First, I would like to welcome back our members and extend a warm welcome to our new members. Those of you just joining the Country Club of Waterbury will quickly realize that this Donald Ross designed golf course is a gem among New England golf courses. Each and every year we focus on creating a better environment to provide championship conditions. This includes a tree removal program and implementing cultural practices that promote healthy turf on the fairways, tees, approaches, and especially the greens.
As we have done in the past, we used our deep tine aerator to punch holes in the greens 10 inches deep by 1 inch in diameter. This void in the soil allows roots to dive deep which equates to healthier turf. We aerated all greens, tees, and approaches in mid-April. While the holes were open, we applied soil amendments that help balance the nutrients in the soil profile that the plants can use. We then fill the holes with sand. The sand is modifying the soil profile to help with drainage and to provide a growing medium for the turfgrass. Roots move much better through sand than they do in heavy clay. The sand will smooth out the approaches and tees and provide a firmer surface.
The tree work this year was limited to dead trees and a few that had been marked for removal on the Master Plan. We spent some time working on the Belgium block curbing as you exit #8 tee. We will continue to finish the detail work which is mainly hydroseeding the topsoil areas and some asphalt repairs.
As for the Master Plan, the 1st hole will probably be complete or very close to it by the time you are reading this. We were able to complete most of the green complex work last fall, except for the bunker liner and sand. We are looking forward to the new first tee area and its proximity to the patio. Many of the golf courses from the “Classic” era (pre-1960) have the first tee located within steps of the clubhouse. A few that come to mind are Cypress Point, Merion, and Shinnecock.
Also, as part of the Master Plan, we are trying to take this golf course back to the way it was constructed in 1927. That being said, not all of the changes being made involve mini-excavators and sod. As a recommendation from our consulting architect and Donald Ross expert, we have decided to change the flagsticks and flags to represent a more classic look. The large flagsticks were the only flag sticks they made in the early days but since then, there have been some upgrades to the materials used (fiberglass vs wood). We also felt that it was important to move to one color flag which is also representative of early golf courses.
Finally, we would like to thank the Kenney family for donating the proceeds to construct a bridge on the 5th hole in memory of long time member and Past President Robert T. Kenney. The bridge has turned out beautiful and will have a lasting impression at The Country Club of Waterbury.
I look forward to seeing you all out on the golf course. Hit ‘em Straight