Saturday, October 18, 2014

Golf Course Renovation: Week 10

Week ten was very rainy with 2.5" falling slowly from Monday to Wednesday.  Fortunately, the rain coincided with warmer night temperatures, causing a flush of growth on fairway turf. Too wet to mow with riding mowers, staff has begun walk mowing over 30 acres of fairways. While this may not be a desirable way to spend the day, mowing often during establishment encourages lateral growth, expediting the establishment process and filling in voids where weeds may otherwise germinate.

Tree planting took place between #9 and #18 where forty-three deciduous hardwood trees native to Northeast Illinois were placed in accordance with the Club's master plan with Nicklaus Design.

On #8, the stone facades of the bridges are being installed.  This crew will then make their way to #12 prior to renovating the cart paths in this section of the golf course.

Fairway turf continues to fill in well

A mix of Oak, Hickory, and Beech trees planted between #9 and #18

Stone work began mid week on #8.

Our first bridge of the renovation nearing completion.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Golf Course Renovation: Week 9

In week 9 of the golf course renovation, our staff began to close some projects while some new ones began.  At the front entrance of the clubhouse, our concrete contractor performed the removal of old paving stones and curbs.  New curbs have been installed, and stamped concrete will soon follow to replace the paving stones.  Asphalt is scheduled for installation next week.

Pond bank work on holes #10 and #12 was completed.  About 16,000 square feet of Kentucky bluegrass sod was laid in these two areas to finish them.  As our staff finishes work in these areas, repairs to irrigation heads which were being lost into the ponds will be made.  

Tee leveling is in the final stages with only three holes left to complete.  Once the surfaces are finished, our construction contractor will begin sodding contaminated tee banks and the step cut around fairway.  

Curb removal

Paving stone removal

Realignment of #5 silver tee

#5 silver tee finished

#12 fairway and approach pond bank finished

#10 green pond bank finished

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Golf Course Renovation: Week 8

The majority of week 8 was great for turf growth and other projects with the sunny, dry weather. Turf on greens was lowered to .185" and looks very healthy.  With temperatures forecast in the mid-thirties over the weekend, covers were installed, and it looks like our guys will be playing the cover shuffle throughout the next week.  The covers keep soil and canopy temperatures slightly higher and minimize the chance of frost, keeping the greens actively growing during cold spells.

The Velocity applications on fairways seem to be working as expected.  Poa annua is flashing, or turning a bright yellow color, while the bentgrass is slowly turning back to a shade of green that we like to see.  The cold weather is not ideal for the newly seeded bentgrass fairways which will require warmer temperatures to resume active growth after being stunted by the herbicide.  

Great progress was made on bridge updates, pond bank maintenance, and tee leveling this week as well. Precipitation totaling 1.5" on Thursday night made working conditions a bit too sloppy on Friday, so the crew got a well deserved afternoon off after three weeks of great weather. 

Turf on greens was lowered to .185" and is filling in very nicely.
Poa annua dying while new bentgrass plants begin to green back up.
Hand installed bank stabilization logs hug the pond bank on #4.
Getting bridges ready for a face lift with stone that matches our walking bridges.
Roundup has been applied to several contaminated tee banks.
The crew covered the greens on Friday prior to the cold setting in.
Pizza and a well deserved afternnoon off on Friday after first rain in three weeks.
Couldn't ask for a better team!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Golf Course Renovation: Week 7

Contractor activity increased in week 7 of the golf course renovation project as work on bridges and cart paths began.  The cart path on #1 and #2 is complete, and the first lift of asphalt is complete on #9.  The first of two deliveries of bridge beams has arrived, and removal of the bridges on #8 is under way.  

A field trip was taken by myself and Assistant Superintendent Lucas Palczewski to two tree nurseries to select replacement trees for those that were removed for shade remediation on greens.  The new tree locations have been selected by Nicklaus Design.  About half of the trees will be planted this fall and half in the spring.  

