Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bunker Work Commences

The bunker work has begun. The old sand was removed from the fairway bunkers on #12 and they were re-edged. New sand was put in today and they are back in play, be forwarned though that the new sand is very soft and the ball has a tendancy to plug. The left greenside bunker was ripped apart and renovated today also, it is almost completed. By the end of the week the whole hole should be nearly finished, just waiting on sod would be my guess. If there is no rain in the forecast and it is feasible, I will bring in the sod for both #13 and #12 in one shipment to save on costs...

Since the approach is getting a little work, we have stolen some sod from there and are using it to repair some of the dead spots we have on a few approaches. There was also some extra soil generated from the greenside bunkers and that is being put where the new tee box on #11 is going. That was a project that got postponed last year because there was no extra soil to work with from the bunker project, so this year we will be completing that. It will put the yardage for that hole from 190'ish to 215 or so, making it a good challenge for the championship tees. It will not be completed until this fall, so for now it will be rough graded and seeded with ryegrass.

And I want to thank everyone involved for a tremendous 50th Anniversary Party at the club last Sunday. I am so glad I got to play and be part of the celebration...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 44 - Rain, EAB, & Bunkers

And again I am extremely grateful for a super irrigation system! With very little rain this spring we have been pumping a lot of water onto the golf course. And though we have had the usual hiccups, the irrigation system has been working wonderfully. However, with all the wind we have had it has been a struggle to keep some of the seeded areas nice and damp. But things are progressing nicely. On that note, while most poor fairway areas are showing signs of good re-growth, there are some approach and collar areas that we plan to cut and sod next week. For the most part I have been pleased with the recovery of most of the golf course, excluding a few areas here and there.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been in the local news on a daily basis now that it has been found in St. Paul. How does that effect us is on a lot of members minds I gather, considering all the questions I have had in the past couple of weeks about it. There is no question it is devastating to any ash tree population, literally killing every tree, and we have a high population of ash trees. In fact the majority of trees on the golf course are ash trees, so when it gets here it will open the golf course up considerably. Our plan of attack right now is to inventory the golf course trees and start determining any "key" ash trees that we should consider chemical treatments for. This will start amongst the greens committee and go out to the board and membership from there. Preventative treatments have come down in cost, so it is reasonable to consider some for treatment but not a high number of trees. The best thing we can do is follow that course of action and start treating key trees to help prevent their demise. And along with that, let nature follow its course and deal with the tree removal when it comes to that. We could have it now, though I have seen no signs of it yet, or it could be many years before it makes it our way. The big thing is to not panic and start making any rash decisions about dealing with the high number of ash trees we have on the golf course. I will definitely keep everyone posted as to what we are doing in regards to the whole issue.

Bunkers, bunkers, bunkers. The project is starting early this year, next Tuesday as a matter of fact. Holes 12 & 13 are being renovated this summer, with some more work being put off until the fall. As usual there will be some minor tweaking to all the bunkers, the fairway bunkers on #12 will just have the old sand taken out and new sand put in. There will not be any moving, adding, or removal in that area. The greenside however will get some dramatic change with updated bunkers and a slight pinching of the approach. The work on #13 will really bring that hole into light. The fairway bunkers are being moved slightly more into the fairway and the second one will be brought in a little closer to the first. The willow tree along the pond will be removed and the fairway cut will be extended to within six feet or so of the pond edge. The greenside bunkers will be shifted slightly, with the right side bunker being brought in to the green closer and more towards the front right corner. The fall work which is tentatively planned right now would be a complete regrading and seeding of the 13th fairway. This would eliminate the drainage issues we have in the fairway, allow us to kill the predominantly poa annua fairway and seed in supreme blues, and make a much more playable surface. The winter kill that fairway suffered is a perfect example of how poorly the water moves through that area.

I apologize for the lapse in updates, I will do a much better job going forward. With EAB, minor projects, and everything else there is plenty too talk about.