Firm and Fast Conditions Trump Lush and Green Grass
Championship-level golf course maintenance is an everyday mission at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, and we want all our members to not only be aware of this, but to understand the detail that goes into gearing the course toward tournament-level conditions. By the end of this brief description, you may even be chanting “firmer and faster,” a golf motto we have come to fondly adopt here in horse country.
Ceasing the over-seeding process was the easiest decision our golf course superintendent ever made, because this meant creating firmer and drier grass all year round that would lead to the bounce and speed professional golfers desire. Instead of that lush green you may want on your front lawn, only modestly fertilized blades can do the trick. In short, the combination of reduced water use and lean grass give the golf ball the run required for a PGA Tour tournament-level game.
But of course, a little color never hurt anyone, so Golden Ocala staff has been applying a light green pigment to maintain good visual appearance during the winter months. They have also spent the last year creating dams to increase the flow of water and to make water a more permanent feature. You can see the beautiful results on holes 10 and 12, at the tee complex and green respectively. Recently, hole 12 was excavated to make a new bottom, and the banks were shaven to create a similar experience to the Augusta National tribute hole.
Interactive landscaping around those dams is also a continuous process. Large rocks, ornamental grasses and flowers, such as roses and canna lilies, turn golfers’ view to something appealing. Meanwhile, the modification to slopes on the greens at holes 6 and 17 accommodates faster green speeds and allows Golden Ocala to keep up with PGA Tour venues.
Other noteworthy changes in the past couple of years have been the addition of several new tee boxes on selected holes to enhance golfers’ playability, regardless of their game level. Distance has been added to par 5s to keep up with the modern game, and new tee boxes on selected par 3s and 4s add variety that all golfers appreciate.
Members, to find out more about what you can expect next time you tee off, call (352) 402-4365, and be sure to check the weekly Gazette for timely golf course maintenance updates.