Golfers going green

Published 8:42 am Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Rice Lake Golf and Country Club member transplants flowers into a pot near the clubhouse Monday in Lake Mills, Iowa. Members of this golf course play a role in the course’s landscaping by volunteering each May. -- Andrew Dyrdal/Albert Lea Tribune

LAKE MILLS, Iowa — Members of Rice Lake Golf and Country Club in Lake Mills, Iowa, are proud of their course.

So proud that each May about 15 to 20 volunteers slip on gloves, grab rakes and planting tools to help plant flowers around the course.

It takes about 4 to 5 hours to plant the flowers, but a half day of hard work keeps the course looking unique all season long. This year’s planting was scheduled for Saturday morning but changed to Monday evening due to rain. The volunteers plant about $1,000 worth of flowers.

Email newsletter signup

“Traditionally Rice Lake has been a well cared for course,” said Steve Wagner, a member who’s organized the spring planting for four years. “We’re trying to maintain what’s always been here.”

Wagner said the course is unique because of its country setting. He said flowers keep it looking different than modern courses with very little landscaping.

According to Wagner, the course’s members have volunteered to plant flowers each spring for five years. The course used to plant more annual plants but are transitioning to perennials as a cost saving measure. Wagner said volunteers still planted a few annuals, though.

Rice Lake superintendent Bob Berger said planting and maintaining flowers on a golf course is expensive and time consuming and volunteers help save his staff save time throughout the growing season.

“It’s neat how they support this place,” he said.

Berger said flowers are planted on tee boxes, near greens and around the clubhouse. Some flowers are planted along cart paths and in other common areas.

Berger said once the flowers are planted they need weeding and watering until they take hold to the ground.

“It adds a little more character to the place,” Berger said.