Wet and cold conditions were the big story in May with all of the challenges that go with it. While we do regret having to go with cart path only rulings for players, we also have to consider the long-term conditioning of the golf course when making this decision. It has been really wet out here.

3 North May 2022

4 North June 2, 2022

Nemadji has been blessed with some of the worst inherent drainage properties I have ever been around with its extremely flat topography (especially the N/S course), heavy clay soils, and lack of catch basins. Areas where we have added drainage in-house have worked out very well but there is only so much we can do to keep the golf course firm when conditions turn this wet. We just have to wait this out and hope for a turn in the weather.

Some of you may have noticed that we now have yellow labels on bunker rakes that ask players to leave bunker rakes in bunkers. There is not a USGA sanctioned wrong or right way in this. Some facilities prefer rakes left outside of bunkers and others prefer rakes in bunkers. Leaving rakes in bunkers makes it easier for our rough mowers to perform their jobs more efficiently as they do not have to leave their rigs to continue their work. Makes sense at a municipal facility with limited means. Even with the labels, though, somehow bunker rakes always end up where they should not be.

9N 6-1-2022

A typical example of where bunker rakes end up at the end of the day. Sometimes in the turf, sometimes in the bunker, sometimes on top of one another. In this example, the players not only did not put the rakes back inside the bunker but we ended up with two rakes on top of one another, creating more work for the next set of players who will likely have to move further in order to retrieve a rake. The solution here is not more rakes, the solution is for players to consider the groups playing after them and place the rake back into the bunker accordingly. Similar to repairing ballmarks or replacing divots, human courtesy is a part of the game and will benefit everyone if all of us were to comply.

Our spring plant order arrived yesterday and we have started putting these plants into the ground starting with the entrance sign. Ornamental horticulture is something that I have always taken an interest in since hanging out with my Mom making the yard look real nice. I have since then been, at times, responsible for hotel and golf course grounds where a typical order might be 400-500 flats of annuals and/or perennials. We continue this sort of work at Nemadji albeit at a much smaller scale.

Ornamental Order Nemadji 6-1-2022

Note the trees we purchased in the background. These will be going out at out/edge of play locations over the next few weeks and we hope to continue this program over subsequent years. Many of you may have noticed that we have removed many damaged, dead, hazardous, or weed (plant out of place) trees over the past few years. Trees can be a wonderful enhancement to a golf course but they can also be overplanted creating long-term issues for the golf course. I find it very interesting how the tree planting programs of the 80’s and 90’s on golf courses were followed by tree removal programs a few decades later at some facilities. We are trying to find a proper balance at Nemadji of sensible replacement with hardy species that are, for the most part, indigenous to the area.

No newsletter would be complete without a dog picture. I hope that this little guy is not annoying too many people but it cannot be helped-he just likes people so much. I was amused by a player who complimented me on the “Watch for Dogs” signs we recently posted. I said thank you and responded that slowing down while driving around the facility is also good for golfer safety. His response was, “Yeah, but people like dogs.”

Bentley Dumpster Diving 6-2-2022

See you on the golf course.