Saturday, September 24, 2016

Phase 4, Week 6 Renovation Project Update

Phase 4, Week 6 Renovation Project Update

It was a wonderful week of work. No rain really makes construction work happen at a very rapid pace. It is amazing to me how much soil has been moved around Des Moines Golf for the last 3 years, however this year has really raised that total amount of dirt work that has been moved. Just standing back and looking how much soil has been moved to create new and exciting golf holes is truly amazing. The downside is that it takes a lot of time to move that much soil and get a hole prepared for final seeding and sodding. However I think you will find that it will be worth the effort once it is completed.

This week on 8th hole all of the irrigation was installed and prepped for operation. The final drainage work was completed and then final grading was completed around all drainage basins. Liners and sand were added to the bunkers. On Friday afternoon after a brief morning shower the bluegrass sod installation was started. Stensland Sodding installed 5 semi loads of sod around the green, bunkers and outlined the fairway. This morning they will be cutting the sod on 15th fairway and moving it over to the 8th fairway.

The DMGCC crew has installed all of the pre plant treatment to the new putting green. Then it was seeded and wheel tracked in. This morning we will install a cover on the green to help speed up germination next week and this also protects it from the forecasted heavy rains tonight.

Seeding taking place on 8 Green


Wheel Tracking in the seed


The 8th hole this morning


My hats off to my staff for helping to maintain all of the infrastructure that is installed on the 8th hole. All of the irrigation control wires, septic systems, weather station wires, domestic water and the newly installed conduit for fiber optic cable. They worked with LUI to make sure all of this stayed operational and intact while the 8th hole was rebuilt. It was a very difficult task but with some careful planning it has worked very well.

Architect Tim Liddy was in for a visit on Wednesday to give us his insight on how to finish off the 9th green complex and the fairway bunkers. LUI is making the necessary dirt work changes and today they should complete the drainage of the 9th fairway. They hope to spread the black dirt back on the fairway by the end of today. EC Design will be out Monday morning to flag out the irrigation on the 9th fairway and rough.

Once the sod is removed on the 15th hole the irrigation lines will be cut and capped and then the dirt work will start on the 15th hole. The green complex is cored out and ready to be gridded. The fairway area will require several days of dirt work to complete it to the plan.

An excavator has moved to the 12th hole to start stump removal and he is prepping to start moving some soil there next week. Silt fence and erosion protection has to be installed 1st to protect the area prior to any major dirt work.

We also moved some trees this week that were small enough for us to handle with our tree spade. Anything that we could save, we have. I am happy to say that all of the tree work is now complete on this 4 year project. Happy to have that in our rearview mirror!


One of the major items for the irrigation install this year was to connect a new irrigation line to the 16th hole. This required a bore under the golf course maintenance road using an 8” HDPE pipe. This was completed yesterday. LUI is making those connections today. We will soon have some very nice pressure to the irrigation system on that side of the golf course.


Also for this next week we will begin installation of a new fiber optic network across the golf course. There will be some major work being done by the starter stand and the clubhouse. This fiber network will provide high speed internet and cable to the Clubhouse, Cabana, Golf course maintenance facilities. It will also be used for the point of sale systems for the Solheim Cup, Sign boards during the tournament and provide the Villages at the Solheim Cup with information and internet during the tournament. Once the tournament is completed we will utilize that fiber optic cable well into the future. This should take 2 weeks for us to complete this. Sorry for this inconvenience.


While all of this has been happening we are still working on the aerification of the golf course. It seems to have been a bit of a battle this year with golf schedules and weather. We have 6 fairways left to do on the open side of the South course. We hope to complete those holes this upcoming Monday and we can put that to bed for this year! Thanks for your patience while we have been doing a very important task.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Phase 4, Week 5 Renovation Project Update

Phase 4, Week 5 Renovation Project Update

Unfortunately for us the weather still dominates how we are doing. The week started off on a very positive note. We were able to complete a lot little pieces of the puzzle and we are getting closer to installing some turf on some holes.

The 15th green has been rough shaped and is waiting for some dry weather to move forward with it. We have 1 more tree to remove in that area and once the sod is moved off the fairway the earth moving will start on this hole. The fairway turf will be moved to the 8th hole and become the new fairway on that hole. Drainage tile has been installed to the left side of the hole and once major earth work is completed the remaining tile will be installed.

The new 15th green rough shaped.


The 8th green will have the mix installed this weekend. Irrigation has completed 50% on the 8th hole. They too should have it all installed by Sunday afternoon. Hopefully the seed will go down on the green by midweek and sod should also be going down on much of the hole. If we have a good dry week you should be able to see that hole really take shape by next weekend.

