From the Greens Department

By Superintendent Darren Little

It is hard to believe that we are in our last week of August and the summer has flown by.  We have had a great season to date with mostly golfing friendly weather days which is setting up for another record of golf rounds this season.  I have been fortunate to have another great staff in place this season which made getting the course ready every day and in the best possible condition much easier.

Again this season we experienced an interesting year, starting with a late opening due to Covid 19, record rounds of golf being played and now a drought where we have not seen a substantial rain fall for most of August. To that extent we adjust, on a daily basis, our maintenance on the course to provide you with the best and optimal playing conditions.

These last few weeks of oppressive temperatures and very little rainfall have made it extremely challenging.  In order to combat the weather stresses and the adverse irrigation water effects due to its high salt content, we had to perform some cultural practices to prepare and maintain the putting greens for the high temperatures. Such practices are sand top-dressing on the greens, the application of fungicide and fertilizer sprays (which sticks to the plant and can make the putting greens a little sticky), accompanied with some large irrigation cycles to drive some moisture to the root system.  Our maintenance plan is such that we try to provide the best possible course conditions while always avoiding catastrophic failure of any strand of turf. Greens must be judged day to day dependent on the largest influence of weather.  For example, the greens will always be faster and firmer when the wind is blowing from the north – the perfect example was Championship weekend – as opposed to the steamy wet weather coming from the south which we are experiencing.

We encourage you to read these articles to help understand the challenges faced on a daily basis regarding green speeds;

Quickening Arms Race

Course Hardness

To Post or Not to Post

We continue to adhere and follow standards set out by the USGA in what we do and why we do it and constantly monitor weather circumstances, taking into account different than normal playing conditions at the course. I can assure that we are doing everything possible to provide you with a premium level golf course by continually adapting to the diverse weather conditions.

As fall sets in over the next few weeks, we will begin preparing the course for its journey through winter, which sounds a little harsh to hear.  These cultural practices will include increased sand topdressing, aeration and additional fertilization to aid the grass’s ability to increase its root mass.  The healthier the grass goes into winter the better its survival through the toughest cold months.

As well, with Labour Day just around the corner, this sets many of our staff free and back to their studies, which hopefully will be in person this year.  Our crew base will diminish by almost half within the next 2 weeks.  The full time and the full time seasonal staff are always ready for the new challenges that lie ahead with getting the course ready on a day to day basis through the next 60 day or so.

I wish everyone a great remainder of the season and look forward to seeing you around the course!

Regards,

Darren Little

Superintendent

Miso Sauce

By Executive Chef Jeff King

Today I will share with you this quick and easy miso sauce recipe. This is the perfect sauce for salad dressings or to use as a marinade for either fish, chicken or pork.

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp honey

Whisk the ingredients together until well incorporated.

Happy cooking!

Sweet & Sour Sauce

By Executive Chef Jeff King

Today I will share with you this quick and easy recipe for a sweet and sour sauce. This sauce is great for chicken or pork dishes.

You will need:

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstartch
  • 2 tbsp water

Place all the ingredients in a small pot. On medium heat, whisk the sauce continuously for 1 minute. Remove from heat and season to taste.

Happy cooking!

From the Greens Department

Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua) edition, Spring 2021

By Superintendent Darren Little

Over the past weeks, while being in another stay-at-home lockdown, the Greens department has been hard at work preparing the course for your return. We had plenty of things to complete including asphalting, bridge painting, aerating, and repairing turf in high-traffic areas.

Now that you are back you may have noticed some of the work that was completed and maybe have a question or two.  I hope this message answers some of the questions you may have;

  • The Monday and Tuesday (April 19-20th) following the announcement of the lockdown extension, we carried out our 5th drill & fill on the greens which delivered close to 50 tons of dried sand into the greens profile.  Some of the holes can still be seen but they have come a long way in their recovery, and with a little timely rain from Mother Nature this will help with the final closure of the remaining little sand holes. 

  • Tees and fairways were aerified during the week of May 10 with the completion on May 18. The aeration process would normally take 3 days but with the course being closed we took advantage of this opportunity to slow down the process and remove additional material, almost like a double aeration process, which will benefit the surfaces over the course of the season. Millions of little holes were created for water, fertilizer, and oxygen absorption, relieving soil compaction, and removing the layer of thatch which causes the “spongy feeling” on the tees and fairways. The aeration will help the plant prepare for the environmental stresses that come from a long and warm golf season with high traffic. Some rain will help move the recovery along. 

  • As the soil temperature warmed up the grass has had a growth flush in the rough areas around fairways and greens. Combined with the growth flush we are experiencing the Poa seed head flush casting a sea of white across the course on all stands (is this supposed to say strands?) of turf.  This flush came later this season due to the cold temperatures experienced in April and early May. For instance, the trees this year were approximately 2 weeks later than normal putting out buds compared to past years, but it demonstrates that the temperatures in the air and ground were too cold for the trees to start budding.  This would also be true for the Poa Annual seeding on the greens, tees and fairways, and even the long rough.  Poa is an invasive weed that also doubles as a good putting surface; however, this isn’t without a few catches along the way.  The first thing is this grass is self-seeding, which is more apparent on greens and this goes on for a period of 2-3 weeks causing a white cast over the turf and causing an uneven putting surface when mowed, the grass grows at twice the speed trying to replenish the seed it lost. The good news is that this disruption will pass in time and we will be back to normal within a couple of weeks.

