Members of the Oregon and Western Washington chapters of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) banded together with volunteers of American Lake Veterans Golf Course for a special cause: tackling the spring to-do list.
“We’re aerating the greens, we’re aerating the tees, we’re cleaning up the edges, working on the bunkers—just doing everything we can to help the course get ready for spring,” Bill Ackerley, executive director of the WWGCSA, explained.
A Worthy Cause
At the service project, participants networked and learned from each other. But more importantly, they assisted in a worthy cause. From operating machinery to raking sand traps, they helped out in any way they could.
American Lake Veterans Golf Course (ALVGC) is a special course because all veterans, including amputees and the blind, can play the course. It takes the hard work of over 200 unpaid volunteers to maintain it. Usually, projects like aerifying and top dressing the greens could take over a month. But with the help of the two chapters of the GCSAA, the work was completed in six hours.
The service project had personal significance to Aldarra Golf Club superintendent Sean Reehoorn.
“My dad served in Vietnam,” Sean explained. “So giving back on this platform is something that is near and dear to my heart.”
Aerification and Top Dressing
Aerification is “basically poking holes in the greens or . . . pulling a core,” Alexis Wenker, Executive Director of the OGCSA, explained. The process is done to “open up the surface, remove thatch, and reduce compaction.”
Sand is then spread over the greens and brushed into the aerification holes. This year, ALVGC used Washington Rock’s kiln-dried sand for the first time.
ALVGC superintendent Randy Moen explained that with kiln-dried sand, “you can sweep it as soon as you drop it. Any other sand, you’ve got to wait for it to dry—otherwise it clumps up, balls up.” As a result, all of the greens were top dressed in one day.
The service project wrapped up with a lunch provided by ALVGC. Before participants dispersed, ALVGC general manager Bruce McKenty addressed everyone. “We cannot thank you enough for everything you’ve done for us and our veterans,” he told the crowd. “We really appreciate it.” He presented each of the GCSAA chapter presidents with commemorative plaques.
Next year’s service project will take place in Oregon.
Learn more about Washington Rock’s golf course sand and rock products on our Golf Course Products page.