Sam Bodine has fun explaining to his family what he does as the Course Superintendent at the Ben Hawes and Hillcrest Golf Courses.
“My family just thinks I mow grass every day,” said Bodine with a laugh.
That was a big part of the work this golf season on the fairways of some golf courses in town.
“The fairways are Bermuda grass and it loves the heat so it grows like crazy and we have to mow it every day,” said Bodine.
The days for golf course superintendents and other greens workers usually start around sunrise. The players tee off early in the morning and the city district squares were heavy with traffic.
Nolan White is the course instructor at the Pearl Club.
“We usually try to leave at 6am and go a little earlier on weekends,” said White. “Every day we mow or roll greens. We turn fairways that we mow depending on how fast they grow. “
Keeping the greens from turning brown is probably the greatest challenge facing golf superintendents.
“What we have on the greens is cool season grass, so it doesn’t like the heat,” said Bodine. “That’s why you saw how we put water down there. We’re just trying to keep it green. “
It is a common situation in this part of the US with humid summer days and often warm nights.
“That’s one of our biggest things, from 11 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m., checking the moisture levels on the greens,” White said. “We do a lot of laps during the day, we have to find out how much humidity is out there.”
A device is used when trying to measure humidity, which is of great help, White said. He’s been with The Pearl for three years.
Cooling greens and checking humidity are constant chores and sometimes require re-watering.
“They get hot and brown,” said Bodine. “You can take care of her, but it’s a full time job just to keep her. Bentgrass, it’s mowed very low, with the heat and wind, once they’re dry it’s hard to get them back. “
Bodine worked for 4 1/2 years as assistant to Kevin Logsdon, who retired last October.
Ben Hawes will soon move into a new maintenance building.
Scott Stucky has been Superintendent of the Windridge Country Club since 2004.
“Today was a good day, it was cool and we rained a little,” said Stucky on Monday.
Greens have developed well and the fairways have filled up at Windridge. Stucky and his crew mowed a lot of fairways and started around 6 a.m.
Being outdoors has been a popular part of the job for Stucky over the years.
“I’m an outsider, that has a lot to do with it,” said Stucky. “I played a lot of golf when I first started but when you are playing on your own course I always see things on the course that I have to work on.”
Different chemicals and fertilizers are also sprayed on golf courses at different times.
There were some projects that ran over the winter or are about to be completed. Tree work is usually done in winter too.
At the moment, the focus is on the green and the mowing of the course in the right combinations.
Ben Hawes and Hillcrest are the city’s public courses. The Pearl Club, Windridge, and Panther Creek Golf Club also have public playgrounds.