Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 12 Recap and possible ending

I usually sit down and write my weekly updates on Saturday afternoon, however this past weekend we worked 2 long days trying to beat the weather that is coming in tonight (Monday).

I have to say that the last 3 weeks have been a very long stretch of hard work that has stressed us all on both crews. We all have been working very hard to finish up the project while the weather has been good.

We have done a great job but we are just a little short of completing. If we have some dry days I think the bunkers on #9 and #10 can be finished. We are down to 7 bunkers that need to be completed. This past weekend all cart paths have been poured and sodded along. All of the irrigation is in and was working great until we shut it all off late tonight because we are blowing it out starting tomorrow morning. We planted 43 trees on the North course trying to fill in some voids along University Avenue and between some holes to help screen some areas. We laid all of the bentgrass on #11 fairway. We also laid bentgrass on ½ of the tees so we will be teeing off in the spring on every hole. Since last Wednesday to today we have installed 10 semi loads of bluegrass sod.

If the weather locks us out and we don’t finish it really is not too bad of a situation. I am still very hopeful that we will finish. We still have some haul roads that will need to be seeded or sodded later this year as dormant seedings or we will address them in the spring.

Just over 30 rain out days in the last 12 weeks. If we would have had last year’s weather we would have been done, however we don't need to dwell on that. I can say that I am very proud of Leibold’s accomplishments this past month. They have been committed to this project 100% and they have given it their all. Golf course architect Tim Liddy has also been 100% committed to helping us finish. He made 2 trips here last week because we were moving so fast. I am also very proud of our maintenance team. They have worked beside Leibold and have helped to make this a very successful project that everyone will enjoy next spring.

I took a few photos today to finish up my weekly recaps.

#6 Green 100 yards out

#7 from behind the back tee

#10 from behind the pro tee

#12 with the new bunker completed

#10 Left, greenside bunker that we were working on today

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Week 11 Recap

7 days! First time since the start of this project that we have worked a full week with no rain. It is amazing how much you can accomplish when you have no rain.

I mentioned it before but I would like to say it again, I am very proud of the efforts that our maintenance team put in the last 2 weeks. Not only have they maintained the golf courses but they have worked a lot of extra hours helping to build the wall on #12.

On the wall we were able to drive all of the tie backs into the bank to secure the top of the wall. This required us to drive steel plates over 2’ under the ground level. These plates were 3/8” steel that measured 2’ x 2’. First we had to build a tool that attached to concrete breaker to see if we could drive them. It took several different trial and error attempts but in the end we succeeded. Every post had to have a tie back that was installed 12’ back into the bank. Then a ½’ steel rod was installed into the plate and a hole was drilled at a specific elevation through the post. Then a washer and nut were placed on the outside of the posts and tightened.

Once rods were in place we started the major tasks of back filling the wall. Again we had very specific instructions on how high the material was to be installed and what we had to use. First the entire inside of the backfill area was wrapped with a non-woven landscape fabric. 2’ washed stone was used to backfill up to 18” from the top. Again fabric was placed across the top of the rock and then soil was added to the top. It was a very laborious and tedious job but in the end we great luck in getting it all into place.

North Course Superintendent, Nate Tegtmeier waiting to drive plates in.

South Course Superintendent, Tim Sims and Patti Henry from Elder Corp driving plates.

Backfill Layers

When we were up to grade the final job was to cut off the tops of the posts and install the top cap. We finished this on Wednesday afternoon of this week. Quite a process in a very short time period. End result is a beautiful bulkhead that can be seen from several different holes.

On Thursday our staff headed to #8 fairway and finished grading and picking up the rocks on the fairway expansion. We then did a dormant seeding on the fairway and then we covered it with a special
erosion netting.

Andy Rhylander drop seeding fairway

Straw erosion control being installed.

During all of our work this week Leibold also made some major end roads. Almost all of the tees are now built. Good thing because on Friday we had a semi load of new Bentgrass sod arrive from Chicago and our staff sodded several different tees. We will finish this morning sodding #10 tees. By doing this we will have 2 sodded tees on every hole to play from next spring. We are also are seeding and covering all of the other tees as they become available to us.

#7 Tees

The major irrigation pipes that were bored under #12 last week were attached to the North pump station on Wednesday and Thursday. We are now connected once again to both pump stations and that is a very comforting feeling since we have only had 1 station for over a month. While it was not needed it is just good to have it in the rear view mirror.

New bunkers were built on #11 fairway and #11 green during the later part of this week. Dozers and excavators moved to #7 green on Friday. Also a new greenside bunker was built on #6 green and sodded on Friday.

Overall this was one of the best weeks of the project. It is great to work with some true professionals that work very hard at their trait.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Week 10 recap

Just over 10 weeks of work have come and gone since the project has started. We have officially had 30 days of rain in that period. Despite the rain, progress continues and looks very good.

Irrigation is doing quite well. Almost all of the main line irrigation is now installed. They have some installation to do as new tees finished getting built, so for the most part they are on the downhill side. This past Thursday the irrigation crew bored under the area between #7 pond and #12 pond. They then pulled a 10” pipe under everything in that area. It will be nice to not see pipes hanging on the bridge crossing in that area. I was amazed that they can pull a 10” pipe under everything for that distance. Very impressive.

