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November 15, 2018

November 2018 — Course Conditions Update

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November 15, 2018 —

We have now entered offseason preparation mode here at The Prairie Club.

The key to great playing conditions throughout the summer is the work done throughout the winter months. We are very intentional about how we maintain our golf courses in the winter, so they survive these north central Nebraska winters.

We have a process we follow very diligently before the holidays to make our lives easier once everything starts thawing in 5 months.

In the middle of October, Mother Nature provided snowfall.

After only a few days, we were experiencing temperatures in the mid-70s again. Here are a few pictures of the first dusting of the year:

We were fortunate to have received a great forecast in October, overall. It helped us put the courses to rest as we lead into the winter.

To start the winterization, aeration is so important.

The process for aerification on our massive property is time-consuming. We can usually get 1 to 1.5 fairways done per day. Our process in the spring and fall of aeration of verticutting helps eliminate thatch, improves health, and puts us on the right track toward perfect playing conditions.

To firmer and faster…

We also continue to mow and top-dress throughout the fall.

As the temperatures drop, our frequency for mowing continues to decrease. But to maintain the turf and keep the playing conditions smooth, we will top-dress the fairways and tees as much as possible (or until the snow falls.)

We raised the heights on the mowers to keep length on the grass.

The same week we blow out the irrigation systems, we apply a fungicide and wood mulch all of our greens. This usually happens by the second week of December.

The wood mulch is critical for protection and repels a lot of the moisture that could wreak havoc on our golf course with a poor winter.

Preventative measures are essential.

During the winter, our goal with the bunkers has a singular focus — keep the bunkers from blowing into Kansas.

The wind shaped this land, and we’re lucky that it did.

But now that we’ve found 46 holes that we’d like to keep around, and it would be nice if the wind left a few of those alone. We place square hay bales in the bunkers to keep the sand in place.

We’re looking forward to seeing how the course comes out of the winter.

See you in the spring!

Remember, you can start booking for 2018 starting on Monday, December 3, 2018. 

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