First and foremost thank you to all of the golfers who made the 2016 season a great success. It is hard to believe that we are talking about the 2017 golf season already. It is even harder to believe that we have already been open for three brief stints. Please give me this opportunity to highlight some moments from last season and inform you of upcoming projects and improvements.
2016 Gopher Individual
September of 2016 was the first of a now annual University of Minnesota Gopher Individual Golf Tournament. Teams who competed in the tournament were New Mexico, Kent State, California, Southern Methodist University, Iowa, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Washington, Arkansas and Pepperdine to name a few. The field also welcomed a few local schools such as St. Cloud State, St. Thomas, Gustavus Adolphus, Concordia St. Paul and Macalester. The two day, 54 hole tournament was won by Bjarki Petursson of Kent State who shot an impressive cumulative score of eight under par.
Fast and Firm and Healthy
At Pioneer Creek Golf Course we are committed to providing the firmest, fastest and healthiest playing surfaces possible. During this past season, we used a record low 5.5 million gallons of water on the golf course. This is less than half of the water consumption of previous years. Studies have shown that deep and infrequent watering results in healthier turf with deeper rooted plants that are much more efficient in terms of nutrient and water updtake.
You may also have noticed some of the sand that we have applied to the greens as well. This topdressing material is essential to breaking down thatch and aids in firmness and ball roll. According to the USGA, without regular top dressing and aereation, excess organic material will create soft, spongy putting surfaces that hold too much water.
The combination of deep and infrequent watering with a light topdressing will help minimize pock marks and provide the truest playing surfaces possible.
As we implement these practices, we will be sure to do this in minimally disruptive ways. We understand how important course conditions are to you as a player and are committed to consistently providing the kind of conditions that will make your experience at Pioneer Creek Golf Course a special one.
We have begun modifying mowing lines to provide more strategy and options to the golfer to play each hole in the fashion which they desire. Hole 17, which is pictured, originally had rough surrounding the entire green. If the golfer missed the green short, they were left with a limited number of golf shots available to choose from. Now that the area is mowed at approach height, you'll find you have more shot options including; bump and run with a lofted iron or hybrid as well as the option to simply putt the golf ball. The ground game that is now created should add more enjoyment and opportunity for players of all skill levels to play the option that is suitable for their game. Look for more changes to areas similar to this both around greens and fairways.
Over the past two off seasons we have completed a fairly extensive amount of tree removal. Tree removal can be received with the most polarizing of results. Some patrons can’t thank us enough, while others would rather tie themselves to the tree in order to keep them from being removed. With that being said, it may be helpful for us to explain the goal and the purpose to help ease some of the concern of some of the removal. The goal of the tree removal covers a few different items. The first is to simply improve the golfing experience. Golf can be a great enough challenge to the majority of players without having a goalie in the way. The second is to improve pace of play. One of the biggest challenges when hitting a tree is trying to track where the ball ended up or even if the ball came out from hitting the trees. The tree pictured had over two dozen golf balls within to hollow trunk. Would anyone like to claim a few? Lastly, trees are extremely well suited for out competing turf, making it very challenging to have healthy turf beneath trees.
In closing, thank you for taking the time to read this update and thank you for golfing at Pioneer Creek Golf Course.
I look forward to seeing you on the course!