Friday, February 15, 2013

Febuary 15, 2013

We are doing tree work throughout the golf course to open things up a bit so that the course plays more fairly and more as it was originally designed to play. Over the last 85 years, quite a few acorns, pine cones, and cherry pits have grown into monster trees with ever stretching branches that reach out and knock down well played shots, while others force a shot to be played away from the intended landing area. Willie Park Jr was not moonlighting as Johnny Appleseed and never intended that trees alter his design.

Most trees only need to be pruned back, but unfortunately, some need to be removed. On holes #5, #6, #7, etc, large spreading branches overhang the roughs and fairways. In these cases, a well played tee shot is penalized. We are pruning these back to the trunk.

Other trees are coming down. For example, on holes such as #2, trees left of the forward tee are in the line of play and force the player to hit to the right of the intended landing area. On #3, the pines along the right side have encroached so much that the right side of the green is blocked from the tee. These trees will be removed.

In many areas that border the roughs, we have thinned the underbrush and trees so that an errant shot can be punched out from the wooded areas.

There will be other added benefits to all this tree work. Where the trees were crowded together, selective removal will allow the remaining trees to grow big and healthy without competition. Pruning back branches and tree removal will allow more sunlight to the turf, and increase air flow through the course. Removal will also stop tree roots from competing with the turf.

Its a big change in some areas, and its change for the better.