Course Notes, 11/1/2020

While the calendar look to make a close on the 2020 golf season, the weather forecast has a different agenda.

It is looking like a great week for you to visit Elcona and get in a final round or 2 for the year. The back 9 holes will be open and available for you, and as a reminder all sand and newly laid sod areas (fairway and rough) are to be played as ground under repair and will be for the foreseeable future, given the forecast. While you may enter these areas to retrieve your ball, please do not hit your ball out of these to protect your investment in the golf course’s future. This sod continues to grow new roots, but is not yet firmly established in its new home. Thank you for your cooperation! Another reminder is to be cautious Tuesday and Wednesday if you venture out, as we will be winterizing the irrigation system those days. High pressure air is used to remove as much water from the underground piping as possible. We try to always have a visual on what holes we are working on but cannot be everywhere at once.

Some of our staff’s main focus will continue to focus on leaf removal, via mulching or sweeping. Leaves that are swept are piles and taken to our compost pile, where they will break down and someday be useful soil for new plantings around the property.

The following Monday, November 9th, we will be deep tining all greens, creating root channels for 2021, providing fresh oxygen to the rootzone, and allowing for better winter drainage. The golf course will be closed that day.

The Golf Course Improvement Project is entering its final couple of weeks. Tom, Tom, and I continue to be impressed with their attention to detail and willingness to work together to achieve the best outcome. The sodded areas are rooting down nicely on the back 9, and we are mowing and topdressing them weekly to further smooth them out for 2021. Below is a summary of the combined efforts of our team and theirs:

Hole 1 took final shape, and is ready for polymer, sand, and sod. We spent a lot of time with this design given the challenge of draining rain and water run off in this area. The fairway bunker had its back two-thirds removed, and the remaining sand area stayed roughly in its same location on the hole. Fairway sod will be expanded slightly behind the bunker. The green complex received a nice facelift, removing the back bunker and expanding the front bunker slightly on both sides. A large amount of bentgrass sod will be laid by our team this week around this bunker to create an island bunker that will be quite visually appealing along the club drive to all who visit. Stay tuned for its final look.

The bunkering on hole 8 was altered slightly to increase their visibility off of the tee. The left bunker was expanded towards the tee to accomplish this, while the right bunker moved a couple yards closer to the tee. Mounding was added behind this bunker, to hide the expanded cart path that will be added here in the Spring 2021.

Hole 7 received some much needed upgrades in shaping. Our goal as a design team on this hole, as they were for all, was to keep the visual effect off the tee of a large sand area blanketing much of the hole, fix the maintenance opportunities and poor drainage, and ensure these bunkers had easy accessibility for all members to get in and out of. The first two fairway bunkers were reduced in size a bit, and kept in their same location. The major change on 7 was to the grouping of 3 fairway bunkers roughly 80-90 yards from the green. These were combined into one larger sand area, with mounding added on the north side to accentuate the new bunker. Both greenside bunker areas stayed in their same location, with the left two bunkers being combined into one new bunker.

The bunkers on 2,3,4,5,and 6 were sprayed with Better Billy Polymer, and are all ready for sand and sodding. The bunkers on 1,8, and 7 will be sprayed this week. Bluegrass sod will begin to surround the front 9 bunkers later this week. Our staff continues to do an awesome job cutting and transplanting bentgrass sod to areas where we are expanding the fairway and approaches, like this work on 2 pictured above.

I for sure can begin to see the end of this project within the next 2 weeks, which will make this an 8 week project in total. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me at ryan@elconacc.com. Have a great week and I hope to see you out on the golf course!

Ryan