Course Conditions. What are we up to this time of year??

By Patrick S. Knelly

Golf Course Superintendent


Well, the season is upon us. The 10 day forcast is looking much more promising, and the Masters is right around the corner! So, since it’s likely you will be kicking off your 2013 golf season soon, I thought it would be a good idea to post a quick update on some of the things you may (or may not) notice that are new around the course. Despite the unbearably late Spring, we have been hard at work full time around the course since late February. One major change you will most certainly notice will be the removal of some trees. We removed over 50 trees from the property this spring for a variety of reasons. Some trees were dead or dying, some were causing damage to the underlying turf, and some were just plain ugly ducklings! You will notice that we have cleared the woods to the right of #10 fairway. We removed over a dozen large mature trees from this area, and will be clearing stumps and adding turf to the woodline between 10 green and 11 tee. This will help open up 10 Fairway to more airflow and should improve drying of the soil, and it will also allow some much needed morning sun to reach 11 tee. This area will remain penal, but it should be a much easier area to find an errant tee shot on 10, and may help to improve pace of play. We have also cleared the wooded groves on 10 (left) and 15 to help with aesthetics and increase the likelyhood of finding wayward shots. Another large project we have been working on is the expansion of a number of fairways and the addition of some well placed run-off/collection areas around greens. We have made expansions to the 4th, 5th, 8th, 11th, 13, and 16th fairways. We chose these areas to better accentuate the natural flow of the land at Sugarloaf Golf Club. For example, you will notice the fairway on 11 and 13 now reaches all the way to the crest of the natural swales, which really makes for a striking look! The other Fairways were widened and expanded in areas that were originally intended to be fairway turf, but were lost over the years to poor drainage and poor irrigation coverage. It’s my opinion that large fairways speed play, improve scoring, and make golf more FUN, so expect this practice to continue! We have also added larger approaches on 1, 2, 6, and between 12 & 15 greens. Some of these areas are on the original drawings done by Mr. Cornish, and we strive to keep Sugarloaf as close to his plans as possible. As always, we hope you enjoy the changes, and we look forward to seeing you at “the loaf” soon!