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!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Rain has officially set in this morning in Highlands and is expected to continue the next few days.

Staff will be off the remainder of the week, so please check back next week for more progress on your golf course.

In the mean time, on behalf of the entire Greenkeeping Staff, We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  May your Holiday Season be filled with wonderful memories and family! 

Monday, December 22, 2014


Last Friday night and last night, we had a small amount of rain.  The greens and fairways really responded to it by greening up.  It was somewhat of a surprise as our temperatures haven't been too warm.  Cool season grasses, fortunately, are very cold tolerant.  Creeping bentgrass is tolerant to -30F or more.  Poa annua on the other hand, is not so tolerant.  Extended periods of ice and cold of -10F can lead to winterkill.  This is just one reason why bentgrass is often times preferred over Poa annua on putting greens.  Of course, this isn't something we have to worry too much about in Highlands.
The right side of the 13th green has been a major focus this past weekend on dead hemlock removal.  There are still a handful in that area that will come out.
The shop is full of all kind of action this morning.  Above, Jerry and company are continuing to make 160 tee markers.  We started painting them today.  Below, Paul and Kevin have started breaking down reels, grinding and rebuilding.  This is the time of year we focus on bearings and other parts of equipment and mowers that need regular service.  Our shop is outfitted with the latest grinding and sharpening equipment.  Paul and Kevin have their hands full this time of year but there aren't two better guys for it!
This morning, 50 tons of topdressing sand was delivered and will be spread on the front nine fairways this morning.  It is quite satisfying be so far ahead on our winter work.  In the 14 years I've been here, we were never topdressing fairways prior to Christmas!

Weekly Update

This week's forecast is calling for a chance of drizzle today, turning into a more steady rain for tonight into tomorrow.  There is another big chance of rain on Wednesday that will most likely clear out by Thursday morning.  Temperatures will stay mild during the day while dropping into the upper 20's at night.  It is currently 34*. 

On the golf course this week we will be working around the weather through the first of the week and into the Christmas holiday.  Jerry Dalton will be out continuing to verticut fairways given the weather does hold out.  During periods of rain the staff will be continuing to work on our new tee marker construction along with any other inside projects we can do.  Please continue to check back with us through the week for updates! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

There is a fungus among us...

This is quite possibly the largest mushroom I ever saw.  Much larger than a basketball; I am holding this in my hand. 


The end result of a solid agronomic program!

Weekly teaching facility update by Ken Mattis, PGA

Framing is well underway for the new Teaching Facility.  The roof trusses arrive next week.  Things are really moving along well.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  My e-mail address is, and the direct number to my office is 828-787-2789.  

Ken Mattis, PGA Head Golf Professional

Fairway Program

In the last week, all fairways were aerified with 3/4" hollow tines.  This machine brings a core to the surface.  Immediately following, the fairways were veriticut with a 60" wide, tractor mounted PTO unit.
The first step (above) is to drag the fairways using a chain link fence mat.  This breaks all of the material up, returning the sand and soil back into the canopy of turf.  The loose material like plants/ roots and thatch is left on the surface.  Dragging is critical because we have spent a lot of money in years past on sand topdressing.  We want to make sure it returns to the ground and not hauled off!
Next, a blower moves all of that loose material to the center of the fairway.

Then, a sweeper comes by and picks this material up.  It is hauled to a pile in the parking lot.  Ultimately, it will be hauled to the back of the driving range.
Finally, we add additional sand.  This year, over 300 tons will be spread on the fairways at Highlands CC!