Stu Rowland, Director of Agronomy
Finishing seasons are always a relief, especially the tough ones. With every season, filled with challenges or not, we take intentional time to reflect and perhaps pivot a little as we move into the next one. The record-breaking summer heat and drought brought on many challenges as we watched the Guadalupe stop flowing, had long stretches of 100+ degree days, and reduced or eliminated irrigation resulting in summer dormancy of turf. Yet, with all of this, one thing remained amazing; the team out sweating the conditions to keep us headed in the right direction.
Now that we’ve seen a little rain, and the river is flowing again, the Agronomy team is breathing easier and excited to be out executing our fall/winter plans to make the next season great. It was a rather quick transition to fall as we deployed our agronomic practices of “winter-izing” the course, aerifying the greens, and beginning several of our planned projects. As mentioned, with the challenging summer, we had a few pivots leading into fall: recovering several areas that succumbed to the summer heat with sod, pushing as much Zoysia and Bermuda recovery before winter dormancy and, of course, just enjoying some rainfall.
Now as winter is upon us, this is where we are excited to execute on our “off season” projects. In the last two years, we have recovered all our landscaped areas around the course that provide framing of holes and aesthetics to the tee and green areas. Now we are excited to add some color! As is always the challenge in Texas, we are striving to plant that which won’t be consumed overnight by our Cordillera deer. Honestly, that’s a good thing. The deer keep us honest to plant things that keep us Texas. That is, keeping a plant palette that is native to us and provides a consistent aesthetic to the course and grounds.
The winter season also includes preparing our Pure Distinction bentgrass greens for the spring season and fortifying it for the subsequent summer. We’ve seen tremendous results from the previous summer seasons and, with each year, our greens become stronger and stronger. Conducting several soil nutrient and performance tests following this past summer, we know exactly what is needed to make our greens even better for the next season.
We look forward to the course waking up again in March and seeing you, your families and your guests enjoying the course and the fruits of our team’s work this winter. We truly hope everyone had a blessed Holiday season!
See you on the course!
Stu Rowland is the Director of Agronomy at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 760.275.9459.