Spring is always a prime time for projects for Black Butte Ranch’s maintenance staff. Even though the early part of the golf season has been cause for only a light tough by the staff, this spring is no exception.

Up first is repair of a section of Big Meadow’s practice green by seeding the surface. Superintendent Phil Lagao and his staff have begun the work to resurface the damaged section of green, which had to be dug up to repair a sewer line buried deep under the putting surface.

“The seeds are already starting to pop,” Lagao said. “It is already a big difference from just a week ago.”

Black Butte Ranch’s staff has really used its imagination to repair the green, too.

The new turf is grown from seeds from the spring aerification plugs extracted from the healthy section of practice putting green as well as the nursery area that Black Butte Ranch uses to grow turf for midseason repairs.

The approach is a novel one, especially compared with simply resodding the area, but there is a very good reason for taking the steps. Because of Big Meadow’s maturity (the course was built in the early 1970s), its greens are a mixture of poa and bentgrass. Sodding with pure bentgrass would have made the practice area inconsistent. And it is nearly impossible to find poa sod suitable for a putting green.

By growing in the surface using the aerification plugs, the practice surface should be as uniform as possible, especially by the end of the season.

Of course, seeding takes longer than simply laying down sod. But the project has gone quite well, with an assist from Central Oregon’s recent mild weather.

“We are shooting for it to be completely open by the weekend of the Fourth of July,” said Lagao, who holds out a possibility that the entire green could be open even sooner with the right help from the weather.

The issue that damaged the green, which surfaced late last year, was not a typical one.

“If this was new construction, the line probably would not have been built under a practice green,” Lagao said. “But it was different times back then.

As spring projects go, the repair of the practice green is relatively minor, Lagao added. In fact, the superintendent is raving about the health and condition of both Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow so early in the season.

In fact, both courses are ahead of schedule so early in May.

“The courses are looking really good,” Lagao said. “We are starting to get them in peak season shape. I am pretty happy with where we are at.”

Take advantage of our May special through May 19. Sunday through Thursday, golfers play 18 holes with a cart at either Big Meadow or Glaze Meadow for $59. Those who want to play a bit more can play unlimited golf for $69, including cart. Black Butte Ranch’s primetime rate is $54 through May 19. After 1 p.m. that rate drops to $49. Golfers with a bit less time on their hands can play nine holes after 2 p.m. for $29.

Book a tee time online, or call 855-210-5305 or the Golf Shop at 541-595-1545.