Another question you may have regarding poa is “what can be done about the poa on the greens?” When the seed is in full bloom we always make sure on a day-to-day basis to harvest as much of the seed as possible via mowing and removing it in buckets. Next we introduce grooming to remove as best as possible the excess seed from the putting surfaces.  With the above process we are also doing daily rolling of the greens to help with ball roll, but later in the day things can be bumpier than you would like due to plant growth as explained earlier.  Once the seeding stops, the poa plant will still be present and the overall appearance will blend in and the ball roll will be smoother.

Finally we are now back to having close to a full staff complement and things will progress with getting some additional projects completed. This coupled with staying ahead of the trimming and the attention to detail jobs will make the course shine like I want it to. 

In the meantime, we will be busy cutting some “rough” grass to help in lowering some scores and continue to offer a great golf experience to all. Please enjoy and I look forward to seeing you on the course.   

Respectfully,

Darren Little

Course Superintendent

Peanut Sauce

By Executive Chef Jeff King:

Today I will share a quick and easy peanut sauce recipe you can do at home that is great for dips. This particular sauce is great for dipping satays.

You will need:

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sweet chili sauce

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 cup chicken stock

1 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp cold water

Place all ingredients in a small pot. On medium high heat, whisk continuously for 1 minute. Remove from heat and season to taste.

Happy cooking!

Asian Dipping Sauce

By Executive Chef Jeff King

Today I will teach you a very quick and easy sauce that can be used for dipping or as a marinade.

You will need;

  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup

Whisk all the ingredients together until well incorporated. This sauce is great with chicken, pork or seafood.

Happy cooking!

Wine of The Week – Benziger

By F&B Manager Aalim Lila

For more than thirty years, Benzinger farmed from a ranch on Sonoma Mountain and searched Sonoma County for the most distinctive and expressive vineyards. Once found, they tend these sites using certified Biodynamic, organic and sustainable farming methods. The result is a portfolio of authentic and memorable wines.

In the mid 90’s, the Benzinger family began transitioning their home ranch to a Biodynamic farm. They learned which flowers attracted the bugs needed to keep pest populations in control. Habitats were created for birds and owls, and brought cows, sheep and chickens to live on the property. Once the estate found its balance, the wines did too. From their home ranch came Tribute, the first Biodynamic wines from Sonoma or Napa Counties. Today, they are proud to be living and working on a healthy, vibrant ranch that is home to numerous species of plants, animals and insects and we love sharing this special place with visitors from all over the world.

Blended from premier benchland vineyards, this Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon is polished and approachable. Elegant, juicy flavors of berry cobbler followed by mocha and wood spice unite, layer by layer to form a rich full-bodied wine with chalky, round tannins and a long finish. 

Find this delectable red at your local LCBO for $27.95

Enjoy!

Super Bowl Snack Ideas

By Executive Chef Jeff King

Try these recipes for the Super Bowl this weekend!

Chicken Wing Sauce (Hot Honey)

  • 1 cup honey garlic sauce
  • ½ cup franks red hot
  • 1 tbsp melted butter

Mix sauces together with melted butter and toss wings.

Jalapeno Cheddar Chip Dip

  • 2 jalapeno’s minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

In a small pot melt butter and add flour whisking until fully combined. Add milk and whisk together. Add minced jalapeno and garlic and stir frequently until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in cheddar and cayenne until all cheese melts into sauce. Serve immediately with chips, nachos or flatbreads.

Enjoy the game!

Cauliflower Quinoa Fried Rice

By Executive Chef Jeff King

Today I will share with you my recipe for cauliflower quinoa rice. This is a great side dish to pair along with your meal.

Ingredients:

1 head Cauliflower

3 cups of cooked quinoa

1 onion finely diced

1 tbsp chopped garlic

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp peanut oil

Cut cauliflower florets into small pieces and place in food processor and pulse till it is about half the size of a grain of rice.

In a large pan place peanut oil and sesame oil and place on high heat.

Sauté onions and garlic for about 1 minute.

Add cauliflower and quinoa and sauté for 4 mins stirring frequently.

Add soy sauce and mix well.

Place in serving dish and top with sesame seeds

Happy cooking!

Thai Salad Roll

By Executive Chef Jeff King

Today I will share with you my recipe for Thai salad rolls. Surely a great meal your whole family will enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Carrot
  • Red Onion
  • Vermicelli noodle
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Mint
  • Mango
  • Rice paper wrapper
  • Warm water

Place onion slices in a bowl and top with ice-cold water. Let stand for at least 30 minutes; drain well. Place the noodles in a bowl and top with boiling water. Let the noodles stand for 5 minutes and then drain well. Next, soak a rice paper wrap in hot tap water for 10 seconds and then carefully transfer to a slightly damp kitchen towel.

 Place your ingredients onto the centre of the wrap, i.e lettuce, noodles, carrot, cucumber and mango.

 Firmly fold the bottom half of the wrap over the filling, fold in the sides and roll up to completely enclose filling. Store tightly, covered with plastic wrap for up to 2 hours or until ready to serve.

Ingredients for peanut sauce:

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup coconut milk

2tsp lime juice

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sriracha

honey

Place all ingredients in a small pan on low heat. Whisk until it is well incorporated.

Happy cooking!