Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Welcome to the New Year!

As we enter a New Year, we are excited to see what 2024 has to bring! The Golf Course remains in great condition, however, we have battled some challenging weather conditions over the past month. This winter's forecast has been spot on thus far, as we have been experiencing El Nino at its finest. El Nino conditions call for a wetter-than-normal winter, due to an enhanced southern jet stream. For comparison, the past three winters have brought "La Nina" conditions, leading to the drought we have recently experienced.

Winter Forecast as provided by NOAA earlier this year.

So what does this mean for the golf course? Well, turfgrass needs at least 8 hours of full sunlight per day to perform at its best. While rainfall is beneficial, consecutive cloudy days are not. Especially when these conditions bring low temperatures. There was a two week period in mid-to-late December that brought virtually no consistent sunlight. This is on top of the fact that December is the shortest month of the year in terms of sunlight. As a result of this, turfgrass growth is significantly reduced, disease pressure is increased and overall turf health and appearance is negatively impacted. 

Cool, cloudy, wet weather was observed through most of December.

To combat these less-than-desirable growing conditions, we slightly modify our maintenance practices. Our mowing and rolling frequency are both reduced in order to avoid over-stressing the turf. Additional preventative fungicides are applied to minimize the development of disease. Plant growth regulators are reduced, additional fertilizer and biostimulants are applied, and sometimes heights of cut are increased. Simply put, we shift focus to prioritizing plant health over performance. 

Mowing #18 green in late December. The reduction in turf growth observed through recent weather patterns have enabled us to reduce the frequency in which we mow our playing surfaces. Greens are often rolled in lieu of mowing to provide similar conditions without overstressing the turf.

Fertilizer is applied in early December to the putting greens. While most nutrients are applied to our putting surfaces via foliar sprays, we oftentimes supplement vital macro and micronutrients through granular fertilizer applications in the winter months.

One of the very few sunny days observed in late 2023. Looking back from #4 green.

While the weather has certainly reduced our maintenance intensity in terms of traditional mowing and trimming, we have been extremely busy working on the landscape and irrigation installation around our pool cafe renovations. Beginning in mid-December, we installed new irrigation and landscaping along the lake bank from #13 black tee all the way to the cart barn staging area, on both sides of the new boardwalk. The new landscaping will greatly enhance the view looking out from our new pool bar. In the near future, we will also be installing new irrigation, landscaping, and lighting in the remaining surrounding areas of pool and the island beds located in the pavers. 

New irrigation was installed on the entire lake bank.

While some of the existing Shady Lady Olive trees were untouched during the project, a majority of the lake bank was replanted with palm trees, Shady Lady Olive trees, schefflera, jasmine, and carissa. 

5 Foxtail Palms were planted outside of the fitness center, near the new pool bar.

Sabal palms, Pygmy Date palms, schefflera, jasmine and carissa were planted from the cart staging area towards the boardwalk.

The view looking towards the new pool bar and boardwalk as you exit the cart staging area.

View looking from the cart staging area towards #18 Green.

Below are a few "festive" photos highlighting the end of 2023!

The front entrance lit up during holiday season.

Lastly, I will leave you with this gem of a photo from our 2023 Employee Christmas Caroling. Special thanks to GCM employee Lena Tovar, for sporting the festive costume!

As always, please feel free to send any questions, comments or concerns to

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