The second application of Velocity herbicide was applied to fairways, and the small amount of Poa annua that germinated alongside our newly planted bentgrass in fairways looks to be dying.  I will post some better pictures of this next week as the bentgrass greens back up and the visible difference between the two grass types becomes more apparent.  The turf on greens is really beginning to fill in where there was good initial germination percentage.  The areas that were reseeded a couple of weeks ago are up and beginning to look much better and will soon catch up.  

#7 Green

Greens approaching full coverage

Selecting some very nice oak trees

Cart path install at #2

Bridge beams being off loaded

Bridge removal #8

Monday, September 22, 2014

Golf Course Renovation: Week 6

It was another busy week of work on the golf course.  Areas in front of greens that were washed out by heavy rains have been sodded with 007 bentgrass, while areas on the greens that were washed out have been reseeded and covered with germination blankets.  We expect these areas to catch up quickly with an ideal forecast ahead.  The greens are growing in very well despite some below average temperatures, and we will begin to lower heights each week until winter.  It is our intention to end the growing year with 100% turf coverage at a typical over winter mowing height for greens. Currently, we are on schedule to achieve this.  

Sea wall installation at #10 Green is nearing completion.  We generally have many muskrat tunnels in the green each fall, and the steel barrier will protect the green from them.  

Tee leveling is in full swing with three tee complexes completed in the first five days.  Once several more complexes have been completed, our staff will spray Roundup on tee banks that are contaminated with bentgrass.  The banks will then be sodded with 100% Kentucky bluegrass.  

The first application of Velocity herbicide was applied to fairways mid week.  A multiple application program will kill Poa annua that has germinated along side the bentgrass that was planted about a month ago. This herbicide will turn the bentgrass slightly yellow and will stunt it for several weeks, but will rebound as the Poa continues to die out.  Studies have shown this method of renovation to yield less than 2% Poa population on fairways after completion.  

Sheet piling being driven at #10 Green

Anchors behind the wall will help prevent damage from frost heaving

Seeding/sodding wash-outs on greens/approaches

Greens looking great just 24 days after seeding

#1 Tee complex being leveled

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Golf Course Renovation: Week 5

This week began with some very nice sunny weather, and the team was able to mow greens and fairways for the first time since seeding.  Greens were mowed 14 days after seeding and fairways were mowed 21 days after seeding, which is fairly typical of newly seeded bentgrass.  With the unseasonably cold and wet weather this weekend, staff spent yesterday covering greens, and the covers will likely remain on for several days until the chance of frost has diminished.  It appears that we will get a bit of a warm-up later this coming week.  Some warmer temperatures and sunshine will be good for the turf.

Pond bank stabilization in full swing.  Installation of coconut husk logs has been completed on #12 fairway, #12 approach, and #4 has begun.  Staff will continue to work only on installation of logs until later this fall when sod can be laid without requiring large amounts of hand watering.

Mowing #10 Green on Tuesday afternoon.

A view of #2 Fairway while being mowed Wednesday.

Most fairways are filling in well.  First application of Velocity to kill Poa is next week.

38 degrees??  Green covers will eliminate chances of frost and encourage continued growth.

Pond bank stabilization logs installed on #12 Approach.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Golf Course Renovation Week 4

Week 4 of the golf course renovation project went quickly with the holiday on Monday.  Our primary objective was to sod green perimeters, and each day Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday one semi load of sod (9,600 square feet) was laid.  By Wednesday, the golf course had dried down enough to apply fertilizer with the spread truck on fairways.  The fairways are filling in very quickly, largely due to utilizing the correct equipment and correct set-up by our equipment technician.  

The rain on Friday threw a wrench in our weekend plans.  After receiving 1" of precipitation in about twenty minutes, an inspection of the golf course revealed wash-outs on many of our putting surfaces.  Today, the staff spend a good portion of the day repairing and reseeding these areas.

The green perimeter on #15 being sodded Wednesday afternoon.

The fertilizer truck on #2 fairway.  Looking really nice!

A quick inch of rain fell on Friday.

Repair, seed, and fertilize wash-outs on greens.