Friday, April 28, 2017

Golf Course Renovation Project - Finished and Thank You

August 14, 2013 seems like a long time ago, actually it was 1,353 days ago. That is when we started Phase 1 of our golf course renovation project. We have accomplished a lot since that start date. It seems like eons ago and it seems just like it was yesterday.

Under golf course architect Tim Liddy’s guidance we have built 94 new tees, 162 bunkers, 12 new greens and facelifted 3 others. We have installed 9 miles of new drainage and we have 502 surface inlets to feed that drainage system. We have removed a few trees to give us long views and we have new mainline irrigation in place to feed precious water to all ends of our golf courses properly. We have installed over 67 acres of sod and we have seeded almost 5 acres of fescue no mow areas. We have rebuilt some water hazards and installed some beautiful walls to enhance a couple of golf holes. Most of all we are done and that is a great thing to have in our rearview mirror.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take some space on my blog to say thank you to some fine people. First is to our two golf course superintendents Nate Tegtmeier and Tim Sims and their assistant superintendents Mitchell Meyers and Craig Connell. These gentlemen are the ones that made it all happen. They maintained the open 27 holes everyday to keep our golfers happy. They have worked a tremendous amount of hours to make sure the construction went well and they helped me to keep from going insane. Nate and Tim were really the ones that kept a level head and helped me problem solve and work through our issues to get this work completed. My hats off to them, I owe them a huge debt of gratitude. The same goes out to our staff of full time and seasonal employees, without them and their hard work this would never have happened. Thank you all!

To General Manager, Jim Cutter and Director of Golf, Scott Howe I really appreciate the many hours and the countless amount of visits you two made out to the golf courses to look at items, help make decisions and give me your expertise. Most of all I appreciate your support throughout this project. I am sure there were times you thought I was nuts but you trusted me and I do appreciate it.

To golf course architect, Tim Liddy you and I may have not seen eye to eye on a few things, however at the end of this project I have to say we have a great product thanks to your keen eye and your ability to fit and match Dye’s ideas back into this property. A job well done! To be able to make it all work and how beautiful it looks is truly amazing. Thank you Tim. I do appreciate all of the time on phone calls, emails and visits you made to Des Moines Golf. I really appreciate you letting me participate in helping shape and mold your ideas into golf course features. I have learned a lot from you over the past 4.5 years. I will not forget it.

To Erik Christenson at EC Design., you and Lisa were great to work with and the fact that you retrofitted a new mainline system into this property was nothing short of amazing. You are the best and the fact that you were 10 miles down the road made it even better for us. Thank you for letting me call at all hours of the day and pick your brain. I do appreciate the trips you made out here to our property to give us you expertise.

To Eric Ludewig at Pro Angle. Thanks for making a great product and for keeping those trucks running to Iowa.

To the folks at Landscapes Unlimited a very special thank you to committing to Des Moines Golf and Country Club and your ability as a construction and irrigation company to perform and achieve what we all wanted. A special thank you to Jeff Ricketts, Mike “Squeak” Ufken, Lucas Schroeder, Daniel Zumudia, Mitch Hock, Victor Ramirez, Tom Works, Denise Haake and Project Manager Ty Arndt. You folks made it all happen for the last 4.5 years. There has been a lot of work on the grounds here and behind the scenes making sure that we got what we paid for. Your work speaks for itself and we have a great finished product thanks to your great company and your professional abilities. A special shout out to Bill Kubly, Kurt Huseman and Roy Wilson for your leadership and great guidance of the staff you have at LUI.

Lastly to my wife Sherry, you have sacrificed a lot for me and kept our family going while I have been gone. I love you and thank you for letting me do what I love to do.

On to the Solheim Cup 2017!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring Update from the Golf Course

From the Golf Course

We are well under way with our spring work on the golf courses and in the clubhouse grounds area.

Landscapes Unlimited is slated to be here late next week to finish the renovation project. They have 1 bunker on #14 green, 5 bunkers on #16 and the bunker at the chipping green to finish up. All of these bunkers have been shaped and drain tile has been installed up to them. LUI had to wait until the sod producer was able to cut sod and we had to have the irrigation system up and operational to water the sod. Once bunkers are completed and we do a walk through and then 4 years of renovation construction will be complete. I am sure we are all glad about having that work in our rear view mirrors!

We have been very busy on the golf courses this spring. One of our prime focus areas has been the pruning of the trees. We use to do a little pruning work every fall or spring. However with all of the construction work that consumed our time the past 4 years, we have fallen behind in our pruning efforts. We are now very busy cutting some low limbs or some weak limbs to get them out of the way. The turf should really benefit from these pruning efforts, allowing more sunlight to the turf canopy. We will be chipping those limbs next week to get them out of your way.

On frosty morning our crews have worked very hard to remove the volunteer trees that have grown up into our property line fence. We spent a couple of weeks removing that vegetation out of our fence line on holes 5, 13, 14, and 16 on the South course. It looks much cleaner not having that growth up through our fences.

Bunker maintenance will always consume more of our maintenance time. 20 years ago bunkers were hazards and very little was done to them except rake them, today bunkers are one of the most costly items in any superintendent’s budget. We all strive to have clean, consistent, good appearance and playable bunkers. This requires us to check sand depths, redistributing sand in the bunker or adding new sand to the bunkers. It takes a tremendous amount of time and labor to work the bunkers in the spring of the year. One golf course crew is working on bunkers and the other crew is focusing on pruning. Once completed they will change work/equipment and do vice versa. Hopefully you will understand what is going on if you see 10 guys working on a bunker or branches laying around under a lot of trees.

We are also working very hard doing infrastructure items for the upcoming Solheim Cup this August. The installation of the fiber optic network is almost completed. Splicing of the fiber should be completed next week and then it will be up to the techno gurus to get it all turned on and operational. Once completed we will see a huge impact on the internet service here at the club. It will be a very high speed system that will work much faster.

We never seem to be project free here in the maintenance department. We will soon start the work on installing a new equipment wash pad area. We currently do not have a good area to wash and clean off our equipment. Having this new area will greatly improve how we clean up after mowing and using our equipment.

We will also be installing a new retaining wall on the walkway to the lower level of the clubhouse. The railroad tie wall that has been there for years is in dire need of replacement. We will be starting that project very soon and during our construction that walkway will be closed for your safety. Thank you for understanding.

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