Brandon's Course Updates

April 20, 2022 —

It’s hard to believe when we left things off in November, over five months has passed.

We’d like to provide you with a turf update.

Put simply, coming out of the winter, one word reigns supreme: dry.

This property could use a drink.

Since October 1, we’ve been tracking the moisture we’ve received on-site.  Snowfall adjusted to actual precipitation, we’ve received less than 2″ of total precipitation on property (about 1.75″ to be exact).

All winter, we’ve seen less than 10″ of snow total.  That’s far, far less than we need.

It’s dry everywhere in Nebraska.  Of course, some pockets of the state have received a bit more rain than we have, but we’ve been pretty starved.

But more on weather below…

You’re probably wondering how things are looking given the dryness?


Photo taken early-April 2022



All things considered, the golf courses look really good.

Turf conditions are healthy and there is minimal turf loss across the property (mostly in the edges along fairways and high knobs).

Charging up our irrigation systems over a month ago and applying consistent water has helped immensely.


Photo taken mid-March 2022


In particular, our winter process on the greens has paid massive dividends.

We might be speaking early, but the putting surfaces look really, really healthy.  Perhaps the healthiest they’ve ever looked coming out of winter.

It took a lot of work with covering, mulching, and hand watering throughout the winter, but we’re reaping those benefits now.

We started punching them last week.

Coming out of the winter, those roots are desperate for air.  So we gave them a little poke.



Some years, we’re doing this in March.  This year, we didn’t get to it until middle of April.  Soil temps were just too low.

So long as it’s done with enough time to recover before Opening Day, we’re pleased.

In terms of greening up, we’re about a month behind.

The warm days have come, but the long stretches of cold, wind, and dryness have staved off the process of turning green.

Things can come a long way in even just a few days if the winds lay down and we get some sunny stretches above 60 degrees.

In fact, on Friday (4/22), we should be up around 90 degrees.  We’ll see how that helps.


Maverick helping with mowing.


We have a few mows under our belt.  That always feels good, clipping off the dead tips of grass from last fall.

The Pines was mowed completely last week.  The Dunes fairways have been the focus for this week.

June 1 is typically the day we lower the blades for good, getting the turf to their normal heights.  We’re still hoping that’s the case, but it’s all dependent on what powerful Miss Mother Nature has to say.




Where 2021 was a blessing with our staff numbers, it doesn’t seem like 2022 will grant us the same fortune.

The H2B process has been tricky for 2022.

On the golf course, our staff members are labeled as “Category F” employees.

Given delays far beyond our control (things take long when governments work, go figure…), we’re still waiting to hear full approval on our H2B help.

We’re hoping to continue to find ways to alleviate the staffing problems on property, but we’re somewhat at the mercy of the legal system.

We’re adding a few great interns for 2022, which we are really excited about.  They should be on property soon and the maintenance staff is excited to welcome them.

We also have some great returning staff members from Valentine, who are amazing to have around.  We simply wish there were more of them!  They’re great.

The Valentine H.S. football team will be joining us to pull bales of hay from the bunkers here this spring. They (the bales) are buried right now, so this should be a doozy of a project!



This has been perhaps our most exciting project of the fall and off-season.

The folks at Hunter have been fantastic to work with.

You may remember last fall, we started the process toward revamping our irrigation system.

Early in April, the Hunter tech team downloaded their software onto our computer system.  It’s allowed us to start building out the programs, telling each head how much water to deploy — and when.

It’s almost completely set up and ready to go.

It will be by the time May comes.



We could go on and on about details around this new system, but we’ll be more thorough in a future update.

The biggest change you will notice will be with the watering windows in the morning.  If you’re an early morning player, you may never see a sprinkler running again (apologies if you like getting spritzed at 7AM by a sprinkler).

Since we’re able to control the dials on the water remotely, we’re able to schedule these heads to water at specific times.

We hope that turf quality will improve and that operationally, we’re able to conserve water and create efficiencies with how we water the property.

It’s incredible technology and we’re happy to have it on property.




We’re pleased, all things considered.

For those of you have have influence over the weather, please send some rain our way.  We’ll even take a little bit of snow or sleet (how dare us!).

Of course, wind is one of our biggest challenging forces. Not only does it dry out, but it moves earth.

We’ve had to work hard to keep the bunkers in place and prevent them from moving during the winter (which they tried to).



The countdown to Opening Day is real.  We’re mowing, watering, and starting to get the property ready to play.

The property will change immensely over the next few weeks.

This is a really fun time of year.

See you soon.