Congratulations to Highlands CC for being selected as the winner of the 2014-15 Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards for the Carolina's by Golf Digest and GCSAA!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly teaching facility update by Ken Mattis, PGA

Our new facility looks great!!  The roof is finished, windows installed and siding going up.  As you can see, we are matching the look of the clubhouse, with all the architectural details as well.  In the next post I will move to the interior of the building and show how we have prepared for the teaching equipment.  

Sod Shortages

Fortunately, this will not affect us at HCC because we are all cool season turf.  However, still interesting and could impact your home Club. 

Sod Shortages in 2015

Grady Miller, Turfgrass Extension Specialist, NC State University
In recent discussions with North Carolina sod growers it was apparent that there will be a significant shortage of bermudagrass sod this winter and spring. With good growing conditions the growers may be able to catch up in early to mid-summer.
Why shortages when just five years ago inventory levels were relatively high? There have been multiple factors involved. There was already reduced sod acreage following the downturn in the economy. The increase in construction over the last year and a rapid switch to a preference for bermudagrass by builders has contributed to the shortage. Add to that the poor summer growing conditions (prolonged springs and limited light) for warm-season grasses the last two years and the result is a depleted supply of bermudagrass.
The recent sod survey from GA indicates that they have a similar supply shortfall. ( Sod growers in the southeast suggest this shortage is universal across the region.
What does this mean? All growers, regardless of size and location, will not have adequate bermudagrass sod to meet the demand. This will likely result in an increase in bermudagrass sod cost. In some cases, if sod must be installed during this period, the buyer may have to select an alternative grass.
NC State University is currently surveying the NC Sod industry to get a better estimate of sod supply in 2015 for all the grasses.

For a complete list of NC Sod Producer Association member growers and sod types visit:


USGA Green Section Record- January 23, 2015



Our new flagsticks for the 2015 season arrived this week.  You can see they are wooden pins with black stripes for better visability.  We also are using wooden flagsticks on the practice green.  These are quality made flagsticks and I think the membership will be quite pleased with them.

It is a rainy day in Highlands (fortunately we are avoiding snow) and a perfect day for the staff to get caught back up around the shop.  We are making a bunch of hazard stakes today as well.  This staff takes on more work and responsibility than any other staff I've been apart of...and that is 7 different golf courses!  

Thursday, January 22, 2015


While most of the crew is out on the golf course each day, Jerry Dalton is busy with a list of detail projects! This past week, he is rebuilding our course trash boxes with reclaimed lumber purchased locally.  The club is fortunate to have the talent of Jerry on staff!

More from Thursday...

On #16, we completed some minor rhododendron trimming to open up the view of the creek right of the green.
You wouldn't believe how much water is draining out of this sediment bag!  I estimate 1/3 of the pond on #10 is complete.  There is nothing fast about this operation.
Assistant Superintendent, Koty Drake is spending the afternoon on the sprayer, spraying PCNB, a fungicide used for snow mold control.  He is spraying 'hot spot' areas in fairways and roughs.  As I mentioned before, we treat greens and tees preventatively.  Roughs and fairways are sprayed as needed on a curative basis.  Fortunately, any areas affected by snow mold are quick to heal in the spring. 


Above, the area on #17 will require 18 trees to restore this area.  We did open it up, but the ultimate goal is to have it sealed back off in a few years with healthy vegetation.  I walked down in here today and placed yellow electrical flags marking the location of tree planting for later this winter.
Below, you can see an updated photo of tree trimming on the 15th hole (left hand side).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Our objective for the next 2 weeks is to get the debris that is already cut, cleaned up and chipped.  As I mentioned yesterday, we are cleaning up the debris made by our tree crew.  If you saw the course today, the amount of downed debris is somewhat overwhelming.
The tree crew is limbing up the left side of the 15th hole.  Many of these trees are creeping out towards the fairway.
Chad Stockton is working to remove the dead hemlock logs from the woods on the right side of #13 green.  Dead Hemlocks have been a major focus this winter.  However, there are still a handful left around the course.