When we opened the golf course in mid-March we were looking forward to an early spring season. Unfortunately the early season warmth has turned into a cool wet spring to date. This past weekend we even experienced some light frost, which is somewhat abnormal for this date. The good news is the long range forecast shows significant improvement with temperatures near 70F and a somewhat drier pattern. Several spring projects are underway as we prepare for the season, details are outlined below.
With the full driving range tee reconstruction on hold, grounds staff applied a heavy sand topdressing to the tee in the late fall of 2015 before over-seeding with 007 bentgrass. The tee was then covered for the winter. We expect the tee to open mid-May.
Work is underway on a new private lesson tee and junior area to the southwest of the main driving range tee. The junior area is designed to accommodate the influx of youth golfers, kids camp and alleviate wear and tear from the main driving range tee. The private lesson area will allow for undisturbed one on one instruction with the golf professional staff on a grass surface that mimics on course conditions.
Repairs to the sewer and storm water systems were completed over the winter to close out the MWRD (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District) swimming pool permit. Over the next few weeks grounds staff will be backfilling and sodding disturbed areas near the 18th tee and clubhouse lawns.
Extensive drainage was added to the approaches on 2 and 14 early this spring. These two areas have historically been the wettest approaches on the golf course and experienced some turf thinning late last summer due to water logged soils. So far this spring the drainage has been performing well and the approaches are quickly drying after rainfall.
Two Maple trees were removed from the right side of the 11th green this winter. The first tree was dead, and the second was casting extensive shade on the green causing the grass to thin. Removal of these trees left an opportunity to reroute the cart path further to the east and also install some lower plantings between the green and cart path. Grounds staff is currently moving irrigation and with some dry weather will continue cart path relocation and regrading east of the green.
The stone curbing project continues throughout the golf course in high traffic areas. Late last fall Grounds Staff installed curbing near the halfway house, 14 green, 10 tee and 5 tee. This spring staff is working to backfill behind the installed curb and level the sod to the top of the curbing. An asphalt contractor will be on site later this month to repair any areas of asphalt that were disturbed during installation.