Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week 2 Recap

Week 2 Recap
One word really sums up the week – RAIN. Since the start of the project we have had almost 8" of rain, most of that falling this past week. With this in mind please do not take a tour of the golf course by yourself. There are many areas that are under construction and a lot of new sod laid. One misguided golf cart can cause a lot of damage. The past few days I have seen some people doing this. Please stop. Scott Howe and his staff will have guided tours of the construction lined up starting later this week, weather permitting.

Golf Course Architect, Tim Liddy came to town on Tuesday afternoon. Thank goodness he got in early because we got 4 hours of golf course touring in that afternoon. Tim worked with shaper Clyde Hall and started to really fine tune all of the cuts and fills on #14 green. One of the biggest issues is being able to see some of the putting surface from the fairway. Very difficult to do on a uphill hole. The new green currently sits down about 6 feet lower than the old green.

Work also started on #8 green. Almost 6,000 yards of soil will be moved on to the new green there. We just got started and the rains came on Wednesday.

We were able to start to put some things back together. For me this is a big hurdle because you are seeing all of the destruction and to put the new back in seems like a huge milestone no matter what it is.

For us it was moving the Bentgrass sod on #8 to its new home on #6 fairway. Here is the progression of #6.
#6 before cutting out the old bunkers

Shaper working on taking out the old bunkers

Cutting the sod from #8 approach

Sod moved from #8 approach to #6 fairway. Good view to the putting green now.

Irrigation installation has not really stopped during the rain. These guys put plywood down everywhere and just keep going. That part of the project is right on track.

Since we could not do a lot of dirt work because of the rains, the construction guys switched over to installing drainage pipe. They too put down large tracts of plywood and install drainage. A new 18” pipe went in across #13 and 14. Today a new pipe install will go across #11 in front of the green. Very much needed and should be a big benefit in the future.

Cart path removal is about 60% done and it should not slow down. Tree work is about 90% completed and all that needs to happen is the removal of some piles of logs and limbs.

During all of the rain US Aqua Vac has continued to work. They have completed most of their work on the shorelines of #13 and they will be moving to the pond on #12 green on Tuesday.
We are planning on working a long day today. More rain is predicted for tonight and then the rest of the week looks much better for us.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Week 1 Recap

As with any project getting everyone in the correct place and starting off correctly is very important and it takes some time to get organized. I was very impressed after the first 2 days on how Leibold Irrigation and Construction got started off. Silt fencing was placed immediately in all of the highly erodible areas.

Our infrastructure is very complex. We have a lot of wires, pipes, tile and utilities in the ground. All of that has to be located and identified before dirt work or irrigation work can begin. We had a couple of people doing that job. Once areas of disruption are painted out, then you have to go in and kill the irrigation in that area so you can excavate the soil or shape it. Many areas were done this week to allow the dirt work to start.

We then sprayed all of the areas where they wanted to start work with Roundup to kill the turf. It was then roto-tilled and then the dirt moving people were off to a start.

We made a couple of waste areas where debris and bad soil can be taken to. Haul roads are marked out and work started. Our first goal is to build the 2 new greens on #8 and #14. We are trying to save and move as much Bentgrass sod as we can. We went immediately to #6 North fairway because this was an area where we were moving some bunker and then a lot of Bentgrass could be moved to that area. The bunkers were removed in that area and cut so you could see the green from your tee shot. New irrigation was added back and it is ready for sod. This short video shows the area.

Most of our efforts are on #14 green. Many trees were designated to be removed in the new construction area. Wright Outdoors came in and have been working on tree removal all week in designated areas. Topsoil was stripped off of the area of disruption and then the dirt moving started.

At the same time we had Elder Corporation in to do cart path removal on this NE9. All old asphalt is being taken out and new concrete paths will be added back, very similar to last year.
Then on Wednesday the rain started! A huge 2” rain was the first one, that stopped us for most of Wednesday. We did get some work in late that afternoon and then spotty showers plagued us for the rest of the week. Now it is Saturday morning and we just received another 2” rain that we did not need! So pray that it stops and we can start back at it.

