From the Superintendent’s Desk

Marc Francoeur GCS

Well, we got it done! Now, we literally watch the grass grow. Thank you to the volunteers for their help seeding the golf course this year. As I write this article, I have other volunteers painting tee markers and hazard stakes. Next week, there will be another wave of great volunteers helping SunBird out. If it wasn’t for the great people of SunBird volunteering with Adopt a Hole, the guys who woke up early to edge cart paths last winter, the ladies who painted the tee monuments last spring to the generous donations we receive throughout the year, I’m sure that the little things would not get done in a timely manner. The extra help we receive helps keep our costs down and keeps SunBird looking great! Lastly, my staff and I would like to thank all the members who volunteer on the board and our various committees. Let’s not forget about Jerry L. for stepping in and steering the ship on the right course in the pro shop. Thank you everyone, and let’s have a great winter season!

While we are closed this year for overseed, this will allow the turf care department to catch up on much-needed items on our punch list (things to do). Brad and Gamez are in the shop grinding the reels for the machines so we are cutting perfect when we open up; this is a big job! Along with grinding, they’ll be breaking down the cutting units, replacing bearings if needed, along with other parts after a hard year of work. The other staff members will be touching up other areas on the course where we can, like tree trimming and grading eroded areas, to spraying weeds and painting areas that need freshening up.

In a past article, I mentioned that when the last bag of seed has been spread on the course, I’m already thinking about the next overseed. In 2018, we will be keeping the golf course open three weeks longer and closing the golf course the last two weeks of October. I am giving everyone lots of notice now so you all can plan your stay in your winter home accordingly. Canadians, this might mean you get to stay later in the spring this year, and you come down a week or two later in the fall. Or you come earlier in the fall and actually play the course while it still has its summer grass and experience what our yearlong residents get to. Like I wrote about in my September article, the course is probably in its best shape when we are ready to tear it up! These are not the only reasons for this decision; there are many. I will discuss a couple of the major ones here; with the cooler temps at this time of year, we will have much less competition with the Bermuda grass and the seed/winter grass we are trying to establish. There will be less disease pressure due to the watering because of the humidity we create. Along with the host (grass), the pathogen (disease) and environment (humidity), we have a complete disease triangle, and with all three, this spells for weakened or even a dead turf. We may eliminate any need for fungicides which means money saved and used into more needed areas. As well, the summer turf will have extra weeks to grow and continue to get healthier and store carbohydrates like a bear does for hibernation. You are asking yourself why this is important; in the spring, this will help with a smoother transition (green-up). We could even take advantage of the other courses in the area being closed and bring in some extra revenue. Golfers are struggling to find courses open or in good condition to play during this period! With that said, I know we may have events scheduled already, and I am flexible to a point, and we can discuss alternatives to your event and/or cart restrictions. I think/hope this will be well received. Our yearlong residents/golfers will enjoy the course a little longer, and everyone will enjoy the higher quality turf during the winter season! I know the volunteers and the staff on the turf department will also enjoy the cooler working temperatures; we all know it’s quite a grind during overseeding. Oh, did I mention we will only be closed for two weeks, rather than the three we are currently doing?