One of the keys to successfully managing a golf course is to remain consistent with practices that are critical to the turf's health. Practices such as aerification, sand topdressing, vertical mowing, and dethatching are carried out with great regularity at NSCC to ensure that each playing surface functions at its peak level throughout the golfing season. Similarly, certain tasks must be completed prior to winter to ensure that the golf course is put in the best position possible to endure the harsh Wisconsin winter that is to come. Each year the irrigation system must be winterized, fertilizers must be applied, plant protection applications must be made to prevent winter fungal activity, and careful moisture monitoring must take place in order to ensure that the plants do not become too dry.
Perhaps unique to North Shore's winter preparation is a practice called putting green contour topdressing. Contour topdressing was developed by the 1997 Greens Committee headed by Jim Mitchell and directed by Bob Erdahl. For twelve years, the golf course maintenance staff has carefully applied a thin layer of sand (1/8 to 1/4 inch) to the same areas of the putting greens each year. Each putting green has been diagrammed to guarantee that the sand application occurs in the proper areas. Over time, the accumulation of sand in these pockets has served to provide a more undulating putting surface than previously existed. The yearly change is imperceptible to most golfers; however, the improved putting interest is most certainly evident over the course of the last twelve years.