Friday, May 29, 2020


May at Swope Memorial Golf Course

(7's bunker back drop.)

Hello, all! I'm writing this blog update with wet socks, so apologies if it's short. Here at the end of May, we were in need of some rain for our newly sodded fairways, 6 inches of rain in 4 days later, the sod is watered in and I believe there is a catfish living at the bottom of Hole 4's fairway. On the bright side, the first days of June are supposed to be sunny and 80's. The grass will be jumping out of the ground, but we will have some gorgeous weather for golf and being outside.

As most of you noticed, we've grown out certain bunker faces and back-sides. The idea came from Bethpage Black, a PGA course in New York state. Bethpage is also an A.W. Tillinghast course, the same designer as Swope Memorial Golf Course. The bunker grass adds a challenging yet distinct aesthetic. Enjoy the views, but hit that ball straight!

(4,300 sq. yards of Sod.)

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, we have newly sodded areas around the course. Our fairways have had winter kill/erosion areas for a year or two now. At the beginning of the month we ordered over 4,000 sq. yards of Zoysia sod from Select Turf. Fairways we stripped and re-sodded include areas on 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 17. 15 and 18's tee's were shown attention, too. All of our crew were a part of this job, nobody on a mower or trimmer. With all hands on sod, we were able to strike a line through possibly the biggest task of the year. The guys deserve a huge pat on the back after those 2 days.

(Dead areas cut but not stripped on 7.)

(17 while stripping, holes were punched and fertilized before sod was laid down.)

(Laying new sod on 17.)

Socks are dry now, so guess I better get back out there and continue making Swope Memorial Golf Course the pinnacle of Kansas City golf. 

As always, Repair your Divots!!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Springing into the May

Fast times at Swope Memorial Golf Course

(Drone photo taken by Dimitry Lash)

Corona season, golf season, what's the difference?

First and foremost, I hope everyone has stayed healthy and happy over these last months. As society has changed its every day routine, so have we. Our clubhouse is only open for use of the restrooms, booking is online, our course is open for walkers only, and our cups are fitted to allow ball retrieval without touching the cup surround or flag. In itself, golf can be an easy outlet for activity with limited social interaction. Although walking Swope may be a challenge for the average player, our course is as healthy as it has ever been. The removal of golf carts has allowed our high traffic, enter/exit, areas to grow back in with healthy grass. Our fairways have some erosion damage from the wet winter and spring, but they don't have that all too familiar tracks of carts zig-zagging every way. 

While the rest of the city was shut down, operations were going on as normal here since winter let up. The spring is a perfect time for us to be able to keep up with course maintenance, as well as take on little projects along the way. The drive up to our facility is lined with a stone wall, installed by the City of KC in 1934. Over the years, honeysuckle and small saplings have turned into a forest of underbrush and trees, taking over the wall. The superintendent and I love returning the original designs and aspects of the past to the present day course. The rock wall is one of those aspects.

(Returning the rock wall view.)

There were two large dead trees to the left of  #1 Tee, or on the left side of #18 fiarway. Every windy day these trees would drop bark and limbs, making for constant cleanup. We sharpened our chainsaws and made sure that they would never need cleaned up again. We plan to plant new trees in the gap to protect golfers from wild golf balls. 

(Dead trees on #18.)

Until next time, stay safe, wash your hands, follow social guidelines, and most importantly...

Fix your divots!