Another week of gorgeous fall weather here at Elcona has our trees beginning to show their vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, with peak color estimated to be within the next 10 days given our quite dry season. It has been awesome to see many of you take full advantage of some great golfing conditions at your club. Greens aerification continues today with the Front 9 greens being completed.
Many of our staff members have begun to leave for the season, and I again wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all of them for their tireless efforts this year. 2020 has been one for the record books for many reasons, and each person above stepped up and hit it out of the park this year. By the middle of November, we will be down to our full time staff.
The Golf Creations staff have taken full advantage of the warm, dry weather last week as well. We started to see the process of how Better Billy Bunker liner is installed, as well as sand put into a few bunkers. I have again summarized their work below. This week will be a short period of transitioning from the back 9 to the front 9. If the weather cooperates fully, rough shaping will commence and finish on holes 7,8, and 10, while sand will be installed on holes 11-14. The other exciting part of this coming week will be seeing sod installation, completing the final look of each hole’s transformation.
The transition of construction to the front nine holes will also create the need for a different configuration of holes that are available to you when you visit Elcona for a round of golf. It will still be imperative that you continue to check in with the Pro Shop staff to see what holes are available. There will be a period of time where a few holes on the front and a few on the back will be available for you to play.
Also, when holes are open that have newly constructed bunkers and sod, these areas will be Ground Under Repair, and need to be played as such. We all understand that these bunkers and newly shaped surrounds are the shiny new toy that everyone is wanting to play out of and get a feel for, however there is much work and sod growth that is still required to make the new construction playable and up to member expectations. These areas will remain Ground Under Repair until all areas have healed sufficiently, and it is crucial for the project’s success that these new areas be left alone. Thank you for your cooperation in this!!
Besides seeing earth moving and the physical changes to the golf course, the most interesting sight in this project has been the spraying of the Better Billy liner, and the QC process determining the success of this product. Above are 2 videos shot that show a glimpse into that work. The quite simple drainage needed here for the liner’s success, given the loamy sand soils, is a definite advantage for our turf and bunkers to be playable and consistent going forward.
As I mentioned earlier, sand installation began Thursday, with bunkers at the Practice Facility and holes 16-18 fully completed. Sod work will commence at these areas next Thursday weather permitting. The sand is installed at a 5″ depth, which will be compacted down to a 4-4.5″ depth. One observation you will see is the sand being installed short of the bunker edge. This is to allow the sod to be installed below the sand layer to the Better Billy Bunker liner, thus sealing the system from soil contamination. I will blog more on this process and the reasonings why next week, but it is a crucial step in the success of the liner system.
The bentgrass run off area on 14 green was installed by our staff this week too. All of this sod came from the very beginning of 15 fairway. Much work is left to do to smooth the playing surface out, including multiple sand applications and aerification. The right greenside bunker will be surrounded by rough sod mowed at intermediate height, creating a pretty cool island bunker surrounded by fairway height bentgrass. Fairway bunkers were finished and Better Billy polymer installed.
The final shaping on 13 was done on Wednesday. Pea gravel and Better Billy polymer was sprayed on Friday.
Hole 12 saw rough shaping completed at the green and the fairway bunkers. Our staff stepped up to the plate and removed all the old bluegrass sod at the left of the green, which will be replaced with fairway height bentgrass, creating a new collection area that will give you a multitude of options to play out of.
Hole 11’s bunkers received a overhaul shaping wise on Thursday too. The 2 new pot bunkers on the right side of the green surround replace the huge bunker that collected much of that area’s water runoff. The left bunker was massaged to shed all the surface water drainage away from the sand. Better Billy polymer was installed, and sand will be put in this week.
Hole 10 is currently in transition. Rough shaping on the fairway bunker is ongoing, with the goal of directing all the water run off from the fairway around both sides of the bunker. The greenside bunker has been removed and in its place will be mounding as well as another fairway height bentgrass area. Stay tuned for its final look.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you again for your patience and understanding during this quite exciting time for your golf course. Have a great week!!