The 8th tee was moved to the north slightly and while that was being done we hit another phantom irrigation pipe. That had to be repaired on Friday and work will commence back again in this area on Saturday morning.


The 9th hole really took on a new look by Friday. The wall was the determining factor on how fast we could get this hole going. The major dirt work on the lake has now been completed. The wall has been completed. A new overflow pipe was installed in the dam to control the water level of the lake. Special anti-seep collars were installed to keep it from leaking. These are then encased in concrete before backfilling. We installed 2 air diffusers in the bottom of the lake to provide an oxygen rich environment for the fish and to help control algae blooms. We also installed a couple of fish hideouts for the fish to hangout. Tim Sims, South Course Superintendent did get stuck in a muddy area in the bottom of the lake. I think one of his boots is a permanent part of the lake.

Anti-seep collars on the overflow pipe.


The new 9th green laid out.



Tim stuck in the mud.


Fish Hides


Once all of these things we done we started to fill the lake up. 2+” of rain and some irrigation quick couplers put a lot of water in the lake in a hurry. This lake should holf approximately 3 million gallons of water, so it will take a little time to fill it up.


The tees on #9 have all been placed and shaped. The new green has been staked out behind the wall. We should have it rough shaped early in the week for the architect to look at. Drainage lines will now be the main focus for the LUI crew. There are some major lines that have to be installed across the 9th hole to capture water coming from #10, 13 and 14. All of these holes will have some of their drainage going into the lake on #9.

Irrigation has continued to work despite the wet weather. They are mainly working off of turf areas and they can work through wet conditions. 75% of the new main lines are now installed. One of the big parts of this phase is to get a larger irrigation line to the 16 hole. A new irrigation line was fused together with HDPE pipe in the middle of the week. It takes a very special machine to fit and fuse this style of pipe together. The machine was brought over from Lincoln, Ne. and below is a photo of the fusion taking place. A large boring machine will bore under the road and install this 100’ long pipe this upcoming week.


All of the cart path removal has been completed. On Monday a few more trees need to be cleaned up and then this part will be completed. After 4 years of construction it is very nice to say that we have these wrapped up and we will no longer need to do it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Wall project update

Our staff worked on Saturday to finish installing the wood on our wall project. It was very muddy from Friday night's rain event but they worked hard to get the wood portion finished. Very proud of their efforts and the final project. We still have to backfill with rock and install the dead man plates. Here is a photo of the wall on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Phase 4, Week 4 Renovation Project Update

Rain, is obviously a great thing to grow the turf in the fall of year however it is not welcome when you are doing aerification or construction! This is a very challenging time for our golf course maintenance staff. We have to try and aerify all 36 holes and build a wall in the off times of aerification. We had a very good plan in place but Mother Nature decided to step in and busted up our ideas!

All of the major grading is completed on the 8th hole. LUI staff will be working this Sunday to put the pea gravel layer in the green and the drainage. We have the new irrigation marked out and that will be installed the first part of next week. Greens mix will be put in place next week and seed should be in the ground by the end of the week.

All of the major drain lines have been installed on the 8th hole also. It is nice to have a rain event to see if in fact the water does exist out all of the new tile lines. I am happy to say that all of those tile lines worked well this week on #8.

Tree work has moved down to the 12th hole. If you have been by the club you will see a big change in this area. 6 ash and silver maple trees were removed on the right side just past the lake. This is an area where there will be a large cut of soil and that material will be moved to the left side of the hole to build a mound that will block the view from Jordan Creek Parkway. There will be a lot of trees removed from the left side to accommodate the soil that needs to be moved in this area. It will look very stark for a while out there, until we start moving soil in that area.

The DMGCC staff has been hard at building a new timber wall on the 9th hole. What we thought would be a high and dry project turned into a very muddy, slippery job. Rain the evening before we started really changed things. We have had 2 days of work on the wall and we have made some very good progression. Tim and Nate and a few of their key staff members are the brains and the braun behind the building of this wall. We will be working on it both Saturday and Sunday and hope to be out of LUI way very soon. They need to have the wall in place for the architect to place the green site on this upcoming Monday.

Here are some photos of our wall progression.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Phase 4, Week 3 Renovation Report Update

Work continues on #9 pond and the ensuing wall that we have to build. The portion of the lake that is getting filled in is almost completed. With a good day today (Saturday) the team of workers from LUI should be close to finishing the clay fill portion. Where we have to build a new wall for the 9th hole has to be compacted with a sheep’s foot roller. A foot of clay is added to the area, then the roller compacts the soil. It is a very long and tedious process. I am thankful that we have had dry weather to do this work. Our plans are to start the wall construction next week. It is going to be a very difficult process to do because we also have to do golf course aerification while we are trying to build this wall. The wall has to be built at very specific elevation. We know what elevation the water level will be when completed and for everything to work and drain correctly the wall cannot be too high or too low. Here is a copy of the wall detail. This is what we will be building. It will match the wall on #12 North.


