Those warm, sunny Central Oregon days are back, with temperatures this weekend set to reach into the 80s. Yes, summer weather appears to finally be here at Black Butte Ranch.
For golfers, there can be no sweeter time than summer. The sun stays suspended in the blue sky to produce days that go on forever, warming us all while casting shadows from the towering ponderosa pines across the lush green turf.
During summer, not much can stop a motivated golfer.
Black Butte Ranch is ready for the long days ahead. And Glaze Meadow and Big Meadow begin the peak of the golf season with conditions unmatched in recent years.
“This is probably the best start I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” says Phil Lagao, Black Butte Ranch’s superintendent. “Hopefully the summer will be nice and warm … but not too warm.”
Like the weather, Lagao and his staff are beginning to make the transition to summer, which brings with it a whole new set of priorities.
The spring was a busy one for Black Butte Ranch’s maintenance crew, to be sure, with projects that included the resurfacing of Big Meadow’s 13th green and the revitalization of Big Meadow’s bunkers.
“I feel real good about those,” Lagao says of Big Meadow’s bunkers. “We’re getting comments on those that they’re not too fluffy. … I haven’t heard of any fried-egg lies, so everything should be playing really, really well.”
All the cleanup, repair work, seeding, sodding and scrambling to keep up with the rapid early season turf growth is now behind the crew. However, during the summer the focus turns to keeping the golf courses in optimal condition.
“We go from a cleanup and get-everything-ready phase to more of a routine mowing and detail phase,” Lagao says. “We can mow the rough more frequently, which helps. And we are transitioning to our detail work and our summer projects. All the little things get done.”
Lagao and his staff have plenty to work with. Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow are off to the best start in years in terms of conditions.
It turns out that spring 2015 was just about ideal to produce a healthy golf course.
A relatively mild winter got the turf off to a good start. Early spring remained mild, giving Black Butte Ranch’s maintenance staff ample opportunity to work on the golf course.
Then a relatively wet spell in May brought much-needed moisture to Black Butte Ranch. Rain, of course, helps just about everything on a course, even allowing the staff to turn off the irrigation for a few days to allow the crew to make repairs on the system.
But just as important, nature did not bring enough rain to Black Butte Ranch to do any damage, Lagao says.
“We missed some of those big thunderstorms,” Lagao says. “But we got enough to even everything out. Natural rain beats irrigation every time. We got JUST the right amount.”
So don’t be surprised if you catch Lagao smiling during the next few weeks. After all, the very best days of the year are all ahead of us, but also fast approaching.
“The courses are in great shape,” Lagao concludes. “I am really happy with everything. We’re caught up on our mowing and we’re down to our summer heights. Yeah, things are real good.”
Book a tee time online, call 855-210-5305 or the Golf Shop at 541-595-1500.