Monday, April 13, 2015

Golf Course Renovation: Week 14

What began as a sunny week turned rainy on Wednesday morning. Throughout the day we saw 2.56". While this made the golf course very wet, it also turned much of our new turf very green and helped break dormancy. Sand based surfaces like tees and greens are relatively easy to mow after rain events. The fairways are a bit more difficult to mow when saturated, but since we need plenty of active growth in fairways prior to opening we'll welcome the "how are we going to get that mowed" struggle.  

As far as projects go, the sea wall behind #15 green was completed. Restoration work on the bank will take place once the soil is dry enough to be workable (hopefully next week). Our guys installed nearly 1500 linear feet of bank stabilization logs on hole #13 last week. The task of installing them is tough work and we really appreciate the effort that they are putting forth to complete this project on schedule. With the driving bridges finished, Leafblad Enterprises has turned to the rebuild of the second walking bridge on hole #3. As you may recall, there have been several issues with the steepness of the slope on this bridge, and to change this, a complete reconstruction will take place. A big thanks to Leafblad for their commitment to satisfaction.

My helper on Saturday inspecting quality of cut on greens

Greens are beginning a lot of new root initiation and look great on the surface

Fairways took on quite a bit of color this week after the rain

Lots of stakes to pound!

Seeded/covered areas in fairways were walk mowed

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Golf Course Renovation: Week 13

Being that the majority of our staff came back this week and that we began mowing turf again, we will consider the renovation to be back in full swing.  Tree pruning near green #8 concludes our effort to achieve proper amounts of sunlight on all greens on the golf course, while holes were dug for the remaining 26 trees to be planted this spring.  Greens, tees, and approaches were mowed this week to remove their winter "scruff" and the turf has greened up nicely throughout the week.  In the fairways, several thin areas have been reseeded and covered, and we expect these areas to germinate in the coming day and to fill in soon.

In addition to our staff being back, contractors finished work on bridges and sea wall this week as well.

Tree surgery #8 green

Covering seeded areas #1 fwy

#2 green showing excellent color in early sping

1st time our 5-plex mowers have been on the new fairways

Feliciano mowing #8 approach

Friday, March 27, 2015


What a difference a year makes.  Below are photos of the 17th green at Wynstone shortly after uncovering in 2014 and 2015 respectively.  Photos courtesy of Mr. Terry Riccio.

#17 Green 2014

#17 Green 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Early Spring Activities

The thaw last week has allowed our staff as well as some of our contractors to resume work on the golf course, although it is still a bit to wet to venture far off of cart paths.  Bridge work is in full swing and the second bridge on hole #3 is nearly complete, leaving only one bridge to go.  Our staff pulled covers off of the greens last week and have been busy preparing cart paths for the paving company.  Each path needs to edged back to the full 8' width in order to accommodate the paving machine.  The sea wall installation on hole #16 is going very well, and we expect the wall to be finished next week with bank restoration soon after.

The turf on the golf course overwintered very well and we look forward to some heat to get things going again.

Bridge install #3

Clearing cart path edges by hand

Sea wall install looking back at hole #15

#4 Green / Approach

A look at #16 fairway

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Some Good Work

The guys on our team performed some money saving handy work this week by installing a new pickup bed to our 2005 plow truck themselves.  The rails on the underside of the old bed had become so corroded by salt that it was no longer being held properly to the chassis. A new bed from the dealer is about $4,000.  Throw in the bumper and install and its just shy of $6,000.

Equipment Technician Scott Sounde made a few calls last week to some companies that install custom truck beds and sell the ones taken off and was able to find an entire setup off of a brand new 2015 pickup for just $1,500. Installation was completed this morning at our grounds maintenance facility, saving the club about $4,500.  That's some good work!

A look at the rusted shell of the old bed.

Deteriorated bed rails.  Very little was left holding the old bed to the chassis.

Chain hoist worked perfect in this situation.

Only 2 of 8 bolts needed to be removed prior to removing the bed.

Cleaning up for the new bed.

Ford has not changed this bed for well over a decade, which worked in our favor.

Ready to go another 100K?!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter Weather

I have been asked several times in the past weeks about the effect that the recent deep freeze has had on the turf.  Mostly, we all want to be reassured that it will be "okay" in the spring.  With such a large investment being made in the golf course and the winterkill from last year so fresh in our minds, it is not surprising that we would be concerned about the health of the new turf.

The evidence suggests that large scale winterkill of bentgrass in the Chicagoland area is not likely and that there is little to no concern about ice damage.  Because the plants on our greens and fairways are not fully developed, there may be a cause for slight concern if the conditions are conducive to ice damage, but it would still be minimal when compared to our old Poa annua greens.

This winter has been very different than last.  We do not have conditions that are conducive to winter kill.  The plants are not encapsulated in ice, and the snow on the ground helps to prevent desiccation. The turf has looked great under the snow each time it has been inspected, and at the moment we do not anticipate any damage from ice, wind, or cold temperatures.

Turf in the lowest area of #8 Green looks very healthy.
This area was previously prone to ice damage.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December Activities

The recent string of warmer days has allowed for a few things to be done on the golf course in addition to our normal work of refurbishing equipment.  Stone work on #3 has resumed and will likely continue tomorrow.  Since most of the frost in the ground has thawed and soil is workable, work on the sea wall on #16 has resumed and our guys will be able to complete scraping cart path edges.

Stone Work on #3

Sea Wall #16

Cleaning Cart Path Edges