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Contrary to Popular Belief

Aerification and topdressing are seen as negatives by most golfers but they are vital to maintaining healthy turf and creating the best possible playing conditions.

We will look at what it takes to achieve both of these practices as well as the benefits both provide to the turf.

Aerification can be a time-consuming practice, however, when done the right way we can achieve it with little to no interference with the golfers. We use two Toro Procore 648 machines to aerify our tees, approaches, and greens.

We aerify our tees and approaches once a year with half inch side eject hollow tines.

When aerifing our greens we use multiple sizes of tines depending on the time of year, weather, and what we are trying to accomplish.

In the fall, we use half inch side eject hollow tines as our goal is to remove organic matter from the profile and replace it with sand.

This also helps our greens drain well throughout the winter.

In the spring, we use either three eighths of an inch side eject hollow tines or quarter inch solid needle tines.

The benefit of the smaller tines in the spring is that they allow our greens to heal much quicker and therefore does not disrupt play for an extended period of time.

Throughout the golf season we will vent our greens every four to six weeks depending on weather and play with the quarter inch solid tines.

We follow this venting by rolling the disturbed greens so they are ready for play immediately.

It is necessary to vent the greens regularly to help promote a healthy turf and in return a better playing surface.

A few of the main reasons we aerify are to break up compaction, help with gas exchange, help with drainage, and remove organic matter and thatch from the profile.

Since purchasing our Procore aerifiers, we have noticed a significant improvement in the depth of our roots.

This is extremely important for many reasons, but mainly because now the plant can reach deeper for water.

This allows us to dry the greens out when we need them to be more firm.

Topdressing is often seen as a poor maintenance practice by golfers, as they feel as though it is not allowing them to play on the best possible putting surfaces.

However, this is a very common misconception.

Our fall aerification requires a heavier application of sand to help fill in the larger holes.

Whereas during the peak golf season we will apply a light dusting of sand to our greens every four weeks.

Following the sanding we brush the sand in, then brush mow, and use sand reels to clean everything up.

The benefits of topdressing are not just to fill in the areification holes but to provide a better playing surface for the duration of the year.

The sand will smooth out the playing surface allowing for a smoother roll and will help with consistent and desired green speeds.

So, next time you see our amazing maintenance team out venting or topdressing the greens, thank them for making your Gold Mountain Golf Club your favorite place to golf!

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How Did the Courses Handle the Weather?

As the standard “peak” golf season comes closer to an end on the Kitsap Peninsula, let’s look back at course conditions during this pas season.

This will include green speed, water usage, and overall playability of the Olympic Course and the Cascade Course.

Green speed is always a hot topic when talking about golf courses and there are various factors that affect the speed of a green.

When we watch major golf championships, we hear the commentators discussing the speed of the greens being 12.5 or 13+ on the stimpmeter (a device used to measure the speed of a green).

A USGA official uses a Stimpmeter to measure the speed of a green at Oakmont. Courtesy of PGA.com.

Keep in mind, those greens are being played by the best golfers in the world, and even they struggle with them!

From personal experience working at U.S. Open Championship, those speeds are far too fast for the average golfer.

However, those courses only keep those speeds up for the tournament they are hosting and then everything slows back down after said tournament.

We at Gold Mountain, try to keep our green speed right around a 10.5 on the stimpmeter, we have found this to be a player-friendly pace, while still challenging for our golfers.

Along with that, making sure all our greens are rolling consistently and smoothly is a top priority.

For big tournaments, and when requested for certain events, we can easily get green speeds up to a 12 on the stimpmeter, then our golfers will really be getting a taste of what the professionals experience week in and week out.

This golf season has seen a pretty remarkable drought of over 50 days in a row with no precipitation and over 70 days with moisture accumulations only reaching 0.10 inches.

We have a weather station at our maintenance shop that measures a number of different things, but one key measurement it gives us in our evapotranspiration (ETs), which is the amount of water lost by a plant every day.

The weather station then relays the ET information to our irrigation system, which then calibrates how long each sprinkler head on the course needs to run each night.

We also can go in and manually adjust run times for certain areas of each golf course.

Watering, however, is like walking a tight rope.

It we over water, the course becomes saturated and playing conditions are not optimized.

