Reflection Ridge Golf Club
When virtually every record for 100 degree days was set last summer it took a toll on the Reflection Ridge Golf Club in northwest Wichita, KS. Golf course superintendent Stew Hanson knew that something different had to be done. It was the hottest month of June since 1890. The old style of watering and top dressing just wasn’t doing enough; it wasn’t working.
That’s when Bryan Lee, the DAKOTA representative at Quikrete, Inc. in Wichita set Hanson onto the idea of using DAKOTA Peat in top dressings as a way to retain water and nutrients in the all sand California-style greens.
“We started using DAKOTA when we aerified and when we did the light frequent top dressings during the season,” Hanson says. “The DAKOTA held moisture; we didn’t even have to hand water. The greens performed outstandingly. This is definitely something that we will continue to do. It will be a cornerstone in our cultural practices. We’re going to build a profile as we top dress and aerify.”
Water issues, including a sodium problem, have been a part of the Reflection Ridge course since it was built in 1989. Since some organic matter had been incorporated into the greens over time, learning about the difference between good and bad microbes helped to sell Hanson on DAKOTA. “The good microbes eat up the bad organic matter in the profile,” he says.
Maintenance of the 18-hole Reflection Ridge course has not yet included DAKOTA on its fairways, but it will, Hanson says. “We haven’t yet used DAKOTA on the fairways, but that’s in our plans for the future.”
Lee, who works with a dozen or more country clubs in Kansas and surrounding states, says, “The DAKOTA people have been just great as far as the education that I get from them and as far as what the product is and what it actually does. The service that I get from DAKOTA is impeccable. When I order a product, it gets here exactly when they say it will. When I have certain perc rates that I need to hit, I can send the information up to their lab (DAKOTA Analytical) and they will get back with me immediately. I get the proper product that these golf courses need.
“When I started working with Relfection,” Lee says, “they were using a topdressing program with just straight sand. That was just the way people were doing it around here; the way most of them had been doing it for years and years.
“We changed that by using a little bit of DAKOTA in their top dressings. Last year, being it was so dry, everybody was using massive amounts of water, but with the DAKOTA program that we started them on they were able to cut back on their water, cut back on their wetting agents and cut back on their fertilizers. Frankly, they were able to get more life out of their fertilizers. In the process, they brought their greens up to where they were a lot nicer. They were getting good comments from their members at a time when everything was under some real stress.”
“Stewart is looking forward to doing everything that we’ve done again this year. He’s going to continue with the program. He tells me that things are really getting better out there on the course, which is what we want to hear. Golf superintendents talk to each other. When one has success with a certain program or chemical, they talk. That’s always a big positive for me. As long as we see that the success is there, I can see the DAKOTA program growing a lot more.