Here is a video I took yesterday afternoon on #14 North. A lot of dirt has been moved. The new green has been cut down and some new mounding is being built to the right of the hole to help hide the look to University Avenue when you play the hole.

I will try to do weekly updates every Saturday. I will be using video and photos to help you see our progress. Even though the rain stopped us and slowed us down we are ahead of where we were at 1 year ago. So that is encouraging. Leibold has committed a tremendous amount of people and resources to help do the job correctly.

I took a before photo shot of #13 green North before the trees were removed. Then an after look when they were removed. It looks very stark but remember there will be mounding behind the green to help framing in the green. A lot of the trees were ash trees and some of them were hollow on the inside.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What is the big white bag on the side of #18 for?

We have had a lot of questions about "what is the big white bag on #18 for" If you notice this bag is starting to inflate with liquid. The ponds on the North course were built in 1987. These ponds have a great clay base in the bottoms. But over time we have had a lot of silt and organic matter wash into the ponds.

We felt that since the North course was going to be closed down it would be a great time to take care of the silt problem. We have hired a company called US Aqua Vac to come in and take care of the silt problems. The way it works is very simple. There is a diver in the pond on #13 that has a 4" hose and he is sucking up the silt and organic debris in the pond bottom. That mix of water and silt is pumped into the bag. The bag allows the water to seep out but not the silt. After it sits for a couple of weeks we will be digging a hole behind #13 green and push the silt out of the bag into the hole. The pond on #13 should take about 6 days to complete the pumping work.

We felt this would be less invasive than pumping the ponds down then trucking the silt out. We did a lot of homework on these folks and everyone raved about how well it worked. You can read more about them on their web site at

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Short video of the NE 9 before construction starts

This year I have decided to do a flyover of each hole before construction. So this morning I completed those flyovers. I will be updating the blog page each week to show you the progress we are making on the construction project. After a hole is completed I will again do a flyover and post both videos for you to see the completed work. Should give you a very good idea on our progress. This morning it was so nice out I decided to fly high from the 7th green on the North course and just take a quick video up high. Thanks.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Construction Season is fast approaching

This Sunday we will have our Town Hall meeting to discuss the upcoming renovation project on the NE 9 holes of the North Course. Holes 6-14 will be closed on August 18th and construction will start immediately on those 9 holes.

I will be doing weekly updates throughout the project. I usually posted an update on Saturdays and I will try to do that again this year.

Leibold Irrigation and Construction Company have been chosen to do our work this year. I have been fortunate to have worked with this company 2 other times in my career. They are a great group of guys to work with and very high quality of work. I am looking forward to doing some work again with them.

On the 18th we have a lot of things scheduled to happen. Old asphalt cart path removal will start on that Monday. Also tree removal will be started by Wright Outdoors. US Aqua Vac will be on site to vacuum out the silt in the ponds on holes 11,12, and 13. Leibold will be starting on greens construction and their irrigation division will start on mainline irrigation installation.

Please try and attend the Town Hall meeting this Sunday and we are looking forward to construction season and some dry weather to get through it!

Friday, June 20, 2014


When we started the bunker project there were some questions if the new bunkering would save us money after a storm. We had 1" of rain last night. These 2 photos speak volumes! The first bunker is on the South golf course. All of the bunkers on the South need to be pumped out this morning. Most of the rain water from last night's storm has soaked in, now we have to pump this water out of the bunker and it has to have time to soak into the turf. In some situations this surface will delay carts from leaving the paths.

On the North course they still have to pump the bunkers on the 9 holes that are not renovated. However this is a photo of the bunkers that have been renovated and they too received 1" of rain. Not much to do to them but rake them!

Carts Traffic

The new carts are very nice to drive and they do accelerate very quickly. We have noticed a lot of marks on the fairways from golfers taking fast turns and stopping to quickly. As a driver of a cart you have to be aware that bad driving quickly results in damage to the turf. Please be mindful of that and turn slower and take the time to slow down rather than just slamming on the brakes. Thank you.