For Tim Schmidt, the golf course of Butte des Morts Country Club is more than a responsibility. It’s a legacy.
Tim’s father was the golf course superintendent for thirty-five years before Tim took on the role five years ago. He was very familiar with the course, having already worked there for eighteen years in different capacities. Since becoming superintendent, Tim has maintained the high standards that his dad set—and that members have come to expect.
“Our course is maintained at a very high level. Our membership expects things to be presented in a certain manner, and play must also present itself in a certain manner. So we have a very high attention to detail so that we give the membership what they expect to have on a day-to-day basis,” Tim said.
Butte des Morts is a private club that was established in 1924. Situated near Little Lake Butte des Morts in Appleton, Wisconsin, the club will soon celebrate one hundred years in the community.
Despite its long history, the golf course is not unadaptable. Tim knows that innovation is necessary for growth, and he’s always eager to find the best solution to maintenance challenges.
That’s why, when Todd Fregien mentioned XCD coated seed, Tim knew he wanted to try it. “Our course has a lot of tree areas in the rough, and some of those areas have thinning turf or turf that isn’t even there—just dirt, bare areas. These areas are very sunny in the morning but get very shady as the day progresses,” Tim said.
How to preserve the aesthetic of established trees without compromising the playability of the course? “Every fall, we take areas that are thin, sparse, and we overseed them,” Tim said. His process involves putting down topsoil, overseeding, and hydro-mulching to improve coverage of the surface.
Because the rough contains a mixture of turf varieties, Tim shared, “I haven’t really ever been too picky with the seed I’ve used in the past.” But XCD coating has made him think twice. “What I’ve noticed with the XCD blue rye coating is that, by the time we got into that fourteen- to twenty-day timeframe, I was mowing these areas and blown away by how dense these seeded areas were,” Tim said.
Even compared to other coated seeds, XCD does, in fact, exceed expectations. “I would absolutely recommend it,” Tim said. The roughs aren’t just looking better—they’re playing better too.
“My excitement is for areas that were currently either very sparse or not the quality I want to see for the game of golf. When I look at it from a player’s perspective, now we’re talking about two larger areas of rough that are going to be, in my mind, 100% better quality. So the enjoyment of a golfer in these areas is going to be far better because they’re not going to be hitting off with dirt or sparse turf,” Tim said.
At the end of the day, it’s about maintaining the high standards that have seen the course through almost a century of play. “The overall quality is really what I’m striving for, and if this can be a product that is able to achieve the quality I want, then that’s truly what I’m going after,” Tim said.
XCD coated seed has earned a place in Tim’s fall overseeding projects, with potential for use on other areas of the course as well.
“This product is very impressive,” Tim shared. “I also used the bentgrass coated seed as well. I used that up on one of my range tees that I always have to grow back in during the fall, and I was also impressed to see the kind of germination and take that the bentgrass seed has done.” He added, “I think there’s a lot to be said with this XCD coating on all varieties of seed, and I’m very excited to keep using these coated seed products and really see what they can do over the course of time because so far, it’s very exciting to see what’s going on with them.”