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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What factors influence the seasonal opening and closing of the range tee?

The NCC driving range is a busy place.  It receives more activity than any private club driving range that I have ever seen.  Thousands of ball are hit each day.   In order for the surface to be ready for spring play, it is necessary to give it the attention it needs in the fall while the growing conditions are still favorable for recovery. 
It wasn't long ago that the driving range tee was in poor condition on a year round basis (see photo below.)Despite enlarging the range grass tee by 2.5 times in size, we still rotate through the range tee 3 or 4 times a year.  Many clubs do not even go through their full range tee once or even twice in a year.   Unlimited ball access, active lesson schedules and just plain ole practice impact the range turf at NCC.

If we want quality hitting conditions as witnessed below in the spring when the course opens then there are early fall measures that must be taken to prepare the grass tee and the short game hitting area.

The photos below are examples of the extensive divots and wear on the range tee and short game approach turf.  These areas must be seeded and topdressed and leveled while the weather is still warm enough to germinate the seed and have it fill-in before the frosts of the fall and ice of the winter impacts it.
Without closing the range tee in October for re-seeding then this is how some of the areas would look when we open the course in the spring.  Grass does not grow in the winter months under the snow.

Divots in the short game area must be re-seeded and allowed to germinate while the weather permits.

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