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Crofton Golf Course Update

Crofton Country Club General Manager Ryan Doerr recently updated members on progress of the golf course renovation, and he authorized me to share his letter with other Crofton residents.  Thank you, Ryan.

Golf Course Fairway Project Update

CCC - 6th FairwayWho would have thought that we would have experienced three back to back years of record breaking heat and humidity.  This last stretch over the past 6-8 weeks has been a tough one.  This year not only did we have long stretches of high heat (25 of 31 days above 95 degrees  in July alone), but we also had drought conditions in the beginning of our hot summer.  The good news is, each year we have gotten better and better at managing the record breaking heat and strengthening our turf.  We can see a few reminders in our fairways as to why we are changing our turf from bent to Zeon.  There are some areas where the bent has died and you can see the Zeon has either filled in completely or you can see it growing in.

We are about halfway through our fairway conversion, 65 days have passed since we started the project and the Zeon Zoysia sprigs are between 45-60% depending on the areas.  Our goal was to be about 90% at 90 days (end of August) and for the large majority of the course we are right on schedule.  There are two holes that have a few thin areas that the sprigs did not take as well.  This can happen for a variety of reasons and is typical when you do a project of this magnitude.  Beginning Monday, August 6, we are scheduled to re-sprig the fairway on 11 and spot sprig some areas on 10, 13 and 16 as well as sod the landing area at the top of the hill on 10.

Greens Health

For the second consecutive summer, our greens have shown great health through the tough summer stress.  The heavy rains in the middle of July led to some breakthrough of Pythium on the Putting Green and #16, as well as, some small areas to a handful of other greens.  We caught and treated it quickly.  Pythium has the ability to take out healthy greens in a single night and our minor damage will heal in the next few weeks. 

The wet weather also slowed our greens’ speed in July.  We use less aggressive cutting units for July and early August which make it tough to get speeds back up.  The good news is our greens are healthy enough to be groomed back to normal conditions as soon as the high temperatures break in early August.  We will be able to use our aggressive rollers and verticut units to increase green speed by mid-August, barring a late season heat wave.  Assuming the forecast stays true, we will begin tightening them up sometime in the next week or so.

Roughs and Green Surrounds

The weed control has been much improved which is expected since we are now in our 5th season of heavy pre-emergent controls which get better with time.   Although it is better than past years, we did experience some goose grass outbreak in certain areas and we continue to pull it as we see it pop up .

We did catch some disease in 5 or 6 of the green surrounds.  We do have a lot of work to do to get the rough to recover from the summer heat; however, we will not be spending any time this year seeding fairways which is key.  Our seed order has been placed, along with the starter fertilizer.  We will be ready to start over seeding the roughs and surrounds in late August.  We have purchased a very high quality grass seed for the roughs and surrounds.  This variety is more draught tolerant, should similar conditions return (which in Maryland is almost a certainty). 

We are currently fertilizing the rough we have now too beef it up. In addition to the fairway conversion, the strengthening of our roughs and surrounds are also being improved though aggressive over seeding, improved fertility, and reallocation of resources now available with our new fairways. 

We continue to make progress in delivering a more consistent and quality golf experience.  Although the peak heat torture of June and July has stressed our course, we are in far better position for recovery than ever before and in better condition than several other clubs in the area.   When you look at our greens, and fairways compared to past years, and consider that this was the hottest summer on record, it is great to see that our plan is working.  We continue to stay committed to this massive undertaking and look forward to see the evolution of the greens, fairways and roughs over the next weeks and months. 

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If you don’t belong to Crofton Country Club, why not? 

A social membership is only $186 per quarter for access to the pool and clubhouse, after a minimal initiation fee.  Attending the free monthly member mixer and appreciation event is a great way to get to know your neighbors. There’s never been a better chef at Crofton Country Club, and the food is excellent –  whether you’re ordering dinner for two in the Dorsey Room, stopping for a cold drink on the way home from work, or enjoying a special event on New Year’s Eve, Valentine Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, etc. 

If you’re interested in more information, contact Traci Denhart at Crofton Country Club, and tell her I’m your sponsoring member.  410–721–3111.

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