While area golfers are bemoaning the fact that winter just doesn’t want to let go, Morrisburg Golf Club greens chair, Shawn Hummel has been using the time to get all his ducks in order.
Hummel has been busy over the past few weeks, getting the work lined up to repair the two Morrisburg Golf course greens hardest hit by disease last summer.
According to Morrisburg Golf Club president Jason Broad, the par three second green is to be resodded at a cost of $8,000 while the worst hit number three green, in addition to resodding, will be re-configured with new soil and proper drainage put in to the tune of $25,000.
The Morrisburg club executive has lined up a qualified company and for “warranty purposes we are having them do all the work,” says Broad. “For the year, they will put us on a program. They are also going to work with us on a proper maintenance program for our other greens.”
Where disease had impacted portions of other greens, particularly the first and fifth, work was done last fall that appears to have had favourable results.
“Last fall Mick Mabo (club vice-president) and Lee Beaupre (greens staff employee), moved a lot of the best sod there was left from the third green to number one and five. It looks to have caught well and is starting to come on now,” says Broad.
As for the time line, Broad says, work is to begin on the third green immediately, up to the placement of the new sod. “We need the soil to reach a temperature of 50º F to have the sod laid, so this cold spring has really delayed everything.”
Once the desirable soil temperature is reached the new sod is laid, Broad says golfers can expect a minimum of four weeks before play can resume on the two greens.
Drainage put in last year, has helped in several problem areas and up until the heavy dump of rain and ice rain this past Friday, April 12, the course was drying up very well. The grass was showing the benefits of Monday’s sunshine and warm temperatures and what was brown on the weekend was now beginning to green.
“The clubhouse is officially opening Sunday,” said Broad. “And if we don’t get to much rain the rest of the week, Shawn is planning to put the pins in on Friday.”
Club vice-president, Barry Henderson has been busy getting the clubhouse in order, and advises that should the pins go in, the clubhouse is booked for a private function on Saturday. This will not affect play, but will temporarily restrict afternoon access to the clubhouse.
Sunday, he points out, “it’s wide open” and we are offering an 2013 Season Opening Special of $10 per person which will include both breakfast and golf from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
The club’s first ladies night is set for Wednesday, April 24, while the men will kick off their season on Thursday, April 25. The junior program starts in mid May.
Last fall, the Morrisburg club members, realizing the potential negative impact of the diseased greens, decided to reduce 2013 membership rates, in a effort to hold onto members and attract new members. With single memberships starting as low as $450 and a very attractive $75 for junior members, the club is hoping to hold its own through a difficult time.
Also the club will run without a head greenskeeper as it enters into a new setup that involves ‘greenskeeper sharing’ with other clubs. “This is a new trend that small golf courses are trying in an effort to cut costs,” says Broad. “So at this point we are not hiring a full-time greenskeeper. We want to look at it in an effort to keep our costs low. We can always undo or go back.”
“The cost to redo the third green is $25,000,” says Broad. “It’s frightening isn’t it. Most of the cost is for the materials, including tile drainage, soils, sand, irrigation and sod. I don’t think many people are aware of what golf course greens are worth.”
“The executive has been very busy getting ready for the season, and Shawn (Hummel) has had a lot on his plate, getting everything arranged for the greens. He’s done a lot of work.”
For more information or to pay memberships, please contact the Morrisburg Golf Club at 613-543-3282 or drop by the clubhouse beginning this Sunday, April 20.