April 2019 Update

The Pros Perspective
By: PGA Head Professional Mark Keating & PGA Assistant Professional Mike Snyder

As we have been introducing golf to hundreds of Woodburn Elementary School students in the last 60 days, we are very excited about participation in our PGA Junior League Teams.  This introduction could bring us a large number of new competitors over the summer months and we are very excited.  SO, if you have a child that wants to take part in this 10 week program, go to www.pgajlg.com to get registered.  Registration is open through the first half of May.  Our practices will take place on Tuesday afternoons, games are at this point, still to be determined.

In addition, registration for the National Drive, Chip and Putt competition is also open at this time and the good news is that the local qualifying is right here at the OGA Course!  Register at www.drivechipandputt.com

As you read this, our Women’s and Men’s Club groups have begun their season of activities.  There is still time to get acquainted with either of these organizations and take part in their competitions and social events.  Contact the golf shop for more information.

How about that new fleet of carts!  Our new EZ-GO fleet is equipped with lithium ion batteries saving lots of power usage.  These vehicles are also lighter than the old by a couple of hundred pounds which will be less stress on the turf.  While enjoying the smooth ride, you can also charge your phone or play your music due to the USB port located in the dash.  Rock and Roll to your heart’s content, just be courteous to your fellow golfers.

Want to watch some wonderful golf?  United States Women’s Open Qualifying will take place here on April 25th. The last time we hosted, a course record for women was established by Becky Morgan who carved the course up with a round of 65 from 6234 yards.  This was quite a display.

The Golf Shop Goods
By: Golf Shop Manager Kayla Spaght

Now that spring is here, we have new items entering the pro-shop everyday which means we need to make room. Come check out all the sales we are having and support your local golf shop. We try our best to bring in good brands at good prices for all of you so let’s start the season off strong!

We have Footjoy Polos on the sale rack for $40, select Footjoy shoes are $30.00 – $40.00 off, all rain gear is marked down anywhere from $20.00 – $50.00 off and if you spend $100.00 or more you get 10% off your total purchase!

And don’t forget if you see something you like online, on TV or at another store, you can always come in and we can special order the item for you. We always try our best to give you a better price!

The Golf Course Dirt
By: Superintendent Bret Carroll

Spring is finally upon us! As the days get longer and temperatures rise, our turf – like all plants – begins to utilize the nutrients and water in the soil to “wake up” after months of near-dormancy. While this uptick in growth leads to greener, more aesthetically pleasing turf, it does not necessarily lead to better playing conditions. In order for the greens to play their best throughout the spring and summer months, they must first undergo the necessary evil of aerification.

I’m often asked why we choose to “punch” the greens when we do and what the benefits of the process are. Like most golf courses in the Pacific Northwest, we punch the greens twice a year – once in early spring and once in early fall. There are two main reasons these times work best:

1)      The aforementioned favorable growing conditions allow the greens to heal faster than they would any other time of year.
2)      It’s just early and late enough to not interfere with our heaviest months of play.

While golfers may dislike the slow, sandy, bumpy greens for a week or two after aerification, the benefits of the process are practically innumerable. Because greens are grown in a mostly sand medium, rolled and mowed daily at heights that cause severe stress, constantly trampled by golfers and given just enough water to survive while remaining firm, they require more special treatment than your average lawn or other areas of a golf course. Aerification/sanding is the most important part of this treatment, and here are a few of the biggest benefits:

1)      REMOVAL OF ORGANIC MATTER. Good greens are grown in a sand-based soil to remain firm and allow drainage. As turf grows, it produces organic material in the form of decaying roots, stems, leaves and clippings. While some organic material is a source of necessary nutrients for the grass plants, too much of it built up in the turf canopy leads to turf disease, water retention, oxygen reduction, rooting inhibition, spongy conditions, etc. By pulling the “cores” from the greens, we remove this excess material.

2)      COMPACTION RELIEF. In the 6 months between aerations, the greens are subjected to a constant barrage of equipment and human traffic, wetting and drying, freezing and thawing, etc. – all of which leads to soil and turf canopy compaction. This compaction limits the pore-space amongst the soil particles, making it harder for roots to establish. It also limits plant/atmospheric gas-exchange, water/nutrient uptake and evaporation/transpiration rates. Punching the greens loosens up the soil and provides channels for these essential actions to take place.

