At the beginning of the season, we were faced with some serious labor issues during the surge. Operating with a skeleton crew, it was impossible to perform some crucial, cultural practices, and we are beginning to see some of the effects of that now. Unfortunately, the turf did not get the memo that we are in a pandemic. It seems that every year I say “this was the worst spring ever” or “this is the hottest driest year I have ever seen”. This year is no different, the cold April and May nights gave us virtually zero growing degree days. The plants were simply not responding to anything we gave them. In June, we were blessed with a 21-day drought followed by a July with record spells of heat. Despite our challenges, I am still pleased with the condition of the course. Complacency is not in our vocabulary so we are planning to step things up once the weather breaks and make some improvements.
You might have noticed some new faces out there. The college made the decision to Furlough the grounds department in an effort to offset revenue lost due to the pandemic. We were able to incorporate some of those employees from grounds into the golf operation to lessen the financial burden on individuals and their families. I would like to formally say thank you to the individuals who helped out on the course, they are consummate professionals who were put into a tough situation. They had to quickly learn the intricacy of a golf operation. They did not disappoint. Our flower beds have never looked so good and they were able to fit into the big shoes of Frank, Bill, Len, Bernie, and the triplets, our regular summer crew. Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to them at the beginning of August when they return to the campus. Thanks guys we made some memories this summer.
With so much activity on the course this season I wanted to remind everyone of a few housekeeping items. This year the most common comment I get about conditions is in regards to divots and ball marks, there has been an exorbitant amount of each, more than I have ever seen. I find myself daily, politely reminding players to please fix ball marks and repair divots. When fixing ball marks, please search for others around your ball. This ensures recovery and a clean line for the next player. With regards to divots, it is pretty self-explanatory if you make one, replace it. The only thing I would add is that your practice swing divots are still divots, and need to be repaired as well. I have also been seeing large divots consistently on the approaches and collars in the direction of the next tee, leading me to believe that an individual is hitting practice shots to the next tee leaving large unsightly divots on prime areas that should never see divots. This is disrespectful to the property and the membership and to all of us who work so hard to keep Nehoiden pristine. If you see this please say something as it is a big problem. The next issue is our drop areas. To reiterate my last point, we have been seeing copious amounts of divots on the practice green and practice green collar. If your ball lands on the green or collar use the designated drop area next to the sign that says “drop area”. The same goes for our new nursery that is located adjacent to the 4th green. Please do not hit your ball off of the nursery. It is roped off for a reason, please use the drop area that has been designated. This is your golf course and it is a special place. I may be responsible for its conditions but we all accountable for our own actions. Please keep that in the back of your mind when you lace your spikes up for your round.