August was another excellent month for the golf course with a substantial amount of our efforts being focused on the Minnesota Club Professionals Championship on August 29, 30, and 31. Preparation for that event began weeks before the tournament and fortunately on the days of the event weather was extremely cooperative. For the event, putting greens were rolling a true 11’ on the stimpmeter and many of the best players in the state were pleased with course conditions. The course played extremely firm and fast and yielded a low score of 67.
Many of you may have noticed the change in course conditions in the weeks before and after the tournament and may wonder why we do not keep the golf course like that year round. Rough was longer, fairways were firmer, and greens were faster. There are primarily two reasons for this:
- Most low-handicap players enjoy these sorts of conditions-they present a sterner test of golf. Most players, however, tend to struggle to score under these conditions and the experience becomes less enjoyable for most golfers. Pace of play issues in particular become more of a problem as well.
- The golf course is less able to withstand heavy wear from golfers when maintained under tournament conditions. Greens in particular are more vulnerable to traffic when both their mowing heights and fertility are low (necessary to achieve fast green speeds). At the Wilderness in particular, the severe undulations on greens limit the number of pin placements on many holes. This in turn funnels the traffic into the same areas over and over again-thinning turf and decreasing quality. When one considers that the Wilderness hosts over 23,000 rounds of golf a year in a 5 month golfing season, golf course wear is something that we really have to manage-even if it means that the golf course cannot be tournament ready for the entire year.
We thank all of you for your understanding.
For this months construction picture, we will have a look at before/after pictures of hole 4 to help illustrate just how rough a site this was to work with (note boulders and ledge rock).
August 14, 2002 July 16, 2003
See you on the golf course,