GCSAA Certified Golf Course Superintendent Thomas Trammell, director of agronomy at Doral, and Todd Evans, GCSAA Class A superintendent for the Blue Course, known as the Blue Monster, have overcome some rollercoaster temperatures in December that included record highs in the 90s and record lows in the 30s to bring the course into fine form. Players are to expect firmer fairways, tighter tees and less grain in greens this year.
Trammell explains that aggressive veriticutting, aerifying and topdressing fairways to dilute the excessive thatch buildup from over the years creates better ball roll. Plus, instead of mowing fairways up and down, his staff started mowing in circular patterns this year, which takes longer, but yields better results.
The rough will be its usual three inches tall, but Trammell says it is thicker this year. He scalped it this past summer and then circle mowed it back up, making the rough a truer stand of grass. No. 18 is renowned as one of the toughest finishing holes on TOUR and Trammell explains that typically golfers face prevailing winds on 18 that blow left to right.
Under Trammells direction, all five of Doral Resorts golf courses earned Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program certification recently. His staff replaced five acres of turf on the Blue Course alone with indigenous plants that attract different birds and wildlife, providing housing for small animals and butterflies. In the midst of South Floridas drought, Doral Resort observes the districts phase-3 water restrictions, meaning Trammell is only allowed to use 45 percent of his normal water allotment. His staff has adapted by relying more on hand watering, wetting agents and reducing nitrogen in the soil.
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