Healthier Turf with Less Maintenance at Glen Eagle Golf Club

Golf course

Jerry Wallace grew up on a farm. It was there he learned he had a knack for growing things. Today, Wallace utilizes that talent as the superintendent at the Glen Eagle Golf Club in Bolton Ontario.

Located roughly 51 kilometers/31 miles northwest of Toronto, Glen Eagle, a public facility (memberships are available), is a busy place. Its three nines host roughly 40,000 rounds each season. 

The club’s original 18 holes, designed by Rene Muylaert, opened for play in 1962. At the time, Muylaert, a native of Strathroy, Ontario, and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, was working full time as a superintendent while designing golf courses as a sideline.

A few years later he and his brother Charles founded a design firm/construction company and eventually laid our nearly 50 courses throughout Ontario.

In 1988-89, Muylaert designed and built nine new holes at Glen Eagle. At that point the routing was reconfigured. Today’s Red Nine is comprised of nine original holes. The Blue Nine features three original holes and six new ones while the Yellow Nine encompasses three more recent holes and six originals.

As a result, the nines can be played in four different combinations, depending on the volume of play on a particular day and Wallace’s maintenance needs.

Wallace, who has been at Glen Eagle for a dozen years in some capacity, and the superintendent for the past year-and-a-half, says he and his crew of 18 (including himself) maintain the original holes differently than the newer ones.

Part of the original 18 is built more on sand than it is anything,” he said, “so it will burn out and deteriorate a lot quicker than the nine at the back of the property which is basically on more clay ground. So, when it comes to watering, we put tons of water on the original 18 and the back nine would get about a third of the water the other course gets.”

Golf course

Wallace says Aquaritin Defend has been an asset to his ongoing water-conservation efforts.

“We try to basically pick the spots that need it the most,” he said. “The spots that don’t will get less. We do a fair amount of wetting agents, just to try and hold the moisture. I find that Aquaritin helps with holding in moisture.”

Wallace began using Defend on his greens last year at the suggestion of a sales representative.

A fellow here in Western Ontario stopped in and asked if I’d be willing to try it,” he recalls. “He gave me a free bottle of Defend and said ‘Try it and let me know what you think of it’ and I was very impressed with the results.

“This year I started using the 19 with it and the greens look even better than they did last year.”

Wallace makes his applications on a biweekly basis. He says adding Defend and Aquaritin 19 to his arsenal has enhanced both the appearance and performance of his greens.

“They look amazing! Nice and healthy and green. I know ball speed is a lot better, a lot quicker with the Aquaritin. It’s an amazing product for what it does; it just seems to bring so much extra life to the greens.”

Wallace says his greens are healthier and have required less maintenance since he began utilizing Defend and Aquaritin 19.

“We’re not doing near as much hand watering,” he said, “and just the overall care of the greens isn’t near as much with Aquaritin. 

“We were having a problem with worms, we now have a lot fewer of them because apparently, they don’t like the silica, so it seems to help with those. Disease wise, already this year I’m at one less fungicide application than I was last year.”

Until recently, Wallace confined his use of Defend and 19 to his greens but he is now utilizing them elsewhere.

“I recently did do a couple tee decks and approaches just to see what the response would be,” he said, “and you can tell the difference; you can tell where I’ve been spraying it and where I’m not.”

Wallace notes that since introducing Defend and Aquaritin 19, his green complexes have become more resistant to heat-stress issues.

“You can notice that with the fairways we don’t spray Aquaritin on, you can see that they get stressed out, you can see the cart marks. We used to have spots on the greens that you could definitely see, and within a couple days were starting to brown out and not look healthy, but I don’t have any of that now.”

Golf course

Among the satisfied customers who visit Glen Eagle each season are tournament competitors; the club is a popular tournament destination.

“Everyone loves the greens and loves the course itself,” Wallace said.

“We are a very busy tournament course. June is completely solid almost every day with a tournament. We haven’t had any of the tournaments complain about anything. They love the shape of the course. Basically, it’s been five-star reviews.”

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