Persimmon Has Opened! Latest "Clippings" - Update on both Persimmon and Ironwood
Notes from the Anthem Greens Committee
Persimmon Opening: By now many of you have had the chance to play Persimmon. The reviews so far have been great, but there are a couple of questions that have come up.
Bunkers, boy are they soft. New bunkers always start out this way. It will take time for them to settle out to where we will be happy. How long? The compaction occurs gradually with equipment maintaining them on a daily basis and moisture from irrigation (and maybe a little rain). Watch this video tip from Chris Endres about hitting from soft bunkers https://youtu.be/BIbK2YXPwPo
Green speeds seem both slower and faster than what we were expecting. We are trying to maintain a green speed of 9.5 feet to begin with, but green speed is measured on a flat surface and Persimmon’s greens are anything but flat. If you sense the speed differential between uphill and downhill putts is different than we had with the old greens, you might be right. New greens are always very firm, but they soften with time and any variances you now feel, will diminish. In the meantime, you might think less about the Daisy Mountain effect and pay more attention to whether the putt is uphill or downhill in slope.
The sod work done on #10 doesn’t look finished. It isn’t. We got the sod down, but wanted to make certain the preparation was properly done and honestly ran out of time. But we will get back on it to finish the job in the next couple of weeks.
There are some small fairway areas that look like they’re struggling. What you’re seeing is the impact of a disease named “Fairy Ring”. We knocked most of it down, but still have some damaged turf that we will replace in the next couple weeks, as soon as overseeded bermuda sod is available from our suppliers.
The construction on number one doesn’t look finished. The landscaping on the left side of #1 is still a work in progress. We have completed the area next to the road, but the rest will be done over time as personnel and budget resources are available.
When will the cart restrictions come off? We were very appreciative of how the membership has responded to the cart path restrictions on Persimmon. From what we could see, almost all groups limited their carts to two, very few blue flags were in evidence and those who flew the flag, stayed in the rough and off the fairways. Thank-you, this will help us establish the overseed quickly and get everyone back on the course. Our goal is to lift restrictions when we reopen Ironwood.
Committee Notes: We are implementing a priority-setting method for project work. Projects that don’t require a growing season (e.g. cart path repairs and tee banding) will be slated for late fall and winter when turf repairs and conditioning are not productive, giving us maximum resources for doing important turf-related projects when growing conditions are favorable.
We continually test new solutions to improve our work efficiency and the year-round playability of our courses. The goal is to minimize the impact of transition from winter to summer playing conditions and to reduce the amount of time that one course has to be taken out of play for maintenance. As we learn what works and what doesn’t, we will implement the processes that move us closer to that goal.
The Committee is launching a communications program to encourage positive member on-course behavior, like repairing ball marks and properly raking bunkers. Working with AMGA, ALGA and established golf groups, the Committee will be directing positive messages every week to the membership through regularly scheduled group emails. This is a first step toward encouraging members to take ownership of their courses, to improve the golf experience for themselves, their guests and their fellow members.
Ironwood Notes: The Ironwood course shows the heavy use it had this summer, so for the next 21 days it will receive the bulk of our attention. There is a lot to do in the short amount of time we have, so our emphasis will be mostly on turf projects, with non-growing season projects put off until we lose our grass growing weather in December.
Overseed: We will be overseeding tees, green surrounds and roughs. We will use pigment on the fairways like we did last year, to retain warmth for the turf and improve the look as cooler weather causes the bermuda grass to go dormant. We have a new mowing plan for Ironwood that will help keep the course very playable throughout the winter. We will be shaping the fairways using the ryegrass overseed to establish a 1.25” rough, helping keep balls in play when the fairways firm up with the approach of cooler temperatures.
Greens: The bentgrass greens will be aerified using 3/8” hollow tines and the holes filled with Profile, a mix of ceramic material and sand that outperforms a pure sand mix, providing superior relief from soil compaction. The result will be healthier turf, as oxygen penetration is improved and water moves through the plant, providing the nutrients needed for healthy green surfaces. We used Profile this summer on #13 fairway and saw a fast, dramatic improvement in the quality of the turf and we expect equally impressive results as we apply it to our greens. We will also be removing invasive grasses (e.g. bermuda and goosegrass) from the greens, testing a new chemical in a small area on the putting green. If successful as advertised, the chemical treatment will be applied to all Ironwood greens. If not, we will resort to the tried and true method of cutting out the offending grasses and plugging the greens using nursery turf. Additionally, irrigation heads on all Ironwood greens will be leveled during the closure period. Green collars will be conditioned and where turf repairs are required, we will replace the collars with bermudagrass to eliminate the hot weather burnout we have experienced in the past with ryegrass collars.
Bunkers: We will trim and detail all course bunkers, sodding where surrounding turf has been damaged. We will be working the sand in greenside bunkers to help establish a uniform sand depth in all bunkers. We will get some conditioning done on the fairway bunkers as time and manpower allows, but as with Persimmon’s fairway bunkers, this will be a work-in-progress project for a while. The damaged greenside bunker on #3 has received a new Billy Bunker liner and fresh sand will be added to complete the repair.
Cart Paths: We will be doing some cart path repair and modification work during the 21 day closure. We will add a native soil and gravel path on the right side of #6 green, allowing carts closer access to the green than we have had in the past. We will add a similar path on #11 around the back of the green to the far side of the lake for those who insist on hitting their tee shots to the left side and another between the 18th green and the 1st tee for convenience in shotgun events. The two priority repairs are the path from #12 to #13 and the path on #18 as you approach the greenside bunker complex. Other, more minor repairs, will be scheduled during non-growing season periods.
That’s the news for October. All of us on the Committee are enthusiastic about the course improvements being made under Dave’s guidance and we look forward to consistent progress towards realizing the full potential of our two great golf courses. We are grateful for your support and welcome your questions and comments at email@example.com
Greens Committee Chairman