Thursday, May 1, 2014

Letter to Membership 5/1/2014

Dear Des Moines Golf and Country Club Member,
We are extremely pleased to open the remodeled Northwest 9 holes. After the turf matures and heals in you will really enjoy the new distances, features and challenges this golf course has to offer. It will take more time and warmer weather to have the sod healed in and put down mature roots. For the time being the sod will require watering on as needed basis which could happen during the day. The new sod is extremely fragile and it needs your help to achieve 100% maturation.

By your help I mean, the golfer has to be aware you cannot walk up and down the steep slopes. If the sod is not 100% rooted down you will pull it out and damage it. All of the new bunkers are designed with a low side to walk in and out of. Please keep this in mind when you hit into a bunker. This may require a longer walk because you are entering from the low side but remember the turf will benefit if you are not trying to enter and exit on the steep sides. Also, please remember to leave rakes on the low sides for the next golfer to use. This is quite a change for us but practicing these few important steps with greatly impact the quality of the bunkers.

We implemented a red stake program in the spring of 2007 and it is very successful when adhered to. Recently however we have really done a very poor job of remembering that we are supposed to enter and exit on the side where we see the red stake. Sometimes it may seem the red stake is a long way from the putting green. Weather conditions dictate where the stakes are placed. In rainy periods like we are currently experiencing we keep them further away from the greens to protect the turf. For example the red stake is at the top of the hill on #6 South. This is because the valley in front of the green has very heavy soil and with all of the rain we’ve had it is extremely wet. Every day there are violations in this area because golfers ignore the red stake so they don’t have to walk back up the hill to their cart. A lot of compaction and turf damage would occur if we let every cart park in the valley. Depending upon the amount of traffic we have, we try to move these red stakes every day or every other day. Please be cognizant of where the stakes are when playing.

Also with all of the new bluegrass sod on the North Course (just over 10 acres at a cost of $140,000). If we don’t protect it from cart traffic by having the red stakes out further, or if you ignore the red stake, your money and our efforts will have been wasted. Our alternative is to go back to 100% carts on paths until the sod can handle the traffic.

Thank you once again for allowing us the opportunity to make our golf courses better. I know the time since last August has been difficult because we have only had 27 holes open. We appreciate your patience and understanding while we were under construction and we hope you enjoy the new holes that are now open. We also appreciate your feedback on the remodeled holes. We hope you have a great season at your club.

Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS