GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENT
Dear Member / Property Owner,
Following on from the last Golf Course Superintendent’s Newsletter, which was designed to keep you up to date with all the important maintenance procedures which were scheduled to take place on The Indiana Course, we are pleased to be able to give you an update on the works carried out and to inform you of the schedule of works which shall take place in the first quarter of 2023.
QUARTERLY MAINTENANCE UPDATE
Cleaning of Desert Native Areas
Over the last few months, we have been actively clearing and cleaning numerous desert native areas that have become overgrown and have consequently resulted in a negative consequence in terms of presentation, and in areas affected play. These areas include:
4 Tee & Green complex / 6 Tee complex to Fairway / 7 Tee complex / 13 Tee complex to Fairway / 14 Tee complex and lake bank / 16 Tee complex and right-hand side of Fairway.
Hole 14 Clearance of Tee complex and lake bank
The golf academy has undergone several improvements; the complete renovation of the small green side bunker, the removal of numerous trees that have been responsible for turfgrass maintenance issues, and the planting of over fifty (50) Pringles cacti of varying sizes have been introduced throughout the entire area. Plans are also scheduled to plant fourteen (14) beautiful olive trees in key areas of the academy.
Over the last 20 years the pitch has become contaminated with unwanted grasses and weeds that have greatly reduced its quality. During December, the football pitch underwent a complete renovation.
The following procedure was completed during the renovation.
- First the existing vegetation was eliminated using herbicides.
- Once the herbicides had completely killed all vegetation the field was deeply scarified in four directions and
circular to remove all dead plant material.
- The field was then aerated first with a vertidrain machine that aerates with 20cm long tines, then was hollow
tined. This process helped remove any compaction that had occurred from years of use.
- The field was then levelled.
- The field was seeded in two directions with a ryegrass/poa pretensis mix and fertilized with a balanced starter
- Germination sheets were then installed to ensure good germination.
Germination occurred after seven (7) days and is now starting to produce the second leaf blade. The sheets will stay down for a few weeks more then a fertilizer will be applied. Re-seeding in some areas is expected and first cut should be sometime in mid-January.
All course bunkers have recently been edged and cleaned. The sand has been rotovated and moved throughout the bunker to eliminate compaction and facilitate an easier bunker shot for the golfer.
Greens have been aerated with a solid micro-tine and a calcium product has been applied and heavily irrigated. This has been done to flush the salts from the soil profile. Salt build up in the soil can severely damage the turfgrass and can lead to loss of turfgrass and even diseases. This process is done several times over the year and is monitored with a soil sensor that indicates salt levels.
DP Tour Q School Second Stage
This year saw the successful return of the DP World Tour qualifying school second stage event at Desert Springs. The course maintenance team worked extremely hard to prepare the course and deliver it in championship condition for the competitors.
COURSE MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME
Desert Native Areas
Over the next quarter, the main goal is to clean the entirety of hole 17 and maintain the areas that have been previously cleared and cleaned.
The goal for the greens going forward is to use less chemicals and start to strengthen the plants natural defences. The products used to do this are completely biological and ecological. Whilst it is not a fast process and will take a few years, the objective is to completely eliminate the use of pesticides in the greens and become even more sustainable than we already are.
Tees, Fairways and Approaches
As a result of the cooler temperatures the paspalum is going through its dormancy period, resulting in the need of a reduced maintenance programme. We do not expect full dormancy but do expect that the grass growth rate will be low. Golfers will note a reduction in the vibrancy of green grass in areas, however this is a direct result of the grasses dormant stage, and in no way negatively effects the playing surface, rather it is solely visual.
These areas will be treated with a pigment that will enhance and encourage the green colour during these colder months. The pigment will also help the grass to “green up” quicker in early spring.
The Roughs will be fertilized several times in the upcoming months to ensure hardiness thru the winter with fertilizers that have more Potassium, Magnesium, and micronutrients.
The vertidrain machine will be used to help relieve soil compaction and improve drainage which is especially important for when we apply the gypsum to flush out any unwanted salts from the soil profile.
2023 Greens Hollow Coring Dates
In the knowledge that all Property Owners and Members need to have as much notice as possible concerning particular aspects of the golf course maintenance schedule that may temporarily affect the playing conditions of the green’s surface, thus enabling them to plan particular holidays, please see below the 2023 hollow coring dates.
Monday 15th, Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th of May.
You will be able to keep up to date with the full tournament and social calendar, format and any additions, information of how to enter, and much more, by visiting either our official website desertspringsresort.es or by contacting the Resort Reception at Desert Springs.
We and the staff at Desert Springs look forward to seeing you on The Indiana course in the near future.
As always please remember to fix your ball marks and replace your divots.
Golf Course Superintendent
Hole 14 Clearance of Tee Comple and lake Bank
Fifty (50) Pringles Cacti introduced to the Golf Academy
Football Pitch undergoing renovation preparation
Football Pitch Grass germination after 7 days of seeding
The Indiana Golf Course - Hole 1 "Cactus Point"