Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Phase 4, Week 16 1/2 Renovation Project Update

This looks like the end of the line for Phase 4 in 2016. Tomorrow morning the forecasted temperatures look to be in the low teens. This will freeze up everything and bring work to a halt. LUI worked all weekend once again to install drainage and bunker sand. Their goal by the end of today is to have all of the drainage installed in all areas. They should be able to finish this. They will have 6 bunker left to install the sand and sod in the spring. Almost made it in 2016!

It has been a great fall to complete as much of the project as we could. It has been a pleasure to work with Big Al Van Meeteren and his team from Landscapes Unlimited. Hopefully we now get snow cover on our turf to protect it over the winter time. In the spring they should be able to finish the bunkers and their punch list in 2 weeks.

Thank you for following along on the blog page. I will try to start updating you once again on golf course maintenance items and Solheim Cup progress as we move through 2017. Have a Happy Holiday season.

Rick Tegtmeier

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Phase 4, Week 15 Renovation Project Update

Phase 4, Week 15 Renovation Project Update

After last week’s weather I did not think I would be here writing another blog post on construction this season. I was proven wrong and here is this week’s short update.

Rain once again came in the middle of the week. All of the LUI crew are feverishly working on installing the drainage and building new bunkers on the 11th hole. They had to install 2 long tile lines from the pond on #12 to the bunker complexes. Once these were installed then it was all hands on deck building the bunkers on #11 green and fairway. Once the new sand is in you want to install the sod around it to protect it from contamination. If you cannot install the sod then the only way to protect it is to cover the sand or the surrounding areas with plastic to prevent movement of unwanted material. When you come in the front drive and see a lot of plastic you will understand why it is there. We hopefully will be able to have Stensland Sodding back in to install some more sod but the forecasted rain does not sound good this afternoon.

The drainage crews will now move to the 16th hole where they have 3 drainage lines to install and then that part of the project will be completed and behind us.

I will update you later in the week if they are able to continue, I am hopeful but the weather forecast does not sound good. With December almost upon us it might be the end of our construction season

Monday, November 21, 2016


Not the movie but the turf! On Saturday afternoon we were out running irrigation in preparation for our blow out of the system on Monday morning. We had run a schedule on #11 south to irrigate some sodded areas. One of our sprinkler heads stuck on over night and when we came into work on Sunday morning this is what we were left with. The irrigation water froze everything it came in contact with. It will be ok but it looked pretty funny to see it. I thought I would share it with you. We got the head turned off and I am sure it will melt once the sun warms it up.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Phase 4, Week 14 Renovation Project Update

Phase 4, Week 14 Renovation Project Update
November 19, 2016 and we are wrapping up week 14 of the renovation project. The first 2 years projects took right at 14 weeks to complete. Last year’s project went longer because of the weather, this year’s project will also go past the 14th week. Hopefully weather will not be the determining factor on whether we finish the project or not.

We had another good week of dry weather to finish some of the golf holes. Early in the week the LUI crew focused on the 13th hole. There are now 10 bunkers on this hole. Underground it is a big matrix of irrigation pipes and drainage pipes between all of the bunkers. Somehow in the end it all seems to work out just fine. Justin Stensland and his crew arrived on Tuesday and finished the sodding on the 13th. It looks awesome and now instead of being a boring hole, it will be a hole that challenges the golfer to pick a club to decide if you want to take on some of the new bunkers surrounding the green. I think you will really enjoy what it has to offer.

Bunkers on 13 green during work this week and then the finished hole

Architect Tim Liddy was here on Thursday and he was extremely happy with the look of the 13th hole. We then moved over to #10 and Tim made a few small tweaks and suggestions to do before we did the final work on this hole. Al and his LUI crew worked 2 big days on the 10th hole and by dark on Friday evening, Stensland Sodding had finished the grassing on this hole. This should be Tim’s final visit for this 4 year project. He has made several trips to the site since becoming involved in 2009 and I believe the end result that he has done for us in conjunction with Mr. Dye’s ideas are a home run.

