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Turf talk: Winter Survival

During the winter months ultradwarf bermuda grass greens still require a fair amount of time and money to maintain. Although the cultural practices of verticutting and topdressing are generally not performed, other factors rise to the surface as top priorities. One of the main focuses on greens during the winter is moisture management. Proper percentages of soil moisture are crucial in order to protect the greens for winter damage such as defecation and cold weather injury. Moisture levels are closely monitored through the use of a moisture meter, and are generally adjusted by hand with a hose. Also greens do receive small amounts of fertilizer and growth regulators as long as they remain in a semi dormant phase. These amounts are far lower than what is generally seen during the growing season. This helps to ensure storage of carbohydrates, which is what the plant uses to green up, or recover from winter injury in the spring. Lastly fungicides are applied if environmental conditions are suitable for disease, or disease is observed, but generally this is rare in the colder months in the transition zone.

Turf Talk is brought to you by Oaks Course Superintendent, John Fields. Stay tuned for more about the turf of our course and additional information as we roll out this new blog series!

Coach's Corner: Know Thy Distance

January 2018

In playing lessons, I like to just observe for a few holes how my student goes about playing the game. Many them, on par threes, look at the score card, pull a club and hit away. Rarely do they have the correct distance. I then ask them how far the hole was from them and they tell me the distance that was on the score card. Oh, if was that easy!

If you do not know how far your target is away from you, how will you ever be able to score your best?

The distance on the card is measured from a spot on the tee box that is usually marked and fixed into the ground. Not the tee markers mind you, but a plaque that doesn’t move, and that distance is measured to the center of the green.

Let’s say, for an example, that the tee markers are 10 yards back from the plaque, then the hole is in the back of the green and the card says the hole is 150 yards.

You need to add 10 yards to the 150 and add another 10 to the hole. That shot is now 170 yards, not 150. A difference of 20 yards might mean an addition of two clubs. Instead of that 7 iron, it might be a 5.

To score your best, know your distance. Take a minute longer and get a better idea of how far you are. There are a lot of range finders that can make this process a lot faster, but it doesn’t take too long to pace the shot off.

I hope we can work together and make 2018 your best playing year ever. Here is to a happy, healthy and low score shooting New Year!

Coaches Corner Brad



The Coaches Corner is brought to you by our Oaks Course Golf Pro, Brad Patton. Brad is the Lead Staff Instructor and PGA Assistant Golf Professional. He has real a passion for golf and instruction, and has been part of the Oaks Course team for several years.

Christmas Tournament December 16, 2017

Newton County Boys & Girls Club to Benefit

Christmas Tournament Image 2017

The Oaks Golf Course will tee off for a cause Dec. 16 with its annual Christmas Tournament! The golf course will be transformed into a Christmas themed obstacle course filled with goofy golf holes.

This year the Newton County Boys & Girls Club will be the charity recipient.
For Nancy Schulz, Oaks Golf Course owner, partnering with the NCBGC made perfect sense for the holiday season.

“Every year we select a charity. This year it seemed fitting to select the Newton County Boys & Girls Club, Schulz said. “We are in desperate need of a local club and, as you know, it takes funding. We have been raising funds to open a program and build a facility in the western part of the county.”

Newton County Boys & Girls Club’s mission is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. NCBGC is set to open a storefront location in the summer of 2018 serving teens.

Afraid your expert level may not be up to par? All experience levels are welcome to The Oaks Golf Course. This tournament is all about celebrating the season and coming together for a wonderful community cause! The format will be a 4-player scramble. The tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 9:30 AM. Save $10 with Early bird registration of $60/player.

Sponsorship levels are available to further the mission of NCBGC:
Gold Sponsor - $100
Silver Sponsor - $50
Bronze Sponsor - $25

To register click here, or call the pro shop at 770-786-3801.

Karen's Korner: Christmas Decorations at The Oaks Course

Greenery Platter

It is Christmas season at the Oaks Course! We host several holiday parties in the Champions Room during the holiday season and it’s always a challenge to decorate every year--keeping it fresh while adhering to a budget. We start planning a month ahead of time looking at Pinterest and other decorating sites to get some ideas, which is a good thing, but soon we find ourselves wandering off into decorating fantasy mode and “Boom” there goes the budget. Luckily, we refurbish and recycle just about anything creating new decorations for the clubhouse.

The Golf and Science Summer campers plant a garden with herbs, cucumbers and tomatoes every year at the Oaks Course. We recycled and refurbished one of the garden trellises as a greenery base for platters on our buffet. The trellis base will hold three different platters or one long one. Food always tastes better when it is too beautiful to eat. Using the leaves from an artificial tree and hot glued to the trellis, the project cost a whopping $7.00. Not too bad for a lovely addition to our buffet table.

Turf Talk: Overseeding

As I’m sure many of you have noticed the driving range tees along with the front entrance have new vibrant green color to them. The decision was made this year to overseed these areas with turf type perennial ryegrass. This is a common strategy among golf courses to provide golfers with not only an aesthetically pleasing view, but a better surface to play and practice from in the winter months when bermudagrass is dormant.Green

The process of overseeding, at least in our case is fairly simple giving that we are only overseeding 30,000 square ft. It starts with mowing the areas at a height of “.450, followed by a detailed blowing. The shorter height ensures better seed to soil contact which is vital for seed germination and establishment. Next the seed was applied at a rate of 16lbs/1000 square feet with a drop spreader in two directions to ensure and even stand. A “coco” mat is then used to softly drag the seed into the canopy and ensure again that there is good seed to soil contact. Small amounts of water are then applied 3-4 times per day until germination. Once seed has germinated a starter fertilizer is applied and water is cut in half. Generally, depending on weather, the seed germinates in 5-7 days and is ready for use in 14-20 days from the seed date.


Hopefully everyone enjoys the ryegrass this winter, as it will provide a good surface for practice. We will evaluate in the spring/early summer whether or not this was a cost effective process being that there are added labor hours and inputs, as well as the potential harm that overseeding can have on bermudagrass. However, I do not anticipate much noticeable damage since our seed rate is in the moderate range; most damage is seen with higher rates. Thank you for your patience during the establishment process. 



Turf Talk John 2


Turf Talk is brought to you by Oaks Course Superintendent, John Fields. Stay tuned formore about the turf of our course and additional information as we roll out this new blog series!

11240 Brown Bridge Road
Covington, GA 30014
(770) 786-3801