Local course prepares for Spring golf season

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – The recent weather has been exactly what golfers are looking for, and local golf courses are preparing. At Harrisonburg’s Heritage Oaks Golf Course, Spring season is in full swing, but there’s a lot of hard work that goes into keeping the grounds in good shape after Winter.

“You start mowing a little bit more, and then all of a sudden it warms up and it rains and then you can’t control it and you’re mowing every three days,” said Charlie Fultz, course Interim General Manager. “Imagine about 180 acres of that.”

Fultz says the course is already seeing a lot of action this season, saying March may go down as a record month of attendance for the course. But, he says it wouldn’t be possible without the luck of Mother Nature, and the recent aerification process.

“Golfers take that as, ‘okay we’re getting ready to start because the maintenance crew is gonna beat up the greens a little bit, top dress them with sand, and then get them ready’,” Fultz said.

This season, speeding up that process with what Fultz calls vertical mowing.

“These blades actually go in vertically so they cut into the greens, and that puts a place where the sand can settle into, and helps them smooth out quicker,” said Fultz. “It took the heal time from about three to four weeks, to about seven days.”

With this hard work, plus numerous COVID-19 safety regulations in place, Fultz says the pandemic has brought the biggest spike in golf play that he’s seen in years.

”The response to the things we’re doing on the golf course has been tremendous,” Fultz said. “I’ve been in golf over twenty years, and this feels like golf when I got into it back with the Tiger Woods effect on golf. We think people rediscovered that golf was a great recreational pass time.”

Heritage Oaks recently brought in a new order of golf carts, which are specially fitted with a plastic partition. This allows two people to safely ride in the cart together.

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