Between the Trees Blog

October 7, 2021

Closing time, open all the valves
And let the water drain free...
Closing time, aerify the fairways,
And sling the sand over every tee and every green...
Closing time, one last call for skins
So, finish your holes and rounds
Closing time, you don't have to go home
But you can't play here

We thought 2020 was going to be the craziest year, then 2021 said, “Hold my beer!” COVID,
drought, and labor shortage made for an interesting and sometimes difficult season. The
maintenance staff hung tough through it all.

Here are some pictures of the course and crew…(imagine a musical overlay from the song Closing Time)

As the sun sets on the 2021 season, thank you to an outstanding crew and the thousands of golfers that make it all worth it!!

Closing time, time for you to go out
Find a warmer place to play
Closing time, this course won't be open
Till the weather and the seasons change
So, gather up your clubs, move them to the closet
I hope you have enjoyed it here
Closing time, every new beginning
Comes from some other beginning's end…
From all of us here in Golf Maintenance, may you have happy and safe holidays and your
dreams be of fairways hit and birdie putts...and we’ll see you on the first tee (in a few months).

Be safe,

Ryan VerNess (Red)

The best photo for last...Wilderness Maintenance winning Vermilion Fairways Men’s League

Follow our maintenance team on Twitter @Wildernessgcm!

September 12, 2021

The leaves are starting to fall, the days are shorter, the sun angle is lower, and Starbucks is selling Pumpkin Spiced Lattes (Yuck...but to each their own)...can only mean one thing, hoodie season is upon us, aka Fall is here. Your last chance to tee in 2021.

The summer of 2021, certainly threw a few curve balls our way, mother nature did her best to keep us grinding.  The high heat and lack of rain, allowed us to really push our greens to the peak level...maybe a bit too far, as some guests have said.  When working with green (ie, grass cut at around 1/10th of an inch), and the goal is to provide a world class product, we end up tip-toeing the line of, quick, smooth, fun, and fast, hard, frustrating...and that could be the difference between a cloud covered morning and a windy, sunny afternoon...Add in a wide range of handicaps and, well, we get a lot of different looks from golfers.  All-in-all, I’m very happy with how the greens made it through the summer months.  For those playing in September, you will find that the cooler mornings and short days don’t allow us to be as aggressive.

7in roots at the end of Aug is a good thing.

Having spent the last 16 years in central and northern California, I have become accustomed to some smoky mornings...and it never gets less unnerving. We here in the maintenance department want to send out our deepest appreciation to all those fighting forest fires, of course here in Minnesota and around the country, but also to our neighbors up north in Canada.

A smoky, August morning…

As the summer drawer closes and fall opens, time is running out to get those rounds Robert Herrick poem states, “Gather ye rosebuds, while ye may.”

As always, we are excited to see you on the 1st tee and keep it between the trees.  

Ryan VerNess (Red)

Follow our maintenance team on Twitter @Wildernessgcm!

July 16, 2021

It seems like just yesterday, we were putting out the American flags for Memorial Day, blink, and we are putting out the flags for the 4th.  I can’t believe how fast the summer is flying.
Time to talk about the elephant in the room...As Milli Vanilli once mouthed, “Blame it on the Rain” or lack thereof in this case.  When you play you will notice that some of the roughs (perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass) will be off-color and dried out.  This is a result of (lack of rain, obviously) but also an irrigation system that isn’t designed to be the primary watering service.  Day in and day out we strive to provide firm and fast conditions, and one of the downfalls with trying to supply water to areas that are poorly irrigated is that you have to give more water than needed to some other areas.  Case in point, the left rough on #8...trying to irrigate those mounds results in water running down into the fairway, thus making that fairway softer than desired.  Basically, like so many others, we just need some rain, or as Eddie Rabbitt professed, “I’d Love a Rainy Night” (but I think his reasons were different than ours).
On the positive side, no rain means sunny and blue skies...and those conditions have been ideal for our flowers.  Marilyn and crew did an amazing job again getting all the flowers planted.  Special thanks to Brandt’s Greenhouse here in Tower for supplying all of our flowers this season...their service has been outstanding. 

 In front of the clubhouse

New flower bed on #5 tee

As we cross the halfway line of the 2021 season, I’m reminded that on our worst day, I get to look at this....

As always, we are excited to see you on the 1st tee and keep it between the trees.  

Ryan VerNess (Red)

Follow our maintenance team on Twitter @Wildernessgcm!

June 9, 2021

We are is in fulllll swing (pun totally intended).  May was a crazy month for golf! Once the snow lifted and people were able to get outside, they jumped at the opportunity.  It was great to see so many familiar faces.  On the course, it was back to routine, mowing greens, rolling greens, getting ready for daily play. 

Someone needs to tell Mother Nature to make up her mind...May saw mornings in the mid-20s as late as the 28th, then 90 degrees 7 days later.  The grass didn’t know whether to shed its winter jackets or buy more.  Mother Nature must not be a Luke Bryan fan, because rain certainly doesn’t seem to be a good thing for her.  Another May with record low precipitation. 

While we love to see all the golfers back and with many more to come...something that comes along with all those golfers is cart traffic and ball marks.  For those wondering how they can help out these two issues...well, when it comes to cart traffic, I’m reminded of a line my old friend Bob Frost would say, “Take the Road Less Travelled” As for it forward (underrated movie).

The course saw some record heat this weekend and had an irrigation pump scare, but we are ready for another amazing month.  Everyone’s favorite flower lady, Marilyn, is back, and you will soon be seeing the course filled with colorful arrangements. We added a few new flower areas, one (a great picture spot, if I do say so myself) is around the Wilderness sign off the back patio.

Finally, we end May with the unofficial start of summer and take a moment to remember our veterans.

Ryan VerNess

Follow our maintenance team on Twitter @Wildernessgcm!

May 5, 2021

Guess who's back, back again...Golf is back, tell a friend

Guess who's back, guess who's back?...Guess who's back, guess who's back?
We've created a monster, 'cause nobody wants to see winter no more
They want to golf, they are tired of being indoors
Well if you want to golf, then that is what we’ll give ya
Golf season is officially open!
Mother nature was kind this winter...a comfortable level of snow and an early ice out, meant we were able to hit the grounds early. 
The greens came through winter in good shape…

Hole #16 - April

Getting to the course early, allowed us to finish up our cultural practices and move over to a few small of those projects you will see right away.  We combined the driving ranges tee, took four tees and made them two big tees…

Towards the end of April, we were able to get our first mow on greens…

All this hard work, leads to a hungry group…

May 7th came up on us quickly, and even with the weekend teased us of things to come...we still have a ways to go.  Nevertheless, we are ready and excited to have you back!!  

As always, we look forward to seeing you on the 1st tee and keep it between the trees. 

Ryan VerNess

Follow our maintenance team on Twitter @Wildernessgcm!

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