New Golf Season!
Coming off of a great 2018 for turf conditions, weather, camaraderie and enjoyment, we prepare and plan for the 2019 Season with excitement. Having the full support from our membership was also key in making it a great season.
We have been able to perform several “big” on course tasks with very little set back to play. Some examples of this would be the two major drain projects on holes two and fifteen, as well as modifying and upgrading the aging irrigation system. As everyone knows, our course lives and dies with our drainage system, so we have tackled some other issues quietly on 3, 5, and 17. These projects are always on-going and we apologize for the disruption that takes place.
We performed another face lift to the turf quality around the pond on hole three. This was done with minimal disruption to play. It has allowed us to provide better turf conditions as well as safety for our patrons. The last one of these major lifts will be done this upcoming season on the pond around the first tee and two green. It will restore the edge and playability, and aesthetics of these areas.
We saw the huge benefit in quality of cut and consistency of our greens this past season, right from start to finish. There is a lot that goes into this system but one major change we did was upgrade our mowers. The new technology allows us to maintain consistency as well as plant health. We have been on our current programs for awhile and with some minor tweaking we have been able to push the limits of where we can push the turf to optimize the playing conditions.
The irrigation system is now approaching its 29th birthday, and for the most part it has been performing well. We constantly look at improving this system and its parts as technology improves. One major component of the system are the pumps, we have taken one of the 2 pumps in for a service and check. These steps are to ensure the longevity of the system so that we can provide the best product available.
We have also been fortunate to add some “low maintenance areas” which has allowed us to move or adjust our water concerns as the course requires. These areas also provide hole separation and definition to the course, as well as a natural habitat for wildlife. For the 2019 season we will continue to finalize some of these areas with split rail fences, we have planned to complete 3 areas this season.
We have preformed some major bunker restorations this past year as an on-going project. These restoration projects are not simple and we always have the original architects vision in place as well as the needs of the membership and the maintainability for the grounds crew. We currently have four holes remaining to completely restore the greenside bunkers, and we should finish them up this season. Once the green side bunkers are restored, we will focus on maintaining their renovations and developing a vision for the remaining fairway bunkers.
Two years ago we developed a tree program. This program has several parts that include safety issues, air and shade concerns, frost concerns, and flow of play issues. We have finished the safety part of the plan, currently we have scheduled to look at the shade, air flow, and frost issues for the upcoming season. On-going is a preventative maintenance program to thin and protect the trees from injury. Last year we had a gypsy moth issue that hit us on several trees and there is a plan going to be implemented for 2019. The part of the plan that we are most excited about would be the re-planting of species once we have completed the research and site preparation.
We have developed a core group here on the maintenance staff that has fully bought in on the vision to make Kelowna Springs Golf Club the most enjoyed experience in the valley. This could not be done without the trust and support of the membership. We always try to exceed expectations so that guests walk away from their experience here at Kelowna Springs in “awe.” This is helped by an open and friendly membership that is proud to showcase their product.
Once again, we are excited for the 2019 season and to continue to improve and surpass to new heights of expectation.
Gilbert LeBlanc and your Kelowna Springs Golf Club Maintenance team