As we head into the busy season, allow me to take this time to update everyone on course conditions, practices, and some general standards we try to employ.
Green speed: The standard goal since I’ve been at Hilldale is for stimpmeter speeds of 9-10 on weekdays, and 10-11 on weekends. To arrive at these speeds, the greens are mowed seven days per week with double-mowing and rolling required on Fri., Sat., and Sun. Due to some overly cool days this past week, speeds were a little slower than preferred with a Mother’s day reading of 9’9″. A light dusting of sand was applied to all greens this morning, a practice done every 3-4 weeks to keep putting surfaces smooth and rolling true.
Bunker conditioning: Our typical maintenance schedule for sandtraps involves raking them with a machine 3 days per week, and hand raking (smoothing out foot-prints) the remaining days. This past week we used a cultivation tool on the machine to loosen sand at the base of bunkers. I know there has been some concern with guests and regular players about “hardness” or lack of consistency with sand conditions. Hopefully as the cultivation tool becomes a more regular practice, this will no longer be a concern. Just a reminder, bunkers are by definition a hazard on a golf course. Just as rough is a hazard with inconsistencies due to shade, wet areas, cart traffic etc…bunkers will not always have consistent lies to hit out of, just like any other hazard. Over the next few weeks, the grounds crew will be checking depth of sand in all bunkers with new sand added to areas in need.
Course setup/marking: Ground Under Repair areas are outlined with white paint. You’ll see several of these locations on holes 2, 5, 7, 9, and 14. Please take a free drop outside these areas. The new tees on holes 4 and 13 are doing well and will possibly be open to play this coming weekend, weather permitting. The renovated sandtrap located in front of 15 green will have the plywood removed later this week. The plywood strips were used to hold the bank in place while the ground around the face firmed up.
Projects upcoming: New drainage pipe will be installed in the low area behind the 3rd green. The old pipe has deteriorated and no longer functions which is why this area remains wet and is marked accordingly. Another area that will have drainage installed is between greens 2 and 6. Work on both locations is slated to begin this week, and should be wrapped up in 2-4 days. Again, weather permitting.
Thanks for your support and feedback. Talk to you on the course,
Bryan Widmer, CGCS