Dry Season Doesn’t Always Mean Poor Conditions

Although golf course superintendents breathe a sigh of relief when a summer storm cell dumps some rain on their courses, dry conditions don’t necessarily ruin their workweek.

Brian Ferrie, the Horseshoe Bay superintendent who has been with the club since the greens and fairways were seeded, said very wet conditions can cause all sorts of problems. Dry conditions make it possible to schedule watering and work precisely, and they also bring out more golfers.

“We try to keep things on the dry side,” Ferrie said. “It’s beneficial agronomically, and it’s beneficial from a playability standpoint, too. We don’t ever want to overwater anything. It might make things green, but it actually creates a lot of detrimental things. You want things to be kind of firm and fast all of the time.”

He said he’s fortunate that the leaders and members at Horseshoe Bay provide him and his crew with the time they need as they keep the course healthy through a droughty summer. Fair weather brought out more golfers, and more play meant more wear and tear from carts and foot traffic, plus more divots and ball marks to fix.

“They have given me probably more maintenance time than we’ve ever had historically in the last couple of years,” Ferrie said of the Horseshoe Bay leadership and members. 

Stone Hedge Clubhouse Modernized

Stone Hedge golf course owners Kevin and Erin Wehrenberg have invested heavily in interior and exterior clubhouse improvements and parking-lot improvements this summer.

Wehrenberg said when people drive by The Orchards, the 18-hole course less than a quarter of a mile from his, they see what golfers expect: a large, stately clubhouse.

The Wehrenbergs needed to do several projects to upgrade electrical and water service to the Stone Hedge clubhouse, so they’re giving the clubhouse more curb appeal while they’re at it. An addition expanded the front entrance area forward, both for the sake of appearance and to make room for a revamp of the electrical service area and the new water system to go with a new well added for the clubhouse. 

“We wanted to add some character to the building because that front was completely flat,” Kevin Wehrenberg said, adding that “people do judge a book by its cover.”

In addition to the small addition, they’re getting new windows and doors, adding an electric-vehicle charger, and installing new parking-lot lighting, sidewalks and a wheelchair-friendly entrance ramp. He plans to redo the parking lot in late summer or early fall.

“I’m making everything ADA compliant. There were a lot of things here where they skipped over dimes to save nickels,” Wehrenberg said of the course they bought a year and a half ago. “I’m trying to get everything where it needs to be.”