The clubhouse at Maples of Ballantrae looks onto a spectacular field of mature trees. Over time, the course operators have naturalized as many areas as possible, in an effort to save money and labour costs, to expand animal habitat and to protect water quality. Many of the existing Austrian Pines had to be removed due to disease, but those that were not a safety concern have been left intact to provide a home for wildlife. Visible on the course are ospreys, mink, killdeers (birds), bees, raccoons, muskrats and even a beaver.
In accordance with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) guidelines, Maples of Ballantrae operators apply targeted applications of chemicals, only when necessary. They strive to deal with disease and pests proactively to catch problems before they spread—something that not only benefits the environment, but also helps save money.
Fertilizers with amendments such as magnesium, kelp and other natural additions are now available and can be selectively applied to address specific needs of individual patches of turfgrass. Maples of Ballantrae operators use a lot fewer chemicals than in the past, and this combines with the fact that current formulations contain smaller amounts of active ingredients. Practices at Maples of Ballantrae that help build turf health and reduce the need for inputs include applying foliar sprays to increase absorption and eliminate runoff, topdressing with sand, vertical cutting to remove thatch and thereby reduce disease, and coring to improve root and soil health.
As per standard practice, water volume and quality is continuously monitored by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and water conservation practices are in place. Central to problem solving turf management challenges, golf course operators at Maples of Ballantrae often share information with colleagues, something that may even involve a visit to another course to problem solve.
Located just north of Toronto, Maples of Ballantrae hosts tournaments, golf lessons, junior camps, tournaments, leagues, or is simply a good destination for a golf day trip.