If we under water we can lose turf, and if not treated, those desiccated areas are likely to fill in the next season with weeds.

No irrigation system gives perfect coverage, only nature can take care of that; however, we are very fortunate that our irrigation system can keep up with our ever-changing climate.

Considering the record rainfall, snow, and ice we had this last winter, and then the record drought we are still having this summer, both courses are performing very well.

Gold Mountain Golf Club

We had several greens buried under ice for up to six weeks last winter and have had extremely good success recovering them back to championship conditions in a relatively brief period of time.

Then add on all the heat from this summer…needless to say we have invested a lot of time into trying to keep the course firm and fast by hand watering hot spots, or localized dry spots (LDS).

This allows us to not over water or under water in certain areas, while still providing a championship caliber product.

Overall, all areas of both courses are handling the crazy Pacific Northwest weather well.

Our fairways are very firm, allowing golf balls to bounce and roll out nicely, giving you those extra few yards off the tea.

Our greens are also firm, and provide a bit of a challenge with the way they receive and hold a ball on an approach shot.

Both the Cascade Course and the Olympic Course are in great shape and will continue to be in this condition, now we just wait for some much-needed rain to liven up the courses!

Ed Faulk
Gold Mountain Golf Club Superintendent

 

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Can it Really Be August Already?

It is hard to believe that we have already raced into the month of August, considering how long it took the weather to make it to spring!

Our guests and members have made it a priority to get in as much golf as possible to make up for the lost time earlier in the year.

Tee times will continue to be available to book 30 days in advance, so take advantage of the best golfing conditions in the Northwest and book your tee time online now.

Book your tee time directly on the website!

We have seen tremendous results with our online booking engine and automatic green fee discounts at check-in, and we will continue that practice throughout August.

When you reserve your tee time online, you can see exactly what we see in the Golf Shop, showing our guests tournaments, large groups, and how busy the course is in general.

This function helps our golfers decide the best possible tee time and day to play to fit their schedule.

As we move from the long days of summer to the crisper mornings of the early fall, keep a look out for our group specials on our website.

Foursome fun on the Olympic Course.

These specials have been enormously popular and we look forward to making them available to everyone again this year!

With the start of fall comes our annual Dave Williams Best Ball Tournament, Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1.

This is one of the most enjoyable tournaments of the year and signup sheets will be available in the Golf Shop beginning this month.

Following the first round we will have College Football playing on our large projector so that our tournament players can cheer on their alma mater as they enjoy our complimentary post-round meal.

On Sunday, as everyone is watching the scoreboard to see who places in the money, our large screen projector will be displaying NFL Football (usually the Seahawks)!

And for those wishing to see how the PGA Tour is finishing up, our flat screens in the bar will be showing the 2017 Presidents Cup.

Finally, I would like to share exciting news as Gold Mountain will be hosting the Mountain West Conference Championship next April!

We are beginning the process of gathering tournament volunteers and captains for this fun event, so please keep your eye out for signup sheets or swing by the Golf Shop to inquire with myself or our General Manager, Daryl Matheny.

We would love to hear from you and get you on our team!

We can’t wait to see you at the course for the final stretch of summer!

All of us at Gold Mountain Golf Club want to thank you for coming out this year and making 2017 a great success after what can modestly be described as the most challenging winter and spring for golf.

John Sitton
Golf Operations Manager
Gold Mountain Golf Club

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Keep the Summer Activities Going

For most people August marks the end of the summer and the start of the school year, which means you may be thinking your fun summer activities are coming to an end.

But why not keep golf going as one of the top activities on your list?

Whether you are just playing for fun, hitting the course with your family, or looking to improve your game, golf is something that can be enjoyable for everyone!

With tournaments, leagues, clinics, and demo days, there are many opportunities to fit golf into your busy summer and fall plans.

Planning is always an important part of any activity and as the merchandiser and buyer for Gold Mountain, let me help you get ready for the season.

Essentials for the complete golf bag: a driver, fairway wood, hybrid, irons, wedges, putter, golf balls, tees, and a glove.

If you notice you are missing anything on that list, well you know where to find it…the Gold Mountain Golf Shop!

With the brutal winter we had, you may be looking to brush up on your golf game a little, there are group clinics or private lessons you can start off with to help you feel ready to hit the links.