10 greenside bunkers on the left side of the green

10 fairway bunkers

We are in the process of watering all of this sod. We have approximately 15 ½ acres of sod on the ground this fall and while a lot of it is rooted down, the new sod has to be watered very heavily before we put it to bed. We will here all weekend watering the new sod and giving the rest of the sod one final soaking before we blow out the irrigation system next week. As always this is a very nervous time for us because once we blow out the only way to water sod is with a water tank or by Mother Nature. As a turf manager I would love to have a good heavy rainfall to put the turf to bed for the winter, the construction superintendent side of me wants LUI to be able to finish the bunkers on 11 and 16 and be done with the project.

This cold 28 degree Saturday morning and 25 mph winds has the LUI staff staying home today. On Monday the temperatures look better for some more outside work. We have laid sheets of plywood down on the turf so the crews could be working 1st thing on Monday morning instead of waiting for the frost to go off the turf. A couple of good days and the 11th hole should be ready for the grassing. There is some precipitation in the forecast so we will see what it brings us.

This should be my last Saturday morning to be in my office writing the blog page construction updates. I will let you know the progress on the project as weather permits. I do appreciate you coming here to read our weekly updates and it has been a great project to be a part of and I do appreciate your trust in us and believing we could pull this off. Jim Cutter and Scott Howe deserve a big thank you for their insight and guidance during this project. It has been a long process from Mr. Dye’s 1st trip here on November 4, 2007 to bringing on Tim Liddy to guide us in 2009 to finishing up the project in 2016.

I will leave you with you with some photos of Mr. Dye and Mr. Liddy at work here at Des Moines Golf and Country Club.

Mr Dye with the original Master Plan Committee

Tim Liddy working with Daniel on shaping a green

The man that started it all in 1966 and finishing it up in 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Phase 4, Week 13 Renovation Project Update

Phase 4, Week 13 Renovation Project Update

Another great week of work by Al Van Meeteren and the rest of the crew from Landscapes Unlimited and Stensland Sodding. The first part of the week was solely dedicated to finishing up the #12 hole. There was a tremendous amount of hand work and tractor grading that needed to happen to finish this hole. By Wednesday afternoon Stensland started to install the sod. Al and his crew were very busy working ahead of them to get the dirt work and drainage work completed. By Thursday night Justin Stensland had purchased a light tower so his crew could work later into the evening and they did. Almost 4 semi loads of bluegrass sod was installed under the lights that evening. On Friday morning 2 more semi loads were used to finish up the 12th hole and move on to #13. The 1st fairway bunker on the right side was completed as well as the grass bunker at the 13th green. This grass hollow used to be a bunker and now it will be played as turf. It will not be an easy shot out of it!

Sod being installed along the lake on #12

Sod being installed in the late evening on #12

Enjoying the view on the new 12th hole

The new grass hollow in front of the 13th green

The rest of the LUI team worked on drainage tile installation and prepping bunkers for the sod installation. The greenside bunkers on the left side of the 13th green are very complex and it offers a great number of shot making to get out of the area. The drainage was finished in this area yesterday. Today they will start to install sand into the bunkers, sodding the area the 1st part of this next week. From here on out the rest of the sod installs will be 1 or 2 semi loads versus the 4 - 8 loads. Everyone stresses out on the big installs because there is so much ground to prep, and so much to water immediately after the install. The drainage green finished 2 different drainage installs on #13. Both of them involved cutting across the fairway to new bunkers on the left side and to a cross bunker a 100 yards out from the green.

Danny is almost finished with all of the bunker shaping with his mini excavator. He has a little work to do on the 16th hole and then that phase is over with. Speaking of finishing part of the 4 year project, the last bull dozer will be finishing some work today and then no more dozers! Victor and his irrigation staff have completed all of the big irrigation installations. They have some sprinkler heads to level and complete. Again another part of the puzzle completed.

We have really tried to push the 15th green to grow in as much as we can before it freezes up for the winter. We pulled back the cover yesterday and it looks very good. I am very pleased with our results on this green.

