Friday, September 12, 2014

Week 4 Recap

I love to write about our progress on the project, however this week I have very little to write about. On Monday Tim Liddy was here to help approve the final bunker placement and look on #14. We also finished the cutting of the hill on #8. Then Monday night 3" of rain wiped us out. What a mess! The irrigation installation was able to continue but the dirt work was stopped. All of the silt fences and some of the new sod was destroyed. We spent the day yesterday shoveling mud off of the spots that had eroded. We were able to move some sod back on #11. We also put straw bales behind all silt fences to help protect them from falling over again in a heavy downpour.

Here is a photo of the destruction on #11 that we restored yesterday.

Last year we seeded the new greens on September 16th. I feel confident that we will get #14 seeded this week. All of the greensmix is in place and irrigation installation will happen by next Wednesday. We also have greenscovers ready to go on these newly seeded greens to help promote germination. However #8 green is a long ways from completion. All of the construction companies efforts will be in getting these 2 putting surfaces completed. We all have to remember these set backs next spring if play is delayed on these 2 holes.

Frost on Turf

FROST! Wow to possibly have it this early in September is hard to fathom. But we have to face the possibility that is could happen tonight.

Many of you will be delayed by frost in the weeks to come or have been. Many of you will then ask the question “How can we have frost when the temperatures are above freezing? “ So I thought I would give you some interesting frost facts.

There are several factors that come into play when you are talking frost and how it forms, of course temperatures, dew points, wind speed, humidity are all important but the most important one is the Wet Bulb Temperature.

The Wet Bulb temperature is the temperature air cools to when water is added in the equation. We are all familiar with this phenomenon. You feel colder when you are 40 F and wet, than when you are at 40F and dry. This is similar to how your skin cools when you sweat and you step out into the wind. The temperature on your skin is cooler than the ambient temperature around you.

Wet bulb temperature is almost always lower than air temperature. In many cases it is considerably lower than air temperature. When water is applied to a plant, the plant surface temperature initially drops to the wet bulb temperature, even when air temperatures are well above freezing.

Here is a chart showing the difference between the two. Notice the number of hours below freezing where frost can occur.

Basically this chart shows that the air temperature can be above freezing and at the plant surface you can have freezing temperatures and that is how frost develops.

Walking or driving on the turf when frost is present can severely bruise the turf. At this time of year we will suspend any play on the golf course until the frost has melted or has burned off.

Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 3 Recap

Week 3 Recap
On Labor Day we did not work on the project. We had too much rain the previous night so our day was spent pumping bunkers. I will really be happy to have this 4 year project over and never have to pump them again!

The next 3 were days were beautiful and the temps cooled off dramatically. We were able to move more soil on #8 and #14. Our primary focus once again is to get the 2 new greens done and seeded. On #14 I am happy to say that they were able to do fine grading of the sub grade and Tim Liddy signed off on the contours and size of the putting surface. Immediately Leibold and Co. went to work and installed the drainage tile and 4” pea gravel layer. On Monday they will start putting the greens mix and installing the irrigation. The bunkers have been rough shaped and Tim Liddy will review and modify them as he sees fit tomorrow. Then the focus will be too finish that hole and move to #8.

Here are a few photos of #14 Green sub grade and gravel installation

This photo shows the fairway bunker cut on #14, this is the primary landing area

On #8 they have been very busy moving soil from the top of the hill to the green surface. Over 6,000 yards of soil was scheduled to be moved so you could see a piece of the green from the tee. 99% of the soil has been moved and Mr. Liddy will also review this and give his blessings or modifications. The new green has been rough shaped and modifications will be done there also.

Here is a photo of the fairway bunker cut at the dogleg. You can see the original fairway on the left.

Cart path removal has moved along and they are about 65% complete. Tree work is completed and they have moved out. The US Aqua Vac on #13 is complete and we are letting that bag dry out before that soil is moved over to the green site. That team has moved to #12 pond and they are 3 days into pumping that silt out of the bottom of that pond. The company that installs the new cart paths are scheduled to be in this week and that should start providing the forecasted rain stays away.

Over all we are making good progress on days that they can do work. The rain has made it difficult at times. Hopefully next week I can tell you that we have seeded #14 green and #8 will be close to being seeded.

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