If you are wanting to really kick it up a notch with your game take a look at our membership opportunities, and the amazing benefits that come along with being a member.

Outside of the basic necessities to fit your golf game, regardless of your skill level, we have some fun items in our Golf Shop to really enhance your experience on the course.

Try out the new soft feel or colored golf balls to help keep your eye on the ball.

Or upgrade to our golf bags that have a cooler pocket to keep your snacks and drinks fresh throughout your round.

And looking the part is always half the battle, so make sure to check out the latest gear all the top players are wearing each week.

We loved seeing everyone on the course all summer long and can’t wait to keep the moment going into the fall.

Suzanne Mehlert
Merchandiser & Buyer, Gold Mountain Golf Club

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A Beautiful Summer for Golf

Fellow Northwest Golfers!

It has been a beautiful summer in Kitsap County and Gold Mountain has flourished along with it.

Both the Cascade and Olympic courses are currently in great playing shape and there has never been a better time to come out and play some golf!

Interested in coming out to play?

Visit www.goldmountaingolf.com and book your tee time online, any day in July, and receive the following discounts on your green fee(s)!

Hole #17, Par 3

Before 8 AM: 30% off
8-11 AM: 5% off
11-1 PM: 25% off
1-3 PM: 35% off

As we roll into the latter half of summer, Gold Mountain will continue to bustle with various events.

We will be having multiple fitting days with the biggest brands in golf such as Srixon, Cleveland, Titleist, TaylorMade, and PING.

Interested in trying some of the newest equipment in preparation for a new purchase?

Make sure to call the Golf Shop at 360.415.5432 for more information on dates and to reserve your spot at the fittings.

Don’t forget our second annual Red, White and Blue Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, November 10, with a 10am shotgun.

Last year’s inaugural event was a big hit and benefits a great cause by supporting our military through the VFW Unmet Needs Program.

If you are interested, please contact Chris Keough at 360.434.8658 or at chriskeough@windermere.com.

That’s it for now, we will see you on the links!

Travis Cary
Assistant Golf Professional

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Exciting New Changes at Gold Mountain

Spring has sprung at Gold Mountain Golf Club, even if the weather is a little late to the game.

We are full steam ahead for our busy months and have full confidence that the rain is behind us and sunny days are to come!

In the anticipation of spring, Gold Mountain has undergone a bit of a face lift.

The clubhouse and Olympic room look incredible and feel brand new having just received a fresh coat of stain!

The improvements aren’t just inside the building, we are currently in the process of updating out Grand Patio!

Our new items are not in quite yet but keep your eyes peeled for beautiful new patio furniture.

Couple with the beautiful blossoming flowers around the property, Gold Mountain is a sight to be seen.

The golf course has also seen a notable change on our Cascade Course!

The par four fifth hole has been transformed into a par five and continues to be the hardest hole on the course.

Visit the new website at www.goldmountaingolf.com

Our maintenance staff has done a fabulous job with the transition and continue to uphold the quality of our golf courses each day.

We have also seen a change in our technology world at Gold Mountain.

We are very excited to introduce our new website, and along with that an entire new point of sale system.

This new system allows our guests to book their tee times online, directly with

the course, and they are guaranteed the lowest rates available!

With this new technology, we now have the capability to check guests in outside of the Golf Shop, so not more waiting in lines trying to get to your tee time.

Once you check-in once the system retains your information and your preferences in our system, this makes your return visits to Gold Mountain easier each time.

The system even extends to our snack shop and beverage carts!

We want to continuously improve your experience at Gold Mountain and everything we do is for the enjoyment and ease of our guests.

Our goal is to make Gold Mountain Golf Club your number one golf destination!

Make a tee time online or call the restaurant at 360.415.6895 to make a reservation today.

Jesse McGee
Sales and Planning Manager

More Than Just a Mower

As the golf season quickly approaches I wanted to take you behind the scenes of what goes into maintaining the entire Gold Mountain golf complex.

The greens are a crucial part to the success of our golf courses, we mow on both courses every day (weather permitting) during the summer at a height of cut (HOC) of .110 inches.

It takes two mowers per course and totals about four hours a day to mow all 36 greens, and immediately after cutting we take one roller out and smooth the greens.

