Friday, April 1, 2022

Let's bring etiquette back.

 This is a good read from the USGA. The picture below is from Wednesday at HMGC on number 8 fairway bunker. I am sure we can do better, and your fellow members behind you would greatly appreciate it. 

Bring back golfer etiquette.




Thursday, March 10, 2022

Recap of winter work.

 Our crew has been fairly busy over the winter with outside projects. We took advantage of snow free ground to remove trees that were unhealthy or not conducive to play. This also included cleaning out the hillside after you cross 12 bridge. While this area became more aesthetically pleasing, its main purpose was to allow you to see the fairway with the mirror behind the tee. There is such a small gap to be able to see with the mirror that the scrub tree in the picture below, once leafed out, made it nearly impossible to utilize the mirror. This will help and hopefully decrease the need to yell up to 11 tee to see if you are clear to hit. 

We are currently working on cleaning up the golf course of sticks and debris, so that when we do open we are ready to go. There still is a little frost in the ground, especially in heavy shaded areas such as 8 green complex. As we are closer to opening the proshop will send out a notice or message on the 4tees app. 

A new weather warning system with automated sirens was also recently installed. The main weather station is mounted above the proshop, with two additional sirens located on the course. One is at the snack shack and the other is mounted on the back of the driving range. This system is automated and will engage when a lightning strike is detected within 10 miles of our course. There will be one solid warning that will last for 15 seconds. When there have been no lightning strikes over a 15 minute period the system will then have 3 short five second blasts to give the all clear. This takes the human aspect out of sounding our previous sirens manually at the club and shack. The sirens can also be used to commence a shotgun start on the course. There are signs posted in the locker rooms to inform our members as well. Our weather station is equipped with a camera as well that may have an option to view via an app. 


Look forward to seeing everyone soon on the golf course. As the weather warms, hopefully we do not have to use our Elmer Fudd hats to stay warm!

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Frost Delays

 This week we have already had a few lengthy delays due to frost. We do our best to try and forecast the delays the day before so that tee times can be adjusted accordingly so that our members do not have to sit and wait at the club. We get this right most of the time, but this is very dependent on how fast temperatures rise in the morning. The slower the rise in temperatures the longer it will take for the frost to burn off which not only delays tee times but also delays our ability to access the course to mow and blow leaves. Please take a moment and watch this video from the USGA on frost delays and the importance of not damaging the turf going into the winter when it can not recover on its own. 


USGA Frost Delay Video

Monday, September 27, 2021

Flooding 2021

 Due to the excessive amount of rain in our area on Wednesday and Thursday last week the course was closed due to the creek flooding. This is the highest that I have witnessed in my 7 years here and would imagine that it was worse than the stories I have heard from the 2006 Marathon tournament. 

Here are a few pics from around the course. Special thanks to our crew and the membership for their patience and care when we did open. Other than some debris you really cant tell that we were under water. We did lose the ballwasher from hole 12 so if anyone spots that in the next week or so, please let us know. 


2 fairway looking back at tee box.

11 tee looking at green. (12 tees completely under water)

7 green looking at 17 tee.


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Greens Aerification

 We will be aerating greens on October 18/19. The course will be closed both days as we complete the process. 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Grubs, Critters and Undesirable Turf

 Every fall some of our nocturnal friends on the course try to find grubs to feast upon. You will notice light damage where they dig test holes, and if they find enough to make a meal they really tear into the turf. Most of the time they are racoons, but this year we are fortunate enough to have a family of skunks out near 4 and 15. Between 4 and 15 tees they have hit pay dirt and have done some significant damage to the roughs, especially the bentgrass that has migrated to where bluegrass should be. 

With any goof turf management plan we have to look at all the reasons that the animals are there and decide if the damage is at a threshold that we should take action. Below are the reasons the damage is happening and also what our course of action will be to hopefully prevent damage going forward or at least minimize it for the future.

Problems:

1. Grubs: There are always grubs in the soil that feed on the turf roots. We treat for grubs in the spring on all our greens/tees/fairways. This keeps the threshold down and we typically do not see damage to the turf. 

2. Animals: Racoons and skunks love grubs, they are a great source of protein going into the winter. As part of their diet they search for grubs in areas that are brown and usually not irrigated. Most of the time the damage is minimal and does not require action on our part.

3:Bentgrass in roughs: Over the years bentgrass can migrate and fill in areas in the roughs. Its not a desirable turf to grow at 2 inches and vey fluffy and hard to hit out of.   


Solutions:

1. Grubs: Spray an insecticide to kill grubs and other organisms in the soil. This is only done if the threshold has reached a point where the grubs are actually causing the turf to die. Spot treating some of these areas would be a proper course of action. 

2. Animals: Trapping the animals and relocating them will be done by a professional service, especially skunks. You will start to see some live traps on the course and we have hired a company to come in the morning to relocate the animals. 

3. Bentgrass in roughs: We will start a test trial between 4 and 15 tees with a product that kills bentgrass and poa only. The product allows us to seed right away as it does not harm bluegrass or ryegrass. It is a very systemic product that kills the roots as well, but as the plant dies it turns white instead of brown. 


There is no magic pill to stop any of the three factors from happening on the course but hopefully we can minimize all three factors so that we minimize our reactions in the future. We have chose this area between 4 and 15 tees so that you can see the effects and the progress that we will make moving forward. The area is also not in play so it will not effect any members or guest experience on the course.



The light colored area between the tires is bentgrass.


Light colored grass is bent. Animals not digging up bluegrass.



Animals have found grubs in the bentgrass, but not the bluegrass.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Please Rake Your Bunkers

 When we were forced to remove the bunker rakes from the course last year our members did a great job of adapting to the changes. Now that we have placed the rakes back on the course we ask that you please return to raking bunkers after you have played your shot. 

With the new sand that we have added it is not necessary to use much force to smooth the sand out. In fact, the lighter you rake the smoother the sand will be. Please also remember to rake the area where you hit from but also every foot print that you make. We are into the heart of the season and this means Old Pal, and other matches are being played, which means the ball has to be played down. It is not fair to the members and guests behind you to not have the same conditions that you were able to enjoy. 

Below are two pictures from the same bunker on hole 13 today. The bunker was "kinda" raked by this golfer, but the golfer didn't take the time to finish raking. In the first picture is a ball in their footprint alongside a spot where they did a great job raking. The second picture is a ball that has rolled up to a pile that was left by this same golfer because they raked too hard. Which shot would you want to play in your match? (and no I don't know who did this)

Please note that we have requested the rakes be left OUTSIDE of the bunker, on the side furthest away from the green or fairway.

Again please take a little extra time so that the members and guest in the afternoon enjoy the same conditions that you enjoyed.