Between the Trees Blog

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!

April 8, 2021

Hello friends...
It's that time of year again, thoughts of golf run rampant through our heads, as we defrost from winter and look forward to greener pastures (pun totally intended). A little golf tournament down in Georgia this weekend to wet our whistles, all while the Wilderness Maintenance Staff is starting to March towards opening day.  Lady Luck and Mother Nature combined to bless us with a smooth spring (so far) and the maintenance staff has a list of projects that they are looking forward to doing.  Items on the list, expansion of the driving range tee, drainage work off the 8th green, bridge work on #9, just to name a few.  Still a few weeks away from our first mowing and when we can really start course preparations.  So far the course looks like it came through the winter very well, and opening day will be here before we know it. 

Combining the driving range tees

Looking down hole #18

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!

October 27, 2020

The time has come, sadly, to put the clubs in the corner, trade our polos for hoodies and golf gloves into snow gloves...put the course down for a long winter’s nap. 

While 2020 has certainly been a strange year to say the least, being here at the golf course has brought a little bit of normality.  My first season here has definitely brought a few ups and downs, and new experiences along the way, but I enjoyed every minute.  

From our first cuts, oh so long ago... 

To our May Flowers, and June showers (that’s not how it’s supposed to go)...

The BBQs and the smiles…

The repairs and the shake of the head…

The sunrises and sunsets…

The frosty mornings and the winter blanket…

The golf season seemed to go by in a blink of the it’s time to put the course to bed, then work on equipment and the shop this winter, all while looking forward to next spring.  (Can’t come soon enough)!!  

I want to thank the staff.  Without them none of this would be possible.  2020 was a tough year, we were short staffed all season and they really kick tail, picking up the slack. They were awesome, can’t thank them enough!!

To quote the good Dr…”Don’t Cry Because It’s Over; Smile Because It Happened.”  

From all of us here in Golf Maintenance may you have a happy and safe holiday and your dreams be of green fairways and birdie putts...and we’ll see you on the first tee (in a few months).  

Be Safe,


Give us a follow on the Wilderness Golf Maintenance Twitter Page @WildernessGCM

September 15, 2020

To paraphrase the great Minnesota band Semisonic, “it’s closing last round, so call up your friends and get here!”  

August may have seen the end of summer, but it went out in style.  The Indian Summer Classic was great, the crew had the course in great shape...a little rain in the morning didn’t even slow them down.  

September can be an amazing time to play golf, with the fall colors and the crisp cool temps, perfect khakis and a long sleeve.   It’s also a huge time for fall cleanup, or as they say in golf maintenance, aerification.

  <I’ll duck, while you throw things> 

I could bore you with the details, but know this...1) it is an absolute necessity for the immediate and long term health and quality of the course, and 2) we work too hard to provide a great playing surface and wouldn’t mess it up, if it wasn’t important.  For those of you who would like some more information about aerification, here is a link to a great article by the here.

Fall means here comes the cooler temperatures, and as we’ve seen already, it can get pretty chilly in the morning.  Brings about another one on the top 5 golfer dislikes...the dreaded “frost delay” <dun ta dun>.  Let’s cover some of the common questions, I hear…
Why is there a frost delay?...”I don't see frost on the first tee or putting green, there wasn't frost at my house, and what possible damage could it do?”  So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty and answer some of these questions?  

“What is frost?”… I think most of us know what frost is, it's the freezing of dew on the leaf blade.

“Why is this bad?”...since the leaf blade is made up of 88% water it also freezes and any contact by man or machine will cause it to break and rupture the cell walls.  Thus breaking the cell membrane and causing the plant to discolor and die.“

But there is no frost on the putting green?”…That very well may be true, but the golf course is a large piece of property with elevation changes, shade, and micro climates all being important factors in determining temperature and frost.  

 “The first tee time is after the sunrise; doesn’t that mean the frost is gone?”…little known fact, the coldest part of the day is just before sunrise, once the sun rises the frost sets in and we are able to determine the length of the delay.  

“Why is there a delay at all?”…the reason for the delay is, when there is frost we don’t want anyone on the grass, golfers or maintenance staff, thus delaying the start of maintenance operations.  Since we strive for the best golf course conditions (mowed greens, tees, and fairways, and raked bunkers) this puts us behind and we have to briefly delay the first tee to allow for maintenance to stay ahead of the anxious golfers. 

“The first hole is clear, can’t we go?”...unfortunately, no.  While the 1st hole might be ready to go, if holes after it are still frost, then that stops us from doing what we need to do.  The major delay here is that the 3rd hole is low lying and in the shade, one of the holes that stays frosted the longest.  

Frost sucks, there is no if, ands, or butts about it...we have to wait, the golfer has to wait, and it’s cold!!...but at the end of the day, we have to do what’s best for the course.  

This month we recognize one of my favorites (is that because she makes an amazing strawberry, rhubarb cheesecake bar, maybe) or is it her constant smile and positive attitude, definitely, Billie Jean Monson…

While she may not have been here the longest, started in 2017...she comes with 15 years of prior golf course experience.  When a friend recommended working at a golf course, Billie Jean jumped at the chance to work outside.  Billie Jean fell in love with numerous different pieces of equipment and is always looking to try new things when new stuff arrives.  Billie Jean said one of her fondest moments was getting to work alongside her youngest daughter for 8 seasons, but while the working was fun, the drives to work could be a little sketchy.  When it comes to lessons learned, Billie Jean will never forget to use her parking breaks, while getting off her mower to put the tee markers back, her triplex creeped off into the woods without her!!  When you see Billie Jean, you won’t be able to hold back your smile...thank her, as we thank her for the job she does.  

The days are getting shorter and colder, get those final rounds in while you can...As always, we look forward to seeing you on the 1st tee and keep it between the trees.  


Give us a follow on the Wilderness Golf Maintenance Twitter Page @WildernessGCM

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