The course has been coming around the last two weeks. With increasing temperatures the grass has really started to jump out of the ground. Most areas that were dinged up from the winter months is starting to recover. Our one sour spot on the course is still the bottom of six rough. It is slowly drying up and hopefully next week we will be able to get it seeded. The seed should germinate pretty quickly with the warm weather.
We started the irrigation system up last week. No major leaks or breaks on the course which is a good thing. We did have an issue with one of our pump motors though. A bad bearing needed to be replaced. We pulled the motor on Monday and took it to our electric motor repair shop. We were fortunate that Larry had the bearing in stock and I picked up the motor on Monday afternoon after he repaired it. That is pretty quick turn around time, thanks Larry! We set the motor back in place Tuesday morning. Hopefully our pump person can make it here Friday or Monday to wire it and set the shaft. So we have been watering with reduced capacity and it has gone pretty smooth. I would not want to be down a pump in July so if it’s going to happen, this is the time of year for it to happen.
I started this blog in February of 2012 to help inform our members and guests of the happenings on the course. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that visits this site. We have eclipsed 10,000 “hits” and have had almost 3,000 unique visitors. That is just awesome. When I started it I thought maybe we would get just a handful of visits, I was wrong and could not be happier. Thank you and have a great day.
It’s that time of year again for some great deals on golf to support turfgrass research. You have the chance to play some exclusive country clubs or get a good deal at some great public facilities. There are 242 items to bid on. The auction ends this Sunday, May 12. Some courses that are on the site are Cascade Hills CC, Arcadia Bluffs, Detroit Golf Club, Egypt Valley CC, Forest Dunes, Lochenheath, Travis Pointe CC and Bucks Run. All of the proceeds help fund Turfgrass research at Michigan State, better research means better playing conditions. Here is the link http://www.teetimes4turf.com/
Have a great day and start bidding.
If you have visited us lately you most likely noticed an addition to the driving range. We installed synthetic mats on the back of the upper range tee. We found what we believe are the best mats available for you. Our goals for the mats are to reduce some wear and tear on the range in the shoulder seasons as well as wet weather and large outings. In the early spring and late fall the weather does not promote good seed germination so divots taken in these periods do not recover until the arrival of better weather. Also with staffing limitations during these times divots are not filled as frequently as they are during the summer months. It was quite a project and with the help from our friends at Central Concrete Products it went very smoothly.
We still have some finishing touches that will be done once we get caught up on the course. We will sod or seed the edges. Also we will core aerate, fertilize, over seed and topdress the tee bank to correct the compaction and wear that was caused from equipment. We hope you enjoy the new mats.
I try not to always talk about the weather on the blog. But in reality the weather has so much to do with course conditioning that it is hard not to. Two words can describe this April; Cold and Wet. Only three days in April have we seen a high temperature above 59 degrees and we have received 8.77 inches of rain. That makes for a wet course. The Chippewa River overflowed the banks yesterday and luckily it dropped last night and did not reach the forecasted crest level. As I toured the course yesterday inspecting potential flood issues it reminded me that the course was built with the guidance of three very smart individuals. Bill, Jim and Bud Fisher made certain that this course would not be shut down with every minor flood of the river. We had some areas yesterday that had flood waters on the course but it was by design so that the entire back nine would not be under water. Even though we had very inclement weather yesterday we were still open for golf with very little inconvenience to the golfers. The Fisher brothers put in a tremendous amount of time and effort into this course and it has paid off. I just wanted to say thank you, they taught me so much about construction and continue to share their wisdom with me today.
Now for some pictures from yesterday.
The river continues to flow through #6. This is a designed flow through area for the river when the levels go above approximately 10 feet.
We had to divert traffic back to #16 while the river flowed over the cart path. Today the area is open for cart traffic as the river receded.
Warmer temperatures should arrive next week. Hopefully they are here to stay. If you come out you will see a new addition to the driving range. I will write about the process of installing our new mats next week. Also, the cooler temperatures have delayed the application of Pre-Emerge Crabgrass applications so if you have not applied anything to your home lawn yet you are still in good shape. Next weekend should be good timing to apply Crabgrass preventer to your lawn. Have a great weekend.
That becomes the question of the day as we get further into April and courses around us open but we are still closed. There are a few contributing factors for the continued closure. The overriding factor has been weather. The winter flood that we experienced in February is still having lasting effects. A tremendous amount of water came onto holes 6, 11 and 12 with lesser amounts on 13 and 17. Since the flood occurred in the dead of winter the water froze. On holes 6 and 11 the ice was at least a foot thick and 12 saw ice 7″ deep. It takes time for all of that ice to melt and the spring weather has not cooperated very well. We are losing more ice everyday but it has been a very slow process.
Another factor has been the frost in the ground (frozen soil). The cold night time temperatures and lack of rain have made the soil thaw very slowly. Many greens still have layers of frost in the ground. When this occurs the ground is very soft and any traffic on the greens can cause irreparable damage through rutting and root shearing. This is true on fairways as well. Once the frost comes out of the ground the soil needs a few days to firm up.
We are working very hard to get open as soon as possible, but in the end mother nature is the controlling factor. I hope to open by the end of next week (4/11 or 4/12). This is late compared to recent years but overall our average opening date has been 4/10 throughout the history of the club. I appreciate your patience and understanding. In the mean time get a round or two in at our simulator. As always check back for updates and have a great day.