Big Meadow’s 13th green on track

Big Meadow’s 13th green is on the mend. Fear not, though. The putting surface should be rolling in perfect condition well before summer.

For those who have taken advantage of Big Meadow’s early opening, it comes as no surprise that the green for the uphill, 185-yard par 3 has been out of action so far. Instead, players have been forced to play to a temporary green.

Black Butte Ranch’s maintenance staff performed a soil profile test earlier this month to figure out the best course of action to improve the drainage of the putting surface. That test yielded relatively positive news.

“We did make some slight soil amendments to help it drain a little bit better, but the test showed that it was well within the normal parameters of USGA green specs,” says Phil Lagao, Black Butte Ranch’s superintendent.

In other words, there is no need to replace the turf on the 13th green.

“Soil can break down over time so you have to test it periodically,” Lagao says. ‘There was no sense in moving forward with the seeding process if we were seeding into bad soil conditions. Now that has been proven and tested for, we can move forward with the seeding process.”

Lagao and his staff began a program of overseeding. The first round of aerification and seeding was performed two weeks ago. The second round came last week. After another warm stretch, Lagao and his staff are now in the process of installing a tent over the green. The idea for the tent is to keep the turf relatively warm to help speed the germination process.

Big Meadow will close on April 3 — the same day Glaze Meadow opens for the season — as the maintenance staff works on the 13th green and an extensive bunker project. But Lagao expects the 13th green to be ready by mid-May with the putting surface up to full speed by Memorial Day Weekend.

“That’s the ultimate goal is by that Memorial Day week to be back to 100 percent cover and rolling well,” Lagao says.

All Lagao needs now is a little cooperation from Mother Nature. So far, so good.

“I can’t ask for anything better weatherwise, especially for this project,” Lagao says.

Through March the public can play all 18 holes at Big Meadow for $35. Nine holes can be played for $20. To book a tee time call 855-210-5305 or the Golf Shop at 541-595-1545.


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