does show something VERY different and VERY important.

What are you supposed to be seeing?

The flag at #12 green is blowing in the breeze even with leaves on the trees!  For those of you that have been members at Elcona for a while, this is probably something that you may not have seen before, or at least not on a regular basis during the summer.  The wind on this particular day was blowing out of the northwest, which is common, but in the past, the dense trees between #12 green and #13 tee and understory plants that were growing along the fenceline all but eliminated every breath of air from reaching #12 green leading to extremely poor turf conditions on and around the green.

Remember all of the tree work that was done last winter in this area? This is exactly what we were trying to accomplish.  Here are some photos to remind you of how many trees we removed. Click on the pictures for a larger view.

 Click this link to go to a previous blog post with several more before and after photos.
At this stage in the game it would appear that we have accomplished our goal, but we still need to wait and see what kind of curve balls Mother Nature decides to throw us this season.  We certainly do not want a repeat of the last two summers where we struggled to keep this green alive. At least this season I feel we have a good head start on what may be coming down the line.