Future Wall


Sheep's Foot in action



If you have played the open side of the south golf course then I am sure you have seen the construction of the new 8th hole. This will be a 223 yard uphill par3 hole from the black tees. The green cavity is now completed and approved by Tim Liddy. LUI will start installing the drainage in the green and the mix will be going in next week. On Tuesday Erik Christensen from EC Design will be here to layout the irrigation for this hole. Victor and his irrigation team will then start installing the new irrigation lines and sprinkler heads.

We prepare the green cavity to the plan provided us by the architect. The cavity bottom will match the top grade of the green. Once the bottom has been graded and compacted then we take all of the elevation readings every 10’ in all directions. A map is made and sent to the architect for final approval. This is a very important part because if changes need to be made to a putting green it is in this step that it must happen. Here is the green grid for those of you who want to see what we are doing. The grid sample that I am showing you is the one that has been approved by the architect. The outside area of the green really defines how sexy the green will look when it is finished.


Here is what that grid sample looks like on the ground. Very easy to take a hump and lower it or raise a low area if the architect so desires it. As a golf course superintendent I am able to give a lot of input right here because if the cupping areas are too small for us to use, then it is imperative that the architect knows this and helps us with it. Architect Liddy has been great to work with in this area because he understands our side of the business.



This hole has been very difficult to do because of all the infrastructure items that are in the area. All of the communication wires that control 3,600 sprinkler heads go through this area. We also have power wires to satellite controllers, domestic water lines, weather station control wires, septic system for the maintenance shop and another septic field for the house. It is has been a little taxing trying to find it all but we are doing well with it and we are almost done with the major dirt moving in the area.

We planned to have the green seeded by the end of next week and then the team will move to the Par 3 15th hole to demo the hole and start building a new green, fairway and tee complexes. Architect Liddy will be here on Wednesday to talk about the 15th and also help with building of the green side bunkers on the 8th hole.

The new bunkers are being cut in now.


If you see me laying out white towels in a future bunker I have not lost my marbles. A good friend of mine named Kevin Ross, Country Club of the Rockies shared this trick with us. You lay out the white towel to represent the new sand line. It makes it very easy to see the white towel on the soil. We used to use white paint, which doesn't always work too well on dry soil.


I am thankful for a dry week and while it has been some very long dry days it is rewarding to see the progress being made and I for one am thankful that we are on our last year.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Phase 4, Week 2 Renovation Report Update

It was a very busy week for LUI and their staff working on the final phase. Rain hampered their efforts a little but they prevailed and things are well underway.

We started the week off with a moving of a domestic water line that feeds the golf course maintenance facility and the house on the golf course. This water line would have been directly under the new #8 green. We did not want that line under the green so we dug a new trench around the new 8 green site and moved the water line. We also installed a conduit for any future use. All of this work was done by the DMGCC maintenance team.

In this photo our 2 superintendents Nate Tegtmeier and Tim Sims work on installing the new domestic line and conduit around #8 green site.


Our team also had the responsibility to move our Rainbird weather station. We rely on this weather station to give us daily data on the weather here at the club. We could not leave it in the old site because the new 8th hole also had a bearing on where it could be. We had to plow new wires in to the new site, construct a new concrete pad then move the weather station to the new site. Once it was moved all of the wiring had to be reconnected and it is working well now.

One group of LUI's staff was tasked with the moving of soil at the new 9th green location. Several thousand cubic yards of soil need to be moved from the west side of #9 lake to the east side where we are filling in the right side of this pond. A new tile line had to be installed across the site to remove some ground water that had be accumulating back by the old 9 tees. A tremendous amount of soil was moved this past week and hopefully by the end of this week that end of the lake will be filled in and they will have a ledge cut in for us to build our new wall in front of the new 9th green site.

These next few photos show some of the work happening on the new #9 lake site.



LUI's team is split up now. One group of staff is installing all of the new drainage lines. As you know this part of the golf course is extremely flat and if it rains we have a lot of cart restrictions on these holes. The new drainage lines on this 9 holes will have a dramatic effect on that drainage and it will aid us in drying out the golf course much quicker.

Danny one of the shapers from LUI is back on site doing his magic. This is the 3rd year that I have had the pleasure to work with Danny and experience his expertise. He is doing all of the shaping on the new 8th green site. Golf course architect Tim Liddy was on site Friday night and Saturday morning to work with Danny on the new green on #8. We should have this green shaped and ready to roll by mid week. LUT still has a lot of soil to move in this area but it will not be long and they will have it out of the way.

This is a photo of that new green site on #8.