Home to 2 championship 18 hole courses and a 9 hole par 3 course, Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club relies heavily on cultural practices to keep the turf healthy and ready for play. The term “cultural practices” refers to manual and mechanical processes that reduce the need for chemical inputs and they are based on scientific knowledge, experience and expertise.
First off, course operators expanded buffer zones to provide homes for wildlife (frogs, ducks, deer, birds), to buffer streams, and to reduce the need for maintenance. Trees that over-shade turf are selectively removed to provide grass access to coveted morning sunlight and provide the full 8 hours needed for strong growth. Other cultural practices include aeration, topdressing with sand, reducing cutting to 2X a week (to reduce stress on the grass), soil testing to advise fertilizer program, and equipment calibration. These practices all support an Integrated Pest Management approach as they help to reduce the need for chemical inputs.
At Hawk Ridge Golf Club, water for irrigation comes from the retention pond, and from the stream running through the property when flow conditions permit. Of course, all water use is carefully tracked with the goal of using as little as possible. Digital moisture metres are used to assess where water is needed, and watering can be precisely directed. For example, small areas are often hand watered. The irrigation system is computer controlled, which allows for precise application of water. Auditing the irrigation system is also an essential step as it ensures leaks, broken or displaced heads or faulty O rings can be fixed.
As members of the golf community, Hawk Ridge course operators network with colleagues for information and problem solving. Valued sources of information include social media, research centres, golf association events, and continuing education events under the IPM program.
Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club also hosts weddings and events.