Construction is now officially done on #14. Everything that was demoed is now sodded or seeded. It looks very nice. They are moving on to finishing the bunkers on #6. The fairway bunker should be completed today. The greenside bunker was roughed in yesterday and approved by architect Tim Liddy. They will now move to the fairway bunkers on #8. They also have a crew working on tees. The tees on #7, 12, and 13 are now all moved or reshaped. Drainage is done around the tees, and irrigation is being installed. The crew will finish laser leveling the tees and then they will be finished.

Our staff has been very busy working in the mud on #12 pond. We started last week installing the upright poles around the pond. Once completed we wasted no time, we started to install the horizontal whaler boards. Then the vertical back boards. Landscape fabric is installed behind the structure and then it is all backfilled with clean stone. This coming Monday we will be installing tie backs into the banks on every post. All of this work is being completed according to the plan provided us by the engineering firm. It is a very complex structure to build but it has gone very well. It really has been very difficult to manage and control all of the water from the property but that is now all behind us.

I would like to tell the golf course maintenance crew that they are one of the best group of guys that I have had the pleasure to work with. Not many crews could or would endure the mess that they have encountered this past week and 1/2. Their hard work has really paid off and we now have a very beautiful bulkhead.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 9 Recap

Week 9 Recap
I am sorry that I am late in getting an update written this week. We finally hit a stretch of nice weather and we have worked non-stop trying to get things done.

We had a lot of rain at the start of the week that basically shut us down for 2.5 days. By Wednesday we were able to get started working again. All of the work around #13 green has been completed. #14 tees are all seeded and the cart path work and sodding is about completed. By Tuesday we should be out of that are completely.

All of the new tees have now been graded except for #10 tee. Leibold is really busy getting tees built, the last of the drainage in and building bunkers. Architect Tim Liddy was in last Thursday and gave them some guidance on their projects.

We are busy building the wall on #12 green while it is high and dry. Hopefully we can stay away from the rain and we can get a lot done in that area.
Sorry for the short rant this week and the lack of photos. I have been so busy I have not had a lot of time to do anything but golf course items and construction.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Week 8 recap

Week 8 Recap

This broken record seems to continue to be played every week. Once again mid-week we had ½” of rain to derail the progress for a couple of days. However some very exciting things did happen this week.

All of the focus is on the area around #13 green and #14 tees. We want to finish this area and move out of there so that #14 can be finished and we can move to other project areas. The greenside bunker on #13 green will be finished today, there was supposed to be a bunker the entire length of #13 green but there really was not a lot of room in that area to make a bunker look good, so it was decided to scrap the bunker and move the pond closer to the green behind the bunker. It really looks nice. Look for a flyover video soon on the blog page to show you how it looks from up top. I think you will really enjoy the new look.

Here is a look at a few photos from around #13 green.

The new berms are almost completed behind the green and ready for sod. The cart path around #14 tees will be installed today and then the final finish can be done around the tees. We should be able to seed the tees next week and install the bluegrass on the tee banks and berm, moving out of that area. A tremendous amount of work has been done in this area and I will be happy to move onward.

On #13 the new tees have been cored out and sub-bases have been leveled. The new forward tee is now moved and will be ready for the next phase of construction.

Cart path on #11 is 95% done and crews are working to backfill and sod along all of the new cart paths.

#8 green was reseeded last Sunday. We have had it covered all week and it is slow to germinate however there is a lot of seed up and it is looking better. We continue to push #14 green and we are mowing it about 3 times a week.

We started the construction of the new wall around #12 green. This will be a wall that is modeled after the 17th green at TPC Sawgrass. We had structural engineers design the new wall to make sure it will work in our climate. We ordered the rough sawn lumber from a local distributor and it has gone through the saw mill out west. The wood will all be Douglas Fir, it was treated and loaded on to semi-trucks last night in South Dakota. We will take delivery on Tuesday morning and we will start construction right away. This is a big project and we are doing it in house with our staff.
First step was to cut away the bank around the green. The excavation work will be finished this morning. Over 120 loads of pond bank were removed from that area and moved to another sight on the course for future work. The bank was shored up with plywood and posts to keep everything intact and to provide some stability of the pond bank. We have to be very detailed in all of our elevation measurements as we go. A shelf was cut in at a specific elevation as we did the excavation. Next step will be to install all of the upright posts. We will use a 18” auger to install them and backfill around them with concrete. Next week I hoped to have some much better progress photos for you to see. It is a very exciting project and should look really good.Our biggest challenge is to control the water coming from upstream. Rain is our enemy right now.

Overall progress continues to be made despite the rain. We have yet to have a week where it hasn’t rain. That is the hand we have been dealt and we will push to continue to the end.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Flyover of Hole #8, October 5, 2014

You can see the outline of the fairway bunkers that you will have to hit over to reach a new, wider landing area. You can see the green off of the tee. The new green is protected by 3 new bunkers. I am a little disappointed in the germination of the seed on the new green. We will seed it again today.