Jagare Ridge holds its own in war against winter

Jagare Ridge holds its own in war against winter

 While Superintendent Jim Shannon won’t come right out and say that his golf course came out on top of the grass misery this past winter handed out, others at Jagare Ridge, like Head Golf Professional Tyler Rumpel aren’t hesitant about speaking to the condition of the Edmonton track this spring.

“The golf course is actually really good. We do have a few greens that are a little slow in spots but overall, the course is in excellent condition for the kind of winter we had,” said Rumpel. “We’ve been lucky for many years to open up in good condition,” which according to him was the case again this year.

While many courses in the greater-Edmonton area took a beating from the freeze-thaw cycles that last winter produced, leaving a great deal of damage in its wake, Jagare Ridge escaped much of that, at least for the most part. While there was some damage it is slight compared to other places.

Shannon simply replied “lucky,” when asked what magic he’d performed at his course to have things as good as they are right now. “I don’t know what I’ve done to make us a little bit better than other places. We do have some damage out here,” he cautioned. “We drain really well out here but I can’t say we did one thing better than any other course.”

While some people may not know much about Jagare Ridge, it is one of those facilities that while having thousands of people living in close proximity, it is still somewhat hidden due to its location in the river valley.

“It’s a hidden gem, no question,” said Rumpel. “People can see the few holes along Ellerslie Road but they don’t realize there are 12 holes in the valley that could be on any mountain golf course. You’re in the valley and it’s a spectacular location for a golf course, that’s for sure.”

In speaking about his course’s make-up, Rumpel said in an earlier interview, “More often than not, golf courses in Edmonton, and the prairies for that matter, are just flat. Here we have the luxury of being through the valley. A lot of our tee shots are elevated, go down into the valley, then back up to the green. But even on our course, with all the elevation changes, there’s not too many holes that are blind. Everything is in front of you. There are holes where if you want to cut a corner, like any golf course you can but you’re going to have to go over trees.

“But if you play the golf course like it’s designed, everything’s in front of you. It’s nice to be able to see those landing areas. But, more often than not, you have to find the fairways out here to shoot well, that’s for sure.”

As to the conditions this spring, while it’s going to take some time to get things back to where everyone would like them, they are still good enough that they aren’t going to detract from your game. It will take some time to recover with the need for three major components, but that is beginning to happen now, said Shannon.

“Lots of over-seeding. Lots of watering and heat. We’ve had the heat, now we need the rain, lots of clean water. Irrigation water isn’t as clean, as soluble as rain water. Irrigation water has lots of dissolved solids in it. It’s not clean and when it goes into the ground it doesn’t (work with) the nutrients in the ground as well as the rainfall,” so any heaven sent moisture is going to be a blessing for all the golf courses in this area.

So while Jagare Ridge is in decent shape at present, the super wants things even better and to achieve that he’s asking for the playing public’s help in one big area. “Fix your ball marks,” he said of fixing any damage your shot does to the putting surfaces. And that, along with some time, will soon see things as good as ever at one of Edmonton’s premiere public golf courses.

By Gord Montgomery – Inside Golf

Published for Play Golf Alberta

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