Long before the first ball is put in play each morning at Sunriver Resort, Director of Agronomy Ryan Wulff and his staff can be spotted with garden hose in hand. Their goal is to keep the mounds and exposed areas at Meadows and Woodlands courses well-watered without overwatering the rest of the golf course, even if it can be time-consuming.
Sunriver’s warm, dry summer weather is ideal for playing golf or enjoying a memorable family vacation, but it brings challenges, too. And it’s to the credit of Sunriver Resort’s maintenance staff that its attention to the finer details keeps golfers from ever noticing.
It’s all part of the job this time of year.
“It’s been a pretty typical summer so far, but without the thunderstorms that can help keep those exposed areas plenty wet,” Wulff said. “Hand watering is labor intensive, but it also keeps the courses in great shape and keeps us from over-watering the rest of the course. It’s worth the trouble for us and for our golfers.”
Entering the dog days of summer, and Sunriver Resort could not ask for better conditions this time of year. The courses are lush and the playability is just what a golfer would expect at high-caliber championship golf courses: Firm and fast, but not TOO firm and fast.
For Wulff and his staff, it’s a culmination of the hard work that has been put in all season long.
“The conditions are great,” Wulff said. “Everything is definitely fast and firm. We are exactly where we want to be this time year.”
Golfers who enjoyed a round or two earlier this season at the Meadows, might notice some differences now. With the PGA Professional Championship held in June at both Meadows and Crosswater, the maintenance staff had to make some adjustment to ensure that Sunriver challenged the world’s top club professionals.
That mission was successful. But for us mere golf mortals, Meadows had to be tamed. In the weeks following the tournament, Wullf and staff were busy with tasks such as returning the rough to more standard heights and slowing green speeds to a much more manageable pace.
“We have fully recovered from the event,” Wulff said. “In fact, you would never know the pros were ever here.”
With its golf courses in peak condition, Sunriver Resort is set up for an ideal final few months of the golf season. Just in time, too.
August can be a sneaky good time to play, with crowds typically a bit thinner than in July. And as any Central Oregonian would tell you, golf in September brings mild temperatures and peak conditions. Just perfect for savvy golfers.
“You couldn’t ask for a better time of year to play golf,” Wulff said. “The weather is good and the playing conditions are just phenomenal.”
What could be better?
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