Course Notes, 9/20/2020

The shaping team from Golf Creations arrived late last week to begin Elcona’s Golf Course Improvement Project. Tom, Tom, and I are already impressed with the skill set of the shaper, as he has over 20 years of shaping experience, many of those on renovations at top 100 courses. He also shares our vision on the changes we want to accomplish and can execute those seamlessly. Below are summaries of what all everyone worked on, and some other tidbits you may have noticed the last week out on the golf course:

Sand was rototilled into the existing native sandy soil to form the new bunker base on 18. The wood stakes are where the new sand outline of the bunker will be.

A question I received frequently last week was what the wood stakes were marking. Unless noted on the stake, these are marking the new sand lines for the shaper to identify and contour the outside accordingly. This was suggested by our shaper to help him visualize the new bunker and surround.

The Practice Facility began to receive its facelift, with the addition of a practice bunker on the south end of the tee. We have always struggled with growing quality tee grass in that area due to the lack of sunlight, so it made sense to change direction and move the bunker to that location. The existing bunker next to the practice tee will be completely filled in over the next two months and eventually become an extension of the tee, adding additional yardage and square footage.

The Short Game bunker will be modified this coming week.

Rough shape for the new practice bunker

18’s bunker received a facelift as well. The slope going to the green was softened and recontoured to better shed water away from the sand area and to make maintenance of the turf easier. The floor of the bunker was raised approximately 18″ and given a slight upslope towards the green, and while you will still not see the green surface if in it, you will be able to see much more of the flagstick and have a better opportunity for recovery.

Rough grading complete on 18.
Ramiro uses both a skid steer and mini excavator to add soil and shape the bunker into its final form. Besides shaping, these units are critical in compacting the soil for stability.

The bunker on 9 has been filled in and the area is ready for sod. The approach will be expanded to the right about 3 yards with sod this week.

Tomas filling in 9 bunker with sub soil excavated on site. Approximately 30 loads of fill was needed to raise the soil to its final grade.
Ramiro using the skid steer to level topsoil to its rough grade. Both bentgrass and bluegrass sod will be needed to finish 9.
Bentgrass sod removal from 17 fairway. This sod will be used in other areas on the course, like where #9 approach

This week’s agenda for the Golf Course Improvement Project will focus primarily on the back 9 bunkers. Please check with the Pro Shop on what holes are available on the days you visit Elcona for a round of golf.

Animal damage right of 16 green.

Driving around Saturday afternoon I noticed raccoons/skunks were digging again to the right of 16 and 7. These animals are digging in the soil looking for grubs to eat. These areas have been treated again with an insecticide and the animal digging should go away as fall progresses.

Divot taken out on the left front of 8 green.

I also noticed a divot was taken out of 8 green on Saturday. While taken in jest or by accident, this turf will not recover and heal like a fairway divot and had to be plugged out. Please be respectful of your fellow member playing after you and take care of the putting surfaces!

If you have any questions please reach out to me at Thank you and have a great week!


Course Notes, 9/10/2020

One week from today, the Golf Course Improvement Project will begin.  As I mentioned in Monday’s blog, Golf Creations will begin on September 17th at the Practice Facility.  While the facility will remain open for use, some areas may be temporarily unavailable due to the construction schedule for that day.  Tom and I encourage everyone to check with the Pro Shop each day for complete information on what is available for you on any day you visit Elcona.  Another reminder that they will be working in this order: Practice Facility, 9, 18, 17,16, and backwards from there. As of today, hole #1 will be the last hole to be worked on.

Sprayed and roped off grass area at the Practice Facility

You also will begin to notice more areas being roped off before construction for a period of time.  These areas have been treated with Round Up to kill off the existing grass and conserve topsoil.  Golf Creations will then rototill the area to shape the new bunker complex.  These roped off areas are to be treated as Ground Under Repair and should not be entered until the rope is removed.  The reason for this is for your safety and to prevent foot traffic from accidentally tracking the herbicide to grass that we all do not want killed, like greens and fairways.  Signage like the example below will be placed in these areas to remind everyone of this.  Below also shows how easily the herbicide can track on accident.  The ropes will be removed in a day or 2 after application when it is safe to walk on again.  Thank you for your cooperation in this matter!

Signage that will be placed in Round-Up areas.
Accidental tracking of herbicide and the result. Very easy to do!
Semi unloading bunker sand. The trailer is lifted 35 feet in the air to off load!

Finally, bunker sand has finally started to arrive on property, so all of the necessary materials are now here.  Below are each of the main aggregates needed to construct a bunker with the Better Billy Bunker liner.  

Topsoil piled high

Roughly 500 tons of topsoil was purchased to add additional shape to the new bunker complexes.  The topsoil was mixed with sand to best fit our native sandy loam soil here at Elcona.  

Pea gravel is stone that is between 1/4″ and 3″8″ in diameter.  This gravel will serve as both the fill between all drainage pipe and as the Better Billy liner.  Gravel is installed at a 2″ depth to create the liner before the Better Billy polymer is applied.  

1″ River Rock

River rock, similar to what you may find in landscaping beds, will be used to create drainage pits for the bunker drainage piping to feed into.

If you have any questions, please email me at Have a great weekend!


Course Notes, 9/7/2020

Happy Labor Day to everyone! A quick note informing everyone that the start dates have changed for the Golf Course Improvement Project. After discussing with our contractor, Golf Creations, and the Golf/Greens Committee, the project will begin on September 17th.

This change in start date will alleviate concerns of the project impacting major events that still take place in September, including the Hole in One Stag event. This will also allow our contractor flexibility in their scheduling regarding the mobilization of their personnel. Once Golf Creations begins on the 17th, they will work 7 days a week, weather permitting, until the project is completed. Even with the later start, their staff is planning on an 8-9 week completion date for the entire project and is committed to complete our project in its entirety in 2020, given their busy Spring 2021 agenda.

After discussions with the Golf/Greens Committee and the Design Committee, there will also be a change in construction order. After the Practice Facility upgrades are completed, the construction crew will work on holes 9 and 18, then work backwards from there. That will simplify the communication on what holes will be available to you on a given day you decide to visit Elcona. There will be signage at the Pro Shop as well to communicate the daily availability and happenings on the golf course.

If you have any questions, please let me know at We are all excited to get this project started and I can’t wait to see the final product. Thanks for your continued support and have a safe, happy Labor Day!