November 2018 — Course Conditions Update

Brandon's Course Updates

November 1, 2018 —

Snow has fallen and snow has melted. Thankfully.

This has given us the time to do some extremely important work on the property. After all, we pretty much lost an entire week in that second week of October as we waited for the property to recover from two separate snowfalls of 3-4″ along with sub-freezing temps and a 5-10 degree windchill.

It’s funny, only a few days later, we were experiencing temperatures in the mid-70s again.

Ahhh… north central Nebraska in the fall.

Here are a few pictures of the first dusting of the year on October 10th:

As you can see, we didn’t even have the pins out yet. 

We are fortunate to have received a great forecast in October, overall. This helped us put the courses to rest as we lead into the winter. If the weather holds out until Thanksgiving week, we will wait to officially blow out the irrigation systems.

Aerification / De-thatching

Proper aeration is so important for the vitality of a golf course.

Now, we know an aerified golf course is the bane of all golfers. No golfer wants to watch a putt bounce, or a tee shot come to a stop in a sand-filled depression. But since it’s so important, we spend significant time working on this during our shoulder seasons.

The process for aerification on our massive property is time-consuming. We can usually get 1 to 1.5 fairways done in any given day.

It’s all about thatch removal. And our process in the spring and fall of aeration of verti-cutting helps eliminate thatch, improves health, and puts us on the right track toward perfect playing conditions.

To firmer and faster…

Mowing & Top-dressing

Along the same lines as thatching, we also continue to mow and top-dress throughout the fall.

As the temperatures drop, our frequency for mowing continues to decrease. But to maintain the turf and keep the playing conditions smooth, we will top-dress the fairways and tees as much as possible (or until the snow stops us.)

We raised the heights on the mowers to keep length on the grass.


The same week we blow out the irrigation systems, we hope to apply a fungicide on all of our greens. This prevents any of the snow mold from developing over the winter.

No snow mold = good.

We’ll wait until the fungicide has been applied to throw wood mulch on the greens. This usually happens in the second week of December. Here’s a photo of Jeff Wrage applying this to our greens last winter.

The wood mulch is critical for protection and repels a lot of the moisture that could wreak havoc on our golf course with a poor winter. Preventative measures go a long ways.


During the winter, our goal with the bunkers has a singular focus—keep the bunkers from blowing into Kansas.

The wind shaped this land, and we’re lucky that it did. But now that we’ve found 46 holes that we like, we’d like the wind to stop shaping the property. Specifically in a few spots.

We place square hay bales in the bunkers. We place dozens upon dozens upon dozens of them.

Hay bales just like these:

The key to great playing conditions throughout the summer is the work done throughout the winter months. And we cannot emphasize that enough.

We’re looking forward to seeing how the course comes out of the winter. At that time, you’ll hear from us again.

See you in the spring!