We set up both courses every day, this includes cutting fresh cups (holes), picking up broken tees on each tee box, sanding and seeding divots on the tee boxes, moving tee stones and benches, emptying all trash bins, and moving/fixing the ropes on the course.

One team member is devoted to this task on each course, taking between four and five hours to complete, depending on how much play there was the day before.

Moving on down the hole, we mow our short cuts of grass at a HOC of .450 inches, this includes tees, approaches, and fairways.

These areas of both courses are mowed two days a week and take about six hours per course, with two team members on Olympic and one on Cascade.

The areas we consider our rough take the longest for team members to complete.

The area surrounding the greens take between 16 and 20 hours for two team members to complete between both courses, the area surrounding the tees take up to 16 hours to complete on Cascade and only four to six hours on Olympic, and the rough takes about 10 to 14 hours to complete on Olympic, whereas Cascade can take up to 40 hours to complete depending on traffic throughout the property.

Our rough areas are moved at 2 inches throughout the property, apart from Olympic course tee surrounds, which are mowed at 1.25 inches.

While we are proud of the entire golf complex, we especially take pride in the condition of our sand traps.

of weeds.

The Olympic sand traps are hand raked throughout and weeded three to four times per week.

The Cascade course sand traps are raked once a week using a Sand Pro, followed by hand raked edges, and manually pullingThere are various other tasks that take place throughout the week depending on weather, overall it takes our team up to five hours to complete sand trap care.

Filling divots with a sand and seed mix is one of our ongoing projects on both courses, and as long as we have golfers this will continue to be a big point of concern.

We dedicate a minimum of two and a half hours a day with two team members just to our practice area recovery and our fairways get their divots filled as often as possible, which ends up equaling up to 30 hours per week for our team.

Fertilizing and spraying the property is done on a regular basis throughout the year.

We do one granular fertilizer application on both courses that covers everything, except our greens, and this takes one person up to 35 hours to complete.

We then spray our greens, fairways, and tees with a variety of fertilizers and other products to continue growing healthy grass, this process totals about 20 hours per week for two team members to completely over the entire property.

A key part to our success includes the topdressing, venting, aerating, and verticutting of our greens, fairways, and approaches.

Topdressing our greens is done every four weeks, this improves overall playability and takes four people about five hours to complete.

Venting, aerating, and verticutting is implemented within each four-week window and takes one to two employees up to six hours a week to complete.

There are a few final miscellaneous jobs that we try to squeeze into an already tight working window.

Hand watering is a crucial part in maximizing course conditions, we dedicate 20 to 26 hours a week to hand watering localized dry spots across the property.

Irrigation issues are also an ongoing struggle and are difficult to anticipate, between the Cascade and Olympic course roughly 15 to 20 man hours are dedicated to prevention and repair of the irrigation systems each week.

Lastly, cleanup on the course is always a top priority, anything including trash, debris, tree limbs, divots, etc. is considered a cleanup item.

We try to accomplish this before our guests arrive so they have the best experience possible, this process takes about seven hours on each course to complete.

None of our course maintenance would be possible without the work of our two mechanics, Andrew Goodell and Jim Gregoire.

We have well over 60 pieces of equipment here at Gold Mountain, and they are responsible for making sure each piece of machinery is running and cutting perfectly.

This includes everything from string trimmers and chainsaws, to mowers and carts, and even our tractors.

They are also responsible for making sure the fleet of 127 golf carts at the Golf Shop is working properly.

And as if that is not enough, they make time to help on the golf course whenever assistance is needed.

It is pretty obvious that it takes a tremendous amount of man hours to maintain at 36-hole facility.

We are able to achieve this with five full-time team members on the Cascade course, six full-time team members on the Olympic course, seven seasonal members, two mechanics, and a superintendent.

There is so much more that goes on outside of what I have listed here, but needless to say it is very impressive what this group of people can do in such a limited amount of time.

We love Gold Mountain Golf Club and we want to make sure our guests love it just as much.

Patrick McKenzie
Gold Mountain Golf Club

Spring Maintenance is Here

Well, spring has officially arrived today and hopefully the spring weather will arrive with it.

With the arrival of spring comes our semi-annual greens aerification, this project is scheduled for the week of April 10 through 14.

My plan is to use 1/4” solid tines this year as they will cause the least surface disruption of the tools in my arsenal.

