Brandon's Course Updates

April 7, 2023 —

The good Lord has blessed the Nebraska prairie with snow cover this winter.

While snow isn’t equivalent to rainfall as it pertains to moisture levels (estimations are that 13″ snow = 1″ rain), the cover itself has been the true blessing.

We still need moisture, as our region is well within drought-like conditions.  But things could definitely be worse on property.

As we come out of winter and look toward spring, our team wanted to bring a course conditions update your way.

A few soaking rains in April would be welcome.

But either way, we’re excited to share and excited to see you!

15 Pines on April 8, 2023


7 Pines on April 8, 2023


6 Pines on April 8, 2023


5 Pines on April 8, 2023



As mentioned above, we got snow — about a foot — shortly after Thanksgiving and we held a strong base all winter long.

We were thankful!

This insulating cover protects the turf from gnashing wind, threatening ice, and rock hard, frozen ground.  Whenever we have coverage, the turf comes out of the winter healthy.  If it could smile, it would.

Before Thanksgiving, we ordered our seven pallets of our hydro mulch. We also had a few days of hand-watering spots on the property.

After that, Mother Nature had our backs.

Our calendars flipped to April and the hydro mulch pallets remained untouched.  And the hand watering from November was our final hand water.

The hydro mulch will hold until next winter — it just saves us an order next fall!

We still need rain this spring.  The snow hasn’t put much of a dent in the soil profile’s moisture levels.

Recent warmth has melted the entire irrigation pond, which is a tall tell sign of spring.


Snow cover was abundant this winter, photo from January 2023.


Hwy 97 South of the Club in December


We had enough snow to move!



As the snow reveals the turf, it’s quite healthy. Even as we dig past the crown of the plant, there’s still green submerged.

Some areas with substantial cover never went into a true dormancy. As we enter next week, temperatures will rise into the 80s, seeing the next 7-10 days green up significantly.

Irrigation systems will charge in the coming days, which will help immensely.

Next Tuesday, we’ll start mowing, taking off the top dormant tips. DJ will go first, as the Pines is always ready earlier, then Andrew will follow with the Dunes.

After one pass, we may even start verticutting. We’ll see how the turf looks when we take the excess and dormant tips off.

By next week, we’ll get a jump start on aerifying greens.  We like doing this as soon as the soil profile has thawed enough and after we get a few passes with the mower.

Doing this boosts recovery and gives ample time for the turf to heal before play begins.

On the Pines, DJ has a little bit of tree work to clean up, but we’re blessed to go with our normal spring process.



Pines 13 has seen a lot of sun, photo late March 2023.



Spring Prep

We saved ourselves 25 days worth of cleaning greens with no hydro mulch.

In most years, this would be time back in our pocket, but March’s wind and cold kept us off the property. Thankfully, the aforementioned cover protected the turf, as our team monitored forecasts daily.

On April 22, we welcome the Valentine’s Boys Football team, who will help us clear the bails of hay from the bunkers.  It should be easier this year given the relatively calm winds since December.  Nothing like last spring’s gusts of 70mph!

Our cart paths need some work on the Dunes.

Otherwise, we feel strong about the position we’re in.


12 Dunes in early April 2023


Other spring projects include re-branding all of the signage from throughout the property, as well as fresh polyurethane on our tee markers.


Touching up signage.



Toward the end of last summer, Jacob Battershaw, a Valentine local, decided he wanted to move closer to home for work.

Having built experience in North Platte as a certified Kubota mechanic, we figured he would be a great fit for our team.

We had Jacob throughout the duration of the offseason, meaning a lot of our damaged and broken equipment was able to see repairs. Coming into the season, we haven’t been in this good of a position with our equipment in many years.

As for other staffing, we were disappointed when we didn’t win the lottery for H2B help this summer.

While it may make getting our work done this summer a bit harder, our hearts go out to the guys from south of the border who won’t be joining us.

We’ll miss hearing the Spanish in the maintenance garage. So many of them love this place, rely on it, and work hard to make it the best it can be.

We’ll bring on local help and our goals for the standard of this property won’t change at all. It’s just hard when our true team isn’t together.

The H2B process is one where we can only control what we can control. With unemployment numbers throughout the nation low, many nationwide entered the portal applying for help this year. We’ll see about next year!

Millie soaking in the sun.



Thank you for reading this update.

If you’d like a further read, Andrew Getty published a report to the Nebraska Turfgrass Association (NTA), as he joined their board this offseason.  You can read his report here.

The courses really do look great and the snow cover was a privilege.

In previous years, we put in more hours during the offseason to preserve our healthy turf.  This winter’s snow let us settle into better routines, allowing our team members to have a bit more leisure time, which is nice to get rest during the offseason.

Before we open, we are hosting a few small events. Then, May 11 brings the start of the season.

We’re so excited to see all of you.

Here’s to a great 2023… which is only a short month away.