Course Notes, 10/25/2020

What a beautiful show Mother Nature has put on outside this past week. I was pleasantly surprised how vibrant the colors were given the dry August and September 2020 brought. The warmth in October also allowed us to have a successful aerification season and heal in all signs of it quite quickly. There are still some great days in the forecast for you to enjoy your golf course, and we hope to see you out as we continue mulching and sweeping up all those beautiful leaves when they fall off of the trees.

The new bunkers that the team from Golf Creations have completed got their first real test from a quick, heavy rain last week, and I can proudly say the design and shaping of these bunkers held firm with no standing water or sand washing down from the edges. These are a great improvement to an already great golf course and our team and I thank you for your investment in its future! All work performed last week is summarized further below.

While the golf activity on the course has began to dwindle down, many jobs need to be accomplished before the real cold air shuffles its way here. Besides all of the extra work needed to be done with the Golf Course Improvement Project, leaf clean up consumes most of our time in the next 4 weeks. Ballwashers and other water features are pulled in for the year. Two major jobs ahead for us include winterizing the irrigation system, which will take place November 2-4. If you are out on the course these days, please heed caution as sprinklers are automatically turned on and off during this process.

The greens will have their annual deep tine aerification performed on November 9th as well, weather permitting. These 1/2″ holes, penetrating the soil profile about 8″, create three advantages: additional channels for spring root growth, aid in relieving any deeper compaction within the rootzone soil profile, and extra drainage capabilities for ice/snow melt to prevent ice formation on the plant surfaces. The greens are rolled immediately after being aerified, and these holes do remain open throughout the winter for the above mentioned reasons. For the first time, we will be doing this in house, thanks to our purchasing a deep tine aerifier this past March.

Golf Creations was a bit hampered with last week’s rainfall and muddy conditions, but they accomplished additional shaping on holes 1-4. While conditions did not allow for any polymer to be sprayed, the drier forecast will allow them to spray this week. Their focus will be finishing holes 1-2, and rough shape holes 8 and 7. Our goal is to have all bunkers rough shaped by the end of next week.

Our team continued irrigation work where fairway bunkers moved farther down the hole, on 2, 4, and 5. 7 is the last hole where we (knowingly) have modifications to work on with this project. A special thanks to Steve Ott and Paul Gleissner for their hard work on this end of the project. Others on our staff have worked hard on sodding fairway and approach improvements, and they have done a tremendous job. Thank you Adam, Ron, Bob, and Jeff for your efforts here.

The bunkers on hole 3 are ready for polymer. The front left bunker was removed, making way for the back left bunker to be expanded slightly and lowered so that it is more visible from the tee. Later this fall our team will slide the approach more to the left. The back bunkers had no performance issues with shaping and framed the back part of the hole quite nicely, so liner and sand were installed here as is. One of our goals that Tom, Tom, and I have as a design team is to create beautiful visibility off of each tee, and I believe we have accomplished that greatly.

The right greenside bunker on 2 was shifted a bit to the left, with the left greenside bunker eliminated and being replaced with a grass swale. Fairway sod will be added to the left to create another small run off area, similar to others we have added on the course. These bunkers will be ready for polymer by the end of Monday.

The shaping on hole 1 has been one of the more dramatic improvements of the entire project so far. The fairway bunker is being reshaped and downsized to allow proper collection and drainage of all the water that runs down the fairway and hilly areas surrounding it. The greenside complex had its back bunker replaced with a grassy swale and one singular bunker surrounded by fairway grass, ultimately becoming a similar look to what was created on 14. Stay tuned for its final look!

If you have any questions, please reach out to me at ryan@elconacc.com. I hope you are enjoying the transformation of your golf course as much as I am. Have a great week!

Ryan