In 1960, the first private golf course in Fort Myers, FL, Cypress Lake Golf Club, broke ground. Today, Cypress Lake Golf Club remains the oldest private golf club in Fort Myers. With a year-round active membership encompassing nearly 34,000 rounds of golf played each year, the golf course is undoubtedly still thriving in modern Fort Myers today.
When asked how the course keeps up its success, Bryce Koch, Superintendent of Cypress Lake Golf Club, credits maintaining championship-like conditions throughout the year.
“Championship conditions to us mean we are tournament ready on a day-to-day basis,” Koch said, “It’s what we educate our staff on, what we pride ourselves on, what we set all of our standards up to, and how we achieve our success.”
He does also add that championship conditions require constant and consistent member communications and discipline to be successful.
“Keeping our members informed on what we need to do to keep the course in great shape is key,” Koch said. “This year, I was able to extend our summer closures three extra days because we communicated with the members that we needed this time to work on the course. They listened, which in turn helps us produce great conditions on the course for them.”
Speaking of members, the Cypress Lake Golf Club has a 490-person membership that plays most of the year, 130 of which have single-digit handicaps. This means Koch and his course are under intense pressure to perform well throughout the year. To help him achieve the championship-like conditions his members are accustomed to, Koch looks to Foliar-Pak for help.
“When I was first introduced to Foliar-Pak, I felt I had good green surfaces, but I wanted more out of them. I wanted great greens and, more specifically, I wanted to try to produce a tighter, denser putting surface,” Koch said. “After I switched to Foliar-Pak, I was able to accomplish my goal and now able to produce the surface I have been looking for.”
He adds, “I was able to build a program, with the similarities of what I’ve done in the past, and add a few additional components, which has allowed us to maximize the surface and maximize turf potential and health.”
Koch also looks to Foliar-Pak for help with mitigating stresses on his course. In Southwest Florida, where Cypress Lake Golf Club is located, environmental stresses such as cold fronts, water quality, disease pressure, insect infestations and member traffic can put a great deal of pressure on the turf. Koch feels this is where the Foliar-Pak products really provide a great deal of help. At a time when bermudagrass is nearly becoming dormant the Foliar-Pak product helps fight off the stresses. Koch adds that products like Gold Standard 45, Foundation Forty, and the Armament technology, to name a few, are key to his success of getting through the seasonal pressures. Often as the Superintendent we can see things happening because we know what we are looking for. But, when club officials and members start commenting on the changes they see, you know you are making a difference.
Koch appreciates the day in, and day out benefits that Foliar-Pak provides, but he does want to recognize the real heroes: his staff. Several staff members have been long-time employees, including his equipment manager, who has been working for the club for 19 years and an irrigation tech, who has been working for 16 years.
“From the course design to the course setup to the conditions on the course, we are able to accomplish our goals,” Koch said. “And its greatness is a testament to my staff. I have a great group of individuals here that work hard, and I absolutely enjoy working with them.”