Normally I would use 3/8coring tines in the spring but with the slow start we are experiencing this year, and the unpredictable weather we have been having, I have opted to go with solid tines.

If the greens are too wet it becomes difficult to completely pull the 3/8″ cores out, and it risks the cores being stuck sticking up out of the greens.

Needless to say this is not preferable for course conditions or the golfers!

After the aerification we will follow up with a light sand topdressing and off we go for the season.

During the summer we will occasionally “vent” the greens with a small solid tine, or our Planet Aire, which is more of a slicer.

We have many different options available to us to perform this task, in the fall I like to use a larger coring tine and backfill with sand.

This allows us to remove organic matter (thatch) that accumulates in growing turf and filling with sand keeps that channel open for good drainage going into winter.

The main reason we aerate greens is to introduce oxygen into the rootzone and release gasses built up in the soil.

Aeration also allows better drainage as the greens will seal up and not allow water to penetrate easily if we don’t perforate the surface regularly.

I know aeration is not popular with our guests but it is the single most important maintenance practice we accomplish each year.

With that being said, this spring our guests will hardly notice we have done anything to the greens thanks to the small solid tines.

Happy Spring!
Ed Faulk
Area Golf Course Superintendent

 

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Grab-N-Go Convenience for Golfers

When it comes to deciding a grab-n-go menu for our golfers we strive to make the hot and cold products readily available at your fingertips.

The placement of the snacks, soda, Gatorade, and water, is easily accessible in the pro shop during registration, or at a nearby entry or exit to the golf course.

Hot items ordered in the restaurant at the turn, such as a huge Chef Jon burger, will take no longer than 8-12 minutes for our golfer’s in-between their nine holes so they do not lose their place on the course.

On course, we provide beverage carts and two full-service concession shops to cater to your needs during a round.

Join us before or after in the restaurant and have a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and enjoy one of our drinks designed with golfers in mind.

We take great pride in being able to customize any menu to fit your specific event requirements whether you have a group of 30 guests or 300.

A big highlight to all events at Gold Mountain is our big screen TV that is always showing local and national sporting events.

When you visit us for golf retreats, weddings or corporate meetings, please take advantage of our outstanding views of the Olympic Mountains and the beautiful Pacific Northwest scenery.

We will be hiring food and beverage employees for our upcoming 2017-2018 season in March.  Join our exciting team today!

Happy Eats,
Chef Jon Forcier

Winter Has Come and Gone, or So We Hope!

Brrr!

The winter struck us early and fiercely this year, luckily it now looks like we are well on our way to spring.

Our Olympic golf course officially had its longest closure since it was built in 1996, totaling a staggering 37 days!

Our Cascade course was open periodically during that time, but was on all temporary greens.

We officially opened play on both courses on Saturday, January 21, 2017, and all regulation greens are now opened.

Since our reopening, we have heard nothing but positive things about the condition of the courses from our guests.

I played this past weekend and my shoes hardly got wet!

So, if you have been itching to get out and play some golf during this arctic winter, Gold Mountain Golf Club is the place to visit!

As I mentioned earlier, we are creeping into spring time and golf season is right around the corner.

You know what that means, it’s time for our first annual golf event, Mountain Madness.

Saturday, March 25 – Sunday, March 26

2 Person Scramble/Best Ball

$290/team: Includes a practice round for each player, competition rounds, prize fund, and lunch on Saturday.

Call the Golf Shop at 360.415.5432 for more details.

You can register online, call the Golf Shop at 360.415.5432, or register in person! The registration deadline is Monday, March 20, 2017, so reserve your team’s spot today!

Finally, if you want to establish a handicap and play in some of our Gold Mountain men’s club events this season, join the Men’s Club today!

It is just $55 (cash or check) for the year and you will receive various benefits, such as:

– Access to all the men’s club events throughout the year
– A GHIN handicap so you can post scores throughout the posting season
– A one-time 15% discount in the golf shop on an item (excludes golf balls, PING, and sale items)
– One free round on either the Olympic or Cascade Course
– Men’s club membership forms can be found in the Golf Shop, call us if you have any questions
– We hope to see you out here playing golf soon. Here’s to warmer weather and lower scores!

Thanks,
Travis Cary, PGA
Assistant Golf Professional
Gold Mountain Golf Club