Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tree Program: Introduction

On a course with a back tee yardage of just 6500 yards, there needs to be some challenge other than distance. For Stockton Golf and Country Club, that defense of low scores is made of wood and leaves. Come here and try to spray the ball and you will be in for a long day of punching out of the woods and struggling to save double bogey. Trust me, I know from experience and I am now a fantastic player out of the trees. Somehow my ball gets going over there and I get more practice than the average player.

Over the last few years, the walls of trees that line our fairways have become thinner as we lose a tree here and there. A replacement program is in the works and will be carefully planned before officially starting. While trees are an important part of SGCC’s playability and aesthetic beauty, we still have to grow turf to play on so any new tree must serve a purpose besides taking up room.

Many courses go overboard with tree planting, with trees being spaced just a few feet apart. The goal is probably a thick stand of trees, but overcrowding is not the way to get there. It is much better to plant well-suited trees with plenty of room to grow into mature specimens.  That is the current goal of the tree program.  We will determine the best trees for our location and plant them in the best possible position with consideration of the mature height and spread.  The last thing we want to do is plant a bunch of trees that will require removal when they are full grown.  

I could probably write fifteen pages on this topic, so I’ll have to break it up into bits and pieces. So that’s the introduction and next time I'll go into the explanation of tree decline at our location.  Until we really get this tree program going, please refrain from hitting any trees with your ball to reduce injury or limb breakage.  Thank you for your understanding.