A golfer might not notice it at first glance of either Big Meadow or Glaze Meadow. But through a round, one can’t help but pay attention to the subtle details that make Black Butte Ranch’s two championship golf courses so eye-catching this time of year.
With a full maintenance staff and much of the spring cleanup long behind, Black Butte Ranch finally has the freedom to spend painstaking attention to the presentation of the golf courses. And now it shows as the peak of the golf season hits full swing.
“Instead of trying to do the basics, we are able to go out and really do the detail work,” says Phil Lagao, Black Butte Ranch’s superintendent.
Black Butte Ranch’s maintenance staff no longer has to fight to keep up with fast-growing spring turf. And the staff is larger, buoyed by seasonal reinforcements, who happen to be fully trained by the time the calendar flips to July.
That allows the staff to fine-tune.
The tell-tale sign can be seen on any fairway at Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow right now. Gone are the solid green fairways of spring. Here to stay are the striped fairways of the peak golf season:
“Now it’s about the presentation,” Lagao says of his crew’s focus. “We stripe it out and make it look good.”
In addition, the crew has started work to clear out the vegetation that naturally creeps in the rocky brook that runs through the fifth fairway at Glaze Meadow. The project is something that the crew performs twice annually.
“We want to keep those rocks in those streams open so the creeks don’t get overgrown like they were in the past,” Lagao says.
Do not expect the conditions of the golf course to deteriorate with the summer heat, either. Central Oregon is set to get some temperature relief this week. But those worried about the effect of recent high temperatures should find comfort in the fact that both Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow are in good hands.
Each day the crew checks Black Butte Ranch’s weather stations, one on Glaze Meadow’s fourth hole and and a newly installed station on Big Meadow’s driving range, to help monitor just how much water is needed.
The stations tell Lagao and his staff what the evapotranspiration rate in the turf is, and they will adjust the irrigations systems as needed based on that information.
Also, because the build up to high temperatures reaching into the high 90s was gradual rather than a sudden, jolting heat wave, the turf has had a chance to acclimate to the hotter weather, Lagao says.
Those factors have helped to produce desirable results.
“The courses are holding up well,” Lagao says. “We have obviously been prepared for the heat.”
The heat has taken some casualties, however. Specifically, two pine trees on either side of Big Meadow’s first fairway. Those trees were removed last week.
“They turned pretty quick,” Lagao says. “A month ago they looked pretty healthy. This heat over the last week really did them in.”
All of it has Lagao in a good mood this July. After all, these are some of the best peak conditions most anyone around Black Butte Ranch can remember.
And golfers have taken notice, too.
“We’re getting great feedback,” Lagao says. “Everybody seems real happy with it. I’m happy with it, too.
“We have a nice routine down and have enough crew. Our irrigation has been holding up nicely. No real big issues.”
Book a tee time online, call 855-210-5305 or the Golf Shop at 541-595-1500.