Tuesday, June 17, 2014
This picture shows a couple of things I wanted to point out about the rough and its progression. You can see our normal 1st cut of rough that we mow around the perimeter of the fairways at 3 inches, and then you see another cut at about 6". Outside of that is unmown (you see the yellow bluegrass seedheads). We have started to do this because of the thickness of the rough right outside of the 1st cut. Try as we might to keep irrigation out of the rough we do get some overspray which leads to the problem mentioned above. We hope this "graduated" rough is more fair and helps you find your errant shots a little easier.
I mentioned in a previous post about how last year's drought really altered the composition of the rough. The unwanted bluegrass unfortunately survived irrigation overspray occurs, but it died or was severely thinned in many unirrigated areas (which is tremendous). In those places lots of new plants and grasses are thriving due to the reduced competition from the bluegrass. You can see that on the right side of the above picture is nearly a uniform stand of bluegrass seedheaded out (irrigation overspray from a tee). To the left is a mixture of native grasses and some weeds with very little bluegrass.
This second picture shows a line in the middle of the frame where we burned previously on the right and never burned to the left. The prairie on the left is nearly a monostand of bluegrass and smooth brome but the right shows more diversity in plant species and has a more open canopy. So while you just know the rough to be a hazard in your golf game, we are continually trying to manage it for playability by opening up the canopy and decreasing the thick unforgiving bluegrass. This also leads to more species diversity and a better prairie ecology. To see that firsthand look to your left as you drive from 6 green up the hill to 7 tee. There you will see some great needle and thread grasses with long wavy seedhead awns and some pretty orchid-like purple flowers called fringed coreopsis that are signs of a healthy Nebraska sandhills prairie.