Architect Tim Liddy will be in later this next week to give his final blessings on some bunker work on #16. The weather gods have really smiled on us this fall. We had a tremendous undertaking in mid-August and we really have been able to do a large volume of work the past 13 weeks. We still have a couple of weeks left to finish all of the bunkers and then all of the detail work and clean up behind us. Next week we should have a much better idea as to when the last part of the puzzle will be completed.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Phase 4, Week 12 Renovation Project Update

Phase 4, Week 12 Renovation Project Update

Week 12 is now in the books. Once again rain shortens our week. It is amazing how long it takes to dry out a shaded area this time of year. The sun angle is low and getting lower, not much drying out power in the sun at this angle. All we can hope for is wind to help dry out areas. We have to change strategies now if we want to finish this out. We have to work the shaded areas as soon as we can to get them completed, otherwise they may not dry up enough for us to get them graded and sodded. I don’t recall that happening in the past years, maybe it did and there are just more shaded areas this year.

Today will be the last day for the concrete trucks to be here. It will be really good to once again have our cart path system 100% complete and also we have reached a goal that Bill Byers set out to do about 15 years ago – we are now 100% concrete paths. No more asphalt paths. It has taken a long time for the club to reach this goal.and I happy to have that behind us. Did you know our cart path system is just over 12 miles long? The LUI team will finish the path on #12 this morning, saw cut it tomorrow and start the grading process by the path on Monday. The new lake overflow pipe was installed this week. It replaces an old galvanized overflow pipe that had failed. We now also have met our requirements on storm water retention on our property. In the event of a large rainfall we now will retain and release water at the desired rates mandated to us by the City of West Des Moines.

The intake on the new overflow pipe on #12.

The last of the cart path on #12.

Today we will also finish another milestone in our 4 year construction project. We will finish building the tees on #9 South. By my count we have built 93 new tees in the last 4 years. This week the DMGCC team installed the bentgrass sod on some tees. #8, 10, 14, and 15 tees were all sodded on Tuesday. We are sodding all of the tees this year so that when open in the spring the tees are ready to go. The remaining tees will be sodded on Tuesday this next week. Once the tee crew is finished this morning they will be immediately shifted to a bunker building crew. Danny is well ahead of them shaping the bunkers. In fact after this weekend we should have only 5 bunkers on the 16th hole to rough shape to finish up.

New look from forward tee #14

Last tee on #9 to finish. #9 blue tee

The sodding along the cart path on the 9th hole will be completed this morning. That is the last work that needs to happen on this hole. The irrigation crew is tying up a lot of loose ends. The abandonment of the old cement line and all of the galvanized parts of that system are now history. That system was installed back in 1967 and was used for the past 49 years. I believe the club got their monies worth out of it. I am very happy to have the much better flow and pressure to our sprinkler heads throughout the property utilizing the new main lines throughout the property.

I had a little time today so I did a quick fly around some holes with the drone. My skills have diminished with it. Hit a tree which you don't get to see! Here is #15 from the black tee, 14 from 180 yds into the green, a quick look at the tee construction on 9 tee and then a fly down the left side of #9

I am sure many of you have seen the plowing, boring and digging that a company called Telecom has been doing throughout the property. This company was hired to install a fiber optic network to the clubhouse, cabana, and maintenance shop and to all of the villages that will be built during the Solheim Cup. All of the fiber is in place and now all of the hand holds are in place. There are 14 handholds on the property, this are a crucial component of this fiber system. We have changed some of these hand holds out 3 times. They now assure me they have it correct and all of that work is behind us. We had a long meeting yesterday to finalize all of the needs for us and the LPGA. They will next design the fiber network and then we will have a splicing expert to come to each hand held and correctly splice the network together. This system will operate internet, telephones, video boards, televisions, wireless systems etc. Once the Solheim Cup is behind us, the club will benefit by still using and having this new system. I was very naive about the ability of a well planned and executed fiber optics system. It is very high tech and very exciting.

The only evidence of the fiber network on the golf course.