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Continued Improvements…The 2018 Golf Course Turf Project

Each year, capital investments have been made to improve the golf course and the golf course maintenance operation.  Some projects you see — the bunker renovation, sod work in rough and cleaning up rogue bentgrass around the greens, to name a few. Others aren’t as visible — irrigation upgrades, equipment replacement and upgrades and many other tools we use throughout our trade. This year is no exception. 

By Mark Semm

Maintaining top level turf conditions throughout the golf course is consistently a priority at our Club; however, Mother Nature, increased golf rounds and normal turf “competition” always create challenges to achieve some of those goals in the agronomy world.

As a result, this spring we made the decision to invest in a large-scale, full removal and replacement of all non-Zoysia grasses around the green surrounds of the entire golf course (including practice holes and greens). While we understand that these types of repairs can be disruptive to the playability of the golf course in the short-term, it’s necessary to have this short-term, minor disruption in order to achieve long-term improvements to the look and playability of the golf course. We signed a contract with Professional Golf Services in early May to handle this work, along with the removal and replacement of other turf areas on part of the Zoysia driving range tee deck and the periphery of the driving range that was damaged due to excessive traffic by the range picker.

The east end tee deck nearest the practice putting green (northern deck) will not only get a complete turf replacement but will also be expanded by nearly 30 percent in order to accommodate more hitting spaces. This will allow for more areas to practice from, giving more “relief time” to recently used portions of the deck. Although Zeon Zoysia turf is the undisputed best fairway turf to hit on, it’s slow-growing characteristics present a challenge because it takes longer for the divots to heal.  This replacement and expansion is intended to help provide more quality turf upon which to practice. We are also planning for expansion to other range decks but wanted to get this area expanded and replaced immediately.

The second phase of the project is the removal and replacement of Bermuda encroachment in green surrounds, which occurs after the Bermuda has been killed. Cordillera Ranch maintenance staff will spray the Bermuda with a non-selective (kills everything green) herbicide in multiple applications over several weeks. The intent is to kill as much Bermuda as possible, though any agronomist will tell you that no program provides a 100 percent kill rate on the resilient Bermuda.  The contractor will then replace these dead areas with new Zeon Zoysia Grass from Bladerunner Farms — the developer of Zeon Zoysia Grass.  As you read this, the project should be nearing completion. This schedule will allow these newly sodded areas the entire summer and fall to grow in and knit with the surrounding turf.  

These projects, along with several others in process and planning, will undoubtedly make significant improvements to this beautiful golf course. We appreciate your patience while we implement them over the coming weeks as part of the ownership’s continued commitment to consistently deliver the best Club and golf course experience anywhere in Texas. As always, thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you at The Club!

Mark Semm is the Director of Agronomy at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at msemm@cordilleraranch.com or 830.336.9186.

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Step 1 – East Tee Regrade

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Step 2 – East Tee New Sod

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Step 3 – East Tee complete

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Sprayed Dead Bermuda Around Greens06