3)      DRAINAGE. While this is perhaps more important in the fall, it’s a definite necessity in the spring as well. A combination of excessive organic matter, thatch, compaction and elevated turf density causes golf greens to literally seal off. In early spring and fall the greens are so tightly sealed that excess water from rain events cannot penetrate the surface and percolate through the soil profile. The sand-filled holes from aeration provide a channel for this water to move through the upper profile and into the drainage systems below. Without a fall aeration, there would likely be standing water on the greens throughout the winter months, and heavy rain events occurring in the weeks just prior to the April aeration leave puddles each year. In fact, with just a half-inch of rain this last week of March, several greens were left with standing water. It’s a sure sign that they’re ready to be punched!

We’ll be starting our spring aeration on Sunday, April 7th at 2:00 pm and the course will re-open on Wednesday, April 10th. While we know this temporary disruption is not your favorite time of year, we hope you understand the long-term benefits of this process as part of our quest to provide quality conditions throughout the peak season. If you’re interested in more information about the aerification procedure, here are a couple articles from the USGA:

On Tap at Orchards Grill
By: Food & Beverage Manager Alex Jeli

Thank you to everyone who attended our Dinner night on March 29th! We really look forward to putting on these special dinner nights and are very grateful to have people attend and support us when we have them.  I’m sure anyone that got a taste of Jordan’s BBQ Meatloaf was not disappointed.

Coming up this month in Orchards Grill we have Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 21st.  Make sure to put it on your calendar as Chef Jordan will be preparing a mouth-watering menu for the Easter Brunch buffet.  Kids are more than welcome to attend as well, so bring in the whole family.  More information is soon to come.  Remember to reserve a spot by calling and making reservations at 503-981-4653 or sign up online at ogagolfcourse.com.

Don’t forget that we will still be operating on April 8th and 9th during Spring Aeration.  So despite the closure of the course for those two days, you are still welcome to come on in to the Orchards Grill and have some lunch and/or a drink.

To fill you in on our current draft beer selection, we have added Rogue Dead Guy to our rotation to go along with Coors Light, Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Blue Moon, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, and Union Jack IPA.  Come on in and enjoy a beer or two and watch the Masters Tournament in the Orchards Grill from the 11th to the 14th!

With spring here and the sunshine coming out and making appearances every so often, it is a great time to enjoy the spectacular views of the golf course from the patio.  We offer full service for the outdoor patio seating.  Hopefully we have a lot of sunny days in April to enjoy!

The Chefs Table
By: Executive Chef Jordan Young

Meatloaf has a reputation here in America, either you love it, or hate it. This is a matter of great importance to most people, simply because everyone’s mother makes their own version of this dinner staple. Some baste theirs in ketchup, others such as myself use BBQ sauce… these things are secondary to the preparation of a perfect meatloaf, and having made thousands of meatloaves over the years, I will provide tips and tricks to stun your family with a tasty, structurally sound loaf, that people will rave about.

The first thing that is key to a perfect meatloaf is to ALWAYS add one beaten egg per pound of ground beef. This will give the meat mixture body, and make for a dense, crumble free loaf. My second tip is to whip heavy cream until it forms soft peaks (don’t add sugar, which would be gross) and to this whipped cream I add my vegetables. I personally use onion, red bell pepper, and celery. This is another crucial step everyone overlooks… when you add raw, chopped vegetables to your meatloaf, the expansion of the water from said vegetables, will no doubt make air pockets subsequently making your meatloaf fall apart. To combat this fact, I always fine dice my vegetables in a food processor, before adding them to the whipped cream. At this point, you are safe to add the vegetable mixture to the egg and meat mixture and gently fold it in with your hands. During this step, I always add one small handful of crushed saltine crackers (any stale bread crumbs or panko will do) per pound of meat.

The last tip from me is to place your loaf in the bread pan, but place it upside down on a sheet tray before cooking. This will allow the grease from the meat to drain onto the pan, and prevent a greasy meatloaf. This is typically the place I would include a recipe, but giving away my personal recipe, would compromise my position… However, I am always cooking away at the restaurant, so feel free to come ask me about it… and if you’re nice, I may just give it to you!

Thank you for reading this months edition of The Up and Down! We look forward to serving you in the future and we thank you for your continued support. We look forward to making 2019 a great golf season!

-The entire staff at OGA Golf Course