Colleton River Hosts Annual First Tee Golf Tournament

The Bluffton Breeze recently ran the following article about our hosting of the annual First Tee Golf Tournament…

Colleton River Club hosted a golf tournament benefiting First Tee of the Lowcountry, a charitable organization that
teaches life skills and leadership through the game of golf. For the 108 participants the day began with a luncheon at the
Nicklaus Clubhouse, followed by play on the course and culminating with a dinner and auction.
While this was the first time Colleton River hosted First Tee’s annual tournament, the community has supported this
important and empowering organization for quite some time. In recent years Colleton River Club has hosted several
First Tee events and in 2015 proceeds from the community-hosted Junior Pro Am went to the charity, totaling more than
$100,000. Children that have benefited from First Tee programs volunteered as Greeters for the participants.
“The Colleton River Membership as a whole shares a charitable philosophy,” said Tim Bakels, General Manager of
Colleton River Club. “Our continued support of this very worthy cause is one of many examples. We had 5 Member teams
participate in the event and learned that at least one Member was so moved that they decided to begin volunteering for
the organization.”
Colleton River Club is located in Bluffton, SC just 1.5 miles from the bridge to Hilton Head Island. This Member-owned
private golf community features 705 properties situated on a peninsula surrounded by 7 miles of scenic shoreline.
The award-winning, signature 18-hole golf courses by Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye each have their own unique and
distinguished Clubhouses. Additional community amenities include an Augusta-style Par 3 course, the Stan Smith Tennis
and Swim Center with 6 Har-Tru courts and a Jr. Olympic Pool, as well as a large & modern fitness center, and a community
dock with deep water access, and a state-of-the-art golf practice park and a Learning Center unrivaled in the Southeast.

Kent’s Korner-Planned Approach

Have you ever wondered how we maintain such consistently dense and fast greens?

Under normal conditions, our Tif-Eagle greens are mowed between 0.065 and 0.100 inches in height. Put in perspective, this is only slightly thicker than a single dime. In addition to these extreme cutting heights, we commonly use plant growth regulators to help promote the dense, uniform, and fast greens our members desire.

The normal cutting height of our Tif-Eagle greens.

Each spring, in a planned approach to control the soil-borne fungus fairy ring, we must suspend the use of our normal turfgrass regulators to target this potentially destructive pathogen. If these control products are used in combination with plant growth regulators, they can have detrimental effects. The first of these two applications is completed in mid-February, and the second treatment will be applied closer to the end of the month.

We expect the greens speeds to be temporarily slower during this treatment process. Subsequently, we adjust our maintenance practices to include additional mowing and rolling to help maintain the speeds in an acceptable range. Thank you for your patience during these important preventative applications.

Kent’s Korner-Men at Work

There is something soothing about meandering through the live oaks on the way into Colleton River Club. For first time visitors, the 2.4-mile drive cut through the natural forest alongside the Heritage Preserve builds a sense of anticipation of what lies ahead. Periodically this entranceway requires a bit of TLC to help protect the roadway from the forest that encompasses it. In the next two weeks, please use caution when entering and exiting the club as our crews will be performing maintenance along the entranceway. Along with cutting back native muscadine vines and unruly brush that is encroaching the road, we will once again be backfilling the shoulders of the road to help prevent increased erosion. While areas under maintenance will be clearly marked and staff will be wearing the appropriate high visibility vests, we ask that you please watch your speed when approaching work zones. We believe this necessary maintenance will enhance the native woodlands and help mitigate major maintenance expenses. Thank you for your kind consideration of our staff while we perform this work.

Kent’s Korner-Form & Function


Last week’s edition of Kent’s Korner discussed the importance of renewal pruning roses. In addition to this normal garden remediation work, take notice of shrubs such as viburnum, wax myrtle, and ligustrum that have been planted as privacy screens or foundation plantings and may have outgrown their usefulness. Oftentimes, these plants obstruct the view of the house or become so top heavy that they shade out their own lower canopies resulting in a shrub that is sparse and has a mushroom-like appearance. When these shrubs reach this point, it is time to take an aggressive stance and perform rejuvenation pruning to control this unruly growth habit. Mid to late February is a good time to perform this work, before these plants flush out with new spring growth. While this may appear like a radical approach, it is a very beneficial process for many older plants. Aggressively cut back the old wood to correct the plants architecture, remove crossing branches, and diseased or damaged shoots. The resulting exposure to light produces healthy new growth that can be trained back to produce a dense and vigorous plant. Clean old mulch, pine straw, and/or leaves away from the crown of the plant, maintain adequate soil moisture, and apply a balanced slow release fertilizer on these shrubs to enjoy many more years of success from your landscape.

Oftentimes, rejuvenation pruning is a great option, however, this past week, near the intersection going to the tenth tee on the Nicklaus Course and the leisure trail, we opted to replace a group of overgrown shrubs that have outlived their usefulness. In this area we removed the unruly hollies and expanded the ornamental grass theme around the leisure trail to help obscure the tunnel but provide increased visibility at this busy intersection. We believe this change will enhance traffic flow in this area and is in keeping with the landscaping near the Halfway Café.

