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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!

The History of the Oaks Golf Course


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On August 24th, 1990, The Oaks Course opened its doors to a new nine holes of golf. Since the 1930s the land that lies along the Yellow River has been a golf course. First, as an amenity of the Porterdale Mills, then under various names such as Silo Cay and Fox Run. But through the 1980s the land and course lay dormant until a group from Atlanta, The Oaks Associates, purchased the land in 1989. They hired a young “up and comer” in the golf industry, Dick Schulz, to design and restore the facility. Schulz was sensitive to the storied history of the course. Local historians claimed that the famous amateur golfer Bobby Jones, a close friend of Jack Porter and Charlie Elliott, whom are Newton County legends was pegged to lay out the original nine holes for the mill employees.

Newton County, known for an idyllic quality of life in 1990, had a population of roughly 41,000 people. Bringing golf back to the community was an opportunity of a lifetime for Schulz. The first shovel of dirt was turned on November 1, 1989. The project was proceeding as planned until January 1, 1990 when it began to rain. By February 1stwhen the animals began showing up two by two and no end to the rain was in sight, Schulz began to wonder if the dream would ever become a reality. But by August, all was well and the front nine was opened.

Those who played during the 1990’s will remember that the current back nine was actually the front nine. Just to keep it interesting, the nines have been reversed and then hole number 8 became hole number 1.

The original clubhouse did not include Putters Restaurant or the Champions Room—they were added in 1998. The “snack bar” was in a corner of the building and the Oaks Room located along the south side of the building. Customers wanted more than just a hot dog and a coke—hence the addition of a kitchen, bar, banquet room, locker room and second floor. The expansion occurred in stages. The first phase a large deck followed by enclosure of the deck 6 months later.

If the trees and land could talk, they could share stories that would amaze all of us. If you have a story to tell about your experience at The Oaks Course, please share it with us. We hope you enjoyed your trip down memory lane of the Oaks Golf Course.

Coaches Corner: Getting the Ball in the Air



I often ask my students what gets the ball to go in the air? A good majority get it right. It’s not complex with a ton of scientific equations, it’s quite simple…loft. Every club has it to a varying degree (pun intended). Putters have 2-3 degrees of loft and wedges go all the way to 64*.

This is great news to all golfers of all ability levels…IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO GET THE BALL TO GO IN THE AIR. It’s the job of the club companies who build the clubs. They manufacture the clubs with loft so the club comes out of the box and works. Your job is to simply put the club face on the back of the ball. The loft will do the rest.

I see people all the time try and getting the ball to go in the air by flipping their hands at the ball. This will lead to skulled shots that do not get in the air or hitting the ground behind the ball. You CANNOT be consistent by trying to help the ball in the air.

Practice by taking a swing and just brush the ground 3-5 times with no ball. Then hit a ball still trying to just brush the ground. If your club comes into the ball fairly level, the loft will get the ball to go into the air and the contact will be much more solid.  


Coaches Corner: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.

Changing of the Seasons

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                It’s that time of year again; the weather is starting to turn cooler. I look forward to the changing of seasons each year because it always feels like a new beginning.  Anything is possible and each season brings tradition. We are almost to the celebration of the harvest and we at the Oaks Course are bringing our own traditions to the season.  We are doing hayrides, hot chocolate, putt-putt and more.

                  The fall season is full of opportunities to get together and celebrate our blessings. It’s a time to celebrate food and family recipes that have been passed down from one generation to another. It’s a time to remember the people who have gone before you and the impact they had in our lives and are still with us in spirit. We each have a memory that is forever etched in our hearts and minds.

                  Come to the Oaks Course Friday, October 27th and be a part of our traditions and blessings. We can paint your face, pumpkin and then play pumpkin bowling. Take a hayride on the course with a cup of hot chocolate, close your eyes and remember all the people that have walked these grounds since 1933. I don’t know, but I bet if you listen really closely you will hear whispers in the wind of loved ones and you just might hear whispers of some new ones.



Karens Corner Karen



     Karen Presley is the Hospitality Manager at the Oaks Golf Course, and has been a part of our team for many years. Karen and her culinary team work daily to help clients plan their parties in addition to preparing the delicious meals and refreshing beverage specials that we offer at Putters Restaurant

Turf Talk: Compacted Tees

Currently a good percentage of the tees on the golf course are quite firm, leading to difficulty
getting a tee in the ground. This issue has been especially noticeable during periods of drought
with temporary relief following periods of rain. However, this does not mean that the underlying issue with tee firmness is due to moisture; instead it is by product of compaction.

Compaction can cause many issues including poor oxygen levels in the soil, nutrient runoff,and water runoff, which all in turn lead to a very poor and excessively firm growing environment.This compaction essentially “seals off” the soil not allowing much water to penetrate. This is why decreases in firmness are typically only seen after large amounts of rainfall. Small amounts of rain or irrigation cannot penetrate well enough to make much of difference.


The Oaks Course photo

The solution is simple: aerification.

However, this is not the time of year to perform aerification. The plan going forward is to keep the tees as moist as possible, which without rain to aid will be difficult (heads would have to run for hours to match heavy rainfall) until the start of the 2018 growing season. When growing conditions are favorable we will be able to aerify the tees at least once, but hopefully twice in order to relieve this compaction. Also the plan is to use a cheap organic fertilizer 1 to 2 times per season, which provides a much slower release but at the same time adds organic matter to the soil which aids in water retention. Lastly a wetting agent will be used to help keep the surface from “sealing off” and be available for water uptake.


Turf Talk John



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!

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