The Black Butte Ranch maintenance staff aerifies Big Meadow Tuesday, Oct. 13, under ideal weather conditions.

The scene at Black Butte Ranch last week was almost surreal.

Closed because of aerification, hardly a car was in the Big Meadow parking lot. But the sun was shining bright through the cloudless blue sky. The temperature was so warm, stretching to nearly 80 degrees, that the members maintenance staff were mostly in shorts as they aerified the golf course.

Glaze Meadow, which closed for the season on Sunday, and its emerald-green turf was teeming with short-sleeved golfers as if it was any summer day.

This hardly looked had the look of an afternoon in mid-October.

“This is probably one of the best weather windows that we’ve done aerification in quite a while,” said Phil Lagao, superintendent at Black Butte Ranch. “It is so much nicer to get this kind of weather. We would never get this kind of weather in spring. That is why I like aerifying in October so much better.

“We are in kind of the ideal conditions right now.”

With Big Meadow reopening on Monday, Oct. 19, last week was good news for golfers. For one, the aerification process is far less invasive when the golf course turf is firm and dry. And if the weather holds, the turf heals much quicker than if the weather is colder and wetter, Lagao said.

The forecast seems to be cooperating, too, with mostly sunshine and highs in the 60s in the near future.

That should have Big Meadow quite playable once it reopens on Monday as Black Butte Ranch squeezes in at least a few more weeks of golf before closing for winter.

Better yet, with rates down to just $35 (nearly half off our peak season rates) the conditions come at an affordable price.

“We might be playing on Thanksgiving,” joked Jeff Fought, Black Butte Ranch’s director of golf.

The weather should make fall clean up should be relatively swift, too.

Each year the staff hustles to clean all the natural debris, such as pine needles, off the golf course. It is a necessary step to prepare the turf for chemical applications such as fungicide that will help the courses get through the winter unharmed.

“It is a lot easier,” Lagao said. “The pine needles and leaves are picked up a lot easier and blow better when it is drier. If it’s wet and nasty it takes longer, there is potential for damage to the course with machinery.

“When things are drier, everything goes a lot smoother. We can drive where we want and not worry about spinning tires and making a bigger mess than we are trying to clean up.”

It all adds up to a nearly perfect autumn.

Don’t miss the a chance to squeeze in a few more rounds before the end of the golf season. Book a tee time online, or call 855-210-5305 or the Golf Shop at 541-595-1545.