We are working on several new and exciting things at the golf course, and I never know what to blog. New tech, new equipment, new renovations all seem exciting. I spend most of my days pushing paper and talking with the golfers to make sure we hear their excitement and their concerns.
Recently we have ramped up our pruning and chopping down of trees. It’s the season for these general clean-ups because the grass is relatively dormant this time of the year. In a Central Valley summer, we need to water and mow our fairways twice a week; as you can imagine, this doesn’t leave much time to do anything else.
I’ve mentioned in articles that one Eucalyptus tree can drink as much as three gallons of water an hour. As you can imagine, the more trees we have, the more expensive it is to water as well as the fact that we need to prune and maintain the trees for them to be as healthy as possible.
Heavy branches can be dangerous as they self prune and fall. Overgrown trees can harbor several pests included stinging insects and rodents. That on top of shading grassy areas that need sunlight to live, which creates dead spots on the course where you have bare lies and tree branches preventing you from advancing the ball.
That is the crux of the issue; can all this cutting and pruning make the course “too easy.” Our 15th hole is a medium length par 4, a soft dogleg right, right around 400 yards, and is currently the #4 handicap hole. That means our members believe it is the fourth most difficult hole to play. The massive amount of trees on the right side of the hole and strategic bunker placements make this hole easy if you find the fairway and less so from the rough.
With over twenty trees taken out and a completely new look of manicured Silver Eucalyptus, the hole is inarguably more beautiful. However, from the tee box, you no longer have a feeling of dread of getting trapped in the trees with nothing but a punch out as an option.
My counter to this argument is that you still have to hit a brilliant shot to get out. Most likely, a soft fade around a tree, with enough height to still land it softly on the green. It’s not a “gimme” type of shot. As a public course, we want our pace of play to be steady and three minutes searching for a ball and a disaster shot after finding it only slows the course down. Play a round of golf and let us know if the more manicured course has lost its bite.
As with all our blogs and articles, let us know what you think in the comments.