Kent’s Korner-Rose Refurbishment

Roses can be used in a variety of situations and help create added interest in the garden. Since most roses flower on new growth, renewal pruning is essential to help keep your rose bushes healthy and looking their best. Prior to bud break, in late winter or early spring remove old, unproductive canes, crossing stems, damaged tissue and spindly branches less than the thickness of a pencil. Employing proper pruning techniques improves plant vigor, reduces disease, and enhances blooms. Remember to use sharp pruning shears and make cuts at a forty-five-degree angle one quarter of an inch above a healthy bud. Opening the center of the plant to encourage air circulation, helps reduce disease and minimizes insect pests. Following pruning, remove the remaining leaf litter from around the bush, incorporate compost, and fertilize the plants with a slow release fertilizer such as Rose-Tone 4-3-2, according to the label recommendations. If you subscribe to the Estate Service Program, depending on the weather, we are targeting mid-February to prune and feed your roses. If you would like help with this service, contact Karen Berry in the Agronomy office at 843-836-4480 or by email at karenb@colletonriverclub.com. Thank you and happy pruning.

An example of pruning cuts on a rose bush.

Kent’s Korner

Needed Improvements

If you have been away this summer, when you return you may notice some improvements to both of the courses. During the Dye course aeration closure, the collars around all twenty-one greens were regrassed with Tifgrand bermudagrass and we addressed the problem with encroachment into the greens. This renovation work was completed on time and under budget. The sod is already well-rooted and last week we eased the “ground under repair” designation to allow for simple relief from sod seams. Over the next few weeks our agronomy teams will use a combination of topdressing, regular fertilizations, and daily hand watering to grow in the sod. This project will standardize the collars, improve the course playability, and increase the definition around the putting greens.

During the normal aeration closure on the Nicklaus course, we are also making some needed improvements. In addition to the ongoing lagoon repairs and normal concrete cart path repairs, we are also adding a handicapped walkway leading from the front circle to the executive offices and fitness center. The new path will replace the concrete pavers and provide better access to the south end of the clubhouse and Nicklaus course golf shop. The work will be completed before the course reopens on Monday August 27th. We believe these repairs are long term solutions to everyday problems and will improve the member experience. Thank you for your patience as we complete these improvements.

Golf Tip

From the Playing Building Block of Golf: Rough

In the summer the golf course rough becomes thick and sometimes wet. When hitting out the rough make sure you study the ball and how it is sitting before you decide what you can do with the shot. When in the rough around the green realize it’s hard to get spin on the ball so it may come out “hot”. Use your 60 or 56 degree wedge to keep it from flying across the green. The Learning Center is a great place to try different lies and summer situations so come out and stay cool! One last tip, be careful where you are stepping in the rough, it’s easy to step in a hole or depression and twist an ankle. Good luck with your rough shots!

To book a lesson go to ForeTees or e-mail us at davidl@colletonriverclub.com.

Kent’s Corner – February 16

Renew & Regrow

As previously discussed in the January 12th edition of Kent’s Korner, “Frost Bitten”, we urged our residents to resist the temptation of immediately cutting back the damaged foliage of many of our most reliable tropical plants. Now that we are past the most severe threat of cold, you should plan to remove the damaged plant material to encourage new growth. Avoid cutting into live tissue or the crown of these plants and simply remove the obviously damaged foliage. With normal weather patterns, many of these plants will resume growth and produce new shoots by early to mid-March.

Shrubs response to increased light, fertility and adequate water

In addition to this normal garden remediation work, take notice of shrubs such as viburnum, wax myrtle, and ligustrum that have been planted as privacy screens or foundation plantings and may have outgrown their usefulness. Oftentimes, these plants overtake the house or become so top heavy that they shade out their own lower canopies resulting in a shrub that is sparse and has a mushroom-like appearance. When these shrubs reach this point, it is time to take an aggressive stance and perform rejuvenation pruning to control this unruly growth habit. Mid to late February is the best time of the year to perform this work, before these plants flush out with new spring growth. While this may appear like a radical approach, it is a very beneficial process for many older plants. Aggressively cut back the old wood to correct the plants architecture, remove crossing branches, and diseased or damaged shoots. The resulting exposure to light produces healthy new growth that can be trained back to encourage a dense and vigorous plant. Clean old mulch, pine straw, and/or leaves away from the crown of the plant, maintain adequate soil moisture, and apply a balanced slow release fertilizer on these shrubs to enjoy many more years of success from your landscape.

Kent’s Korner – February 9th

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Protect & Preserve

Among the many communities in the Lowcountry, Colleton River has few rivals. The elegant way the community blends with its environment creates a tranquil feeling that offers our members a unique experience. Part of the mission of the Agronomy Department is to protect, preserve, and enhance the natural environment that is Colleton River. To this end, we continually strive to promote the natural aspects of our community.

Three weeks ago, Kent’s Korner addressed the importance the eastern blue bird plays as a predator of insects in the garden. We are happy to report that this beneficial friend of our community has thirty-five new spec homes to choose from entering their spring courting season. Like good neighbors, numerous Colleton River members have already volunteered to help monitor these prospective new families as part of a passionate group of birders at Colleton.  Anyone still interested in supporting these efforts can contact the Agronomy Department by email at karenb@colletonriverclub.com to be added to the team.