The NMU Golf Course continues to offer our members and guests improvements throughout the golf course. We have been working nonstop to improve playability of the golf course and to enhance your golfing experience. Our main focus has been on creating thick turf grass cover in areas previously inhabited mostly with sand and non-irrigated turf clumps. We have added extra irrigation lines in the rough areas adjacent to our fairways. Over the last three seasons we have grown in and thickened the turf on holes 6, 7, 8, 11 and 18. This past fall we have improved the turf on both sides of our starting first hole that has already thickened up very nicely. We also redesigned the fairway bunker on the right side of the first hole to further improve aesthetics and playability. Scheduled for 2013, we plan on continuing this grow-in project on the 4th hole and parts of the 15th hole.
Other golf course improvements we have accomplished include new forward tee boxes on holes 6, 7 and 16. Look for more in 2013. We also buried and grassed over redundant bunker placements on the 11th and 18th holes. In 2012, we had students at the Jacobetti Center design and build all brand new tee signs with correct yardages laser measured by the Golf Association of Michigan in 2011.
Over the past three years we have strived to improve the condition and consistency of our greens. We instituted a more aggressive coring schedule to reduce thatch. We also implemented verti-cutting, brushing and rolling procedures, all to help improve putting smoothness and green speeds. Finally, we put our greens on dedicated fertilization, mowing, irrigating and disease control programs. We have more work and training to do in this area, but all of these procedures are beginning to pay off with better and more consistent day to day green conditions.
One area that is need of improvement is our practice driving range. We have taken actions over the last few seasons to recuperate the driving range teeing area, but out on the driving range itself, hilly sandy terrain, makes it difficult to judge distance and roll. Our plan for the fall of 2013 is to reshape the driving range to remove the hilly terrain throughout the middle third portion of the range. We will then run a double row irrigation line, smooth out the surface and turf over this area to create a fairway type experience with a target green area about 175-200 yards out. We also will improve the remainder of the target areas with more accurate yardage markers. On the course, another 2013 goal is the installation of yardage markers in the fairway at the 150 yard mark from the center of the greens. We also plan to look at one of our most problematic cart paths and work to make necessary improvements.
It is clear that the NMU golf Course has been on a steady path of improvement over the last several years. We are dedicated to enhancing the golfing experience of all of our members and guests. To this end, we will continue on this path of golf course progress. Come on out this season and see for yourself!
Golf Course manager