USGA agron­o­mist re­ports on BV golf cour­ses

The Weekly Vista - - Front Page - LYNN ATKINS latkins@nwadg.com

The an­nual visit from a USGA agron­o­mist took place last week on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 12. Steve Kam­merer was at the Golf Com­mit­tee meet­ing to re­port his ob­ser­va­tions.

The cour­ses look good, Kram­merer said, and the re­cent rain has made the roughs look very good. He noted that the bent grass greens may get too hot, but the fans, he said, help with that.

Many cour­ses in the re­gion ex­pe­ri­enced win­ter kill like Scots­dale, Kram­merer said. Scots­dale greens are a hy­brid Ber­muda grass which tol­er­ates the hot

weather bet­ter than bent grass but does not tol­er­ate the cold. Scots­dale was closed all sum­mer while sev­eral greens were com­pletely re­planted. Part of the prob­lem Kram­merer said may have been the age of the Ber­muda grass

which was orig­i­nally planted in 2016. As the grass ma­tures, it de­vel­ops a more com­plex root struc­ture that will help it sur­vive harsh weather.

The only other Ber­muda greens in Bella Vista are on the nine-hole Brit­tany course. Those greens sur­vived the win­ter, golf main­te­nance di­rec­tor Keith Ihms said.

Kam­merer also rec­om­mended that the main­te­nance

depart­ment con­sider a de­vice to hold the win­ter tarps an inch or two above the greens. The inch of “dead air” adds in­su­la­tion and keeps the tarps from pulling up the grass when they are lifted. Pool noo­dles will work to hold the tarps up.

Heav­ier tarps have al­ready been or­dered, Ihms said, ex­plain­ing that the com­pany of­fered a good deal on re­place­ment tarps

when it be­came ap­par­ent that the orig­i­nal set was not enough pro­tec­tion.

Dur­ing the open fo­rum, a reg­u­lar fea­ture of each meet­ing, a mem­ber com­plained that Bella Vista prices are too high. Mem­bers usu­ally pay $41 for a round even af­ter they have paid monthly as­sess­ment fees. There are cour­ses in the area where he can play for less than $41 a round.

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