Bemidji Town & Country Club Online Newsletter - 7/17/18


Now that summer is in full swing, I wanted to take the opportunity to update the membership on the progress being made on course conditions at Bemidji Town & Country Club as well as share some upcoming capital improvements planned for later in the season.

BT&CC experienced significant winter damage that still persists today. As recovery of damaged greens progresses throughout the summer, Tom and his crew have gradually been able to lower the height of cut on those greens. Greens #2, #8, #14 and #17 have seen significant improvement over the last several weeks and we are all hoping for a full recovery as soon as possible. Please know that Tom and his staff are working diligently to recover the remaining damage as quickly as possible and are committed to providing us with a great golf course on a daily basis. Tom has additional details on course conditions in his update below. Simple steps taken by members, such as replacing divots, fixing ball marks, and raking bunkers, can make a big impact on the recovery and playability of our golf course. Capital improvements will begin on holes #1 and #10 following The Birchmont. These will consist of leveling the current forward tee box on both holes, as well as constructing new tee boxes in front of the forward tees on both holes.

We are lucky to have many passionate members who take ownership of the conditions at BT&CC, thus making this one of the best courses in Northern Minnesota. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any of the other Greens Committee members.

Bob Brink
Greens Committee Chair
Course Condition Update

I thought it was time to give our members and guests an update on our course conditions.


Bemidji Town and Country Club experienced very negative weather conditions this past winter, which contributed to large scale turf loss and turf injury. The primary factor in our damage was a rain event on December 4th that did not infiltrate the frozen ground and turned to ice that night. Our course was under a layer of ice for the better part of the winter. The type of turf we have (poa annua) on greens, tees and fairways cannot survive for a long period of time under those conditions. Along with the ice issue the spring melt and weather patterns also contributed to our issues. There are 5 negative winter events that can cause problems and a number of courses primarily in northern Minnesota experienced all of them this winter. A question you might ask is why the course 10 miles down the road didn't have the same damage that we did. There are so many different variables in the make up of each different golf course. Factors that come into play include types of turf. Some are more susceptible to issues, soil type, terrain, drainage and just how different weather patterns can be 10 miles away.

Program to Fix Damage

Aware that issues existed I put forth an extensive program for recovery. To date numerous seeding applications have been done on damaged greens, tees and fairways. The results up until the past 3 weeks have been slow. Primarily as a result of the unique weather we have had this year. Up until Memorial Day we could not achieve the soil temperatures of 55 degrees for 24 hours a day to germinate seed. Since that the warm weather and good moisture coupled with an extensive fertility program has helped us make significant progress, but we do have a ways to go. A question asked, why would we not sod these areas especially on greens? It has been proven in the industry through research and USGA Agronomist recommendations and Superintendents experiences that seeding will ultimately give you a better product sooner than sodding. Sodding visually will give you grass but the playability factor; especially on greens mowed at an 1/8 of an inch will take you longer to give you the product you want.

In conclusion, I hope this newsletter answers your questions about the conditions we have, how they came about and what I and my staff have done to get our course back in good shape.

Golf Course Superintendent

Tom Johanns
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