March 9, 2021
Hello Balfour Golfers,
Even though there is still snow on the ground, spring is in the air. We are currently under the assumption that we will be able to open the golf course this spring following similar protocols to last fall as dictated by Provincial Health Authorities. At the time of writing this course update, there is less than a normal snow pack on the course. Hopefully “Mother Nature” co-operates and we can have an early opening.
There is still too much snow to predict course conditions, but based on the type of weather we experienced this winter I am optimistic that we should come out in good shape. Once more of the course clears of snow I will send out another conditions update.
This winter saw more windstorms here in Balfour. I estimate we lost another 150 trees. By the time we open most of these will be cleaned up. Not many of the trees we lost will affect play, except for losing our tall fir target tree behind #18 green and a couple trees on the dogleg of #2 right of the fairway trap.
We are planning over the next few seasons to construct some new forward (gold) tees. This is under the recommendation of Golf Canada to meet recommended forward tee yardages and generally make the game more fun for all golfers playing from the forward tees. When choosing locations for the new forward tees we will also be trying to set them so there is a better angle to the landing area than some of our current tees offer. As you will notice, I keep calling them “forward tees”. We no longer want to refer to them as the ladies tees, as they are there and eventually will be rated for anyone who wants to play the course a little shorter. More pars and birdies means more fun, and high fives when we’re allowed to do so.
Also, we anticipate putting the benches back out on the course this year. My mistake, but when we brought them in last season I forgot to mark down which memorial benches were on which holes. If you donated one of the memorial benches and want it back at a particular tee box please let me know. We also plan on opening the shoe clean and divot mix fill stations. We will be supplying a sanitizer station to help keep everyone safe. We do not plan on having bunker rakes or ball washers on course when we open, but we do plan on having a bunker rake on each power cart that goes out, and we ask that all of you that are on carts do your part to help us rake bunkers. As was the case last year there will be a local rule in place allowing preferred lies in bunkers if your ball comes to rest in a foot print.
There are plans to beautify the driving range tee area, as well as build some target greens to make practicing a little more realistic. We will be continuing to add drainage and irrigation, level cart paths, improve bunker conditions, raise the bush canopy and clean the bush as time and money permits.
Once again I would like to thank Ron Lang for generously allowing the grounds crew to use his snow blowers and excavator as needed. Ron’s generosity has been vital in allowing us to provide and continue to improve playing conditions.
Thanks for your continued patronage of the Balfour Golf Course. And please, if you have any questions or concerns regarding grounds maintenance feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to answer.
Larry Olson, Superintendent
Balfour Golf Club