Friday, March 4, 2016

Winter Updates & Projects


March brings us closer to spring weather and the much anticipated opening of the golf course. The winter months were spent working inside the shop and on the golf course as the winter weather allowed. An overview and pictures of a few of these projects can be found below.

Over the winter, we also made an addition to the Grounds Management staff. Our new Assistant Superintendent Jason Hazel joined the Ridgemoor Staff in January.
 
New Assistant Superintendent Jason Hazel


Jason attended Purdue University where he earned a Bachelors in Turf Science before moving to Atlantic City, New Jersey. In Atlantic City, Jason worked at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey as a Second Assistant Superintendent. He also has worked as an intern at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, IN, Chevy Chase Country Club in Chevy Chase, MD and interned two years at Galloway National Golf Club. In his free time Jason enjoys the outdoors and spending time with friends and family.
 
 
Equipment Maintenance
 
Performing routine and preventive maintenance to our equipment fleet is one of the most important winter tasks. This maintenance includes grinding all of our reel mowers, changing fluids & filters in all machines, and addressing any mechanical issues. The time spent pays significant dividends in extending the life span of our equipment fleet and avoiding down time during the golf season.
 
Ernesto preparing a fairway reel for grinding



Benito changing a fairway mower bedknife



 Spray boom sanded and ready for primer and paint
 
 
 
 


                        Winter Tree Work

The cold weather and frozen ground over the last few months has allowed for us to continue our removal of Ash Trees throughout the property. These Ash Trees have extensive Emerald Ash Borer damage. Several other trees throughout the property were removed due to significant disease and decay. Although the Ash Trees were damage due to insects, the hardwood was still salvageable. This off season we worked with 2 local companies to re-purpose much of the wood.


 
 

Ash Tree damage from Emerald Ash Borer

 
 
Rotten and decayed tree trunk

 
 

Horigan Urban Forest Products will re-purpose the salvageable lumber from our tree work for use in custom construction projects throughout the Midwest.


 

Northwest Wood Products will re-purpose the remaining of our lumber to build pallets and grind into mulch.
 
 
 
                             Oak Park Avenue Fence Clearing

Staff spent a week the winter clearing brush and overgrowth from the fence line along Oak Park Ave. This fence line was neglected and extremely overgrown. With this clearing project we will be able to monitor any issues with the fence and remain in compliance with the village of Harwood Heights.
 
 
Fence line extremely overgrown unmaintained
 
 
Substantial growth removed from fence line
 
 
Noticeable difference after crew removes over grown material
 










 



 
 

 
 

  
 
 

 


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fall & Winter Seasonal Projects


As we transition from fall to the off season winter months, we have taken full advantage of the remarkable warmer temps during December. It’s pretty amazing we had 7” of snow cover at Thanksgiving. Since then the snow has melted away and our staff has been hard at work with a variety of projects.

Morning sunrise after Thanksgiving snow storm
 
 
 
Natural Stone Curbing
We have continued to expand the installation of the natural Lannon stone curbing around tees and greens. In the spring, we will add soil and raise the sod to meet the existing grade where the new stone curbing was installed
Stone Curbing around #5 tee and cart path

Stone Curbing around #11 tee along with drainage along cart path
 
 
Approach Drainage
As we strive for championship playing conditions, it has become imperative to address the installation of drainage in our Approaches that will allow for firmer and better playing conditions. We have trenched and installed 2” drain tile and back filled trenches with a sand organic mix.

Trenching for drainage installation on #2 Approach

Drain lines installed every 6’ to allow for consistent drainage throughout entire approach

2” drain tile installed and backfilled with sand organic mix
 
Sodding Greens
With the unexpected warmer temps it has allowed for us to address a few select areas on our putting surfaces that struggled through their first initial playing season. We have removed the struggling turf and replaced these areas with thick established sod that with allow for these areas to get a jump on the recovery process in the spring.

Benito installing sod to #3 green
 
 
Fairway Topdressing Fairways
One important winter preparation task is the sand topdressing to our fairways before the winter freeze sets in. This application of sand helps in the protection of the crowns of the plants through the long cold winter months.
Heavy sand topdressing applied to the fairways

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rain Rain Go Away

The 6.5" of rain in just over 48 hours proved to be more than the golf course could handle and unfortunately we were forced to close the course.  The pictures below will give you an idea of the conditions early Tuesday morning.  The good news is the course is draining well and with a little good weather and some hard work we hope to have you back on the golf course very soon.


Sunrise looking east towards the 10th fairway (above)


Taken from the Driving Range Tee looking west (above)


Hole #2 (above & below)



From the 10th green looking north (above)


Fairway bunker on the 6th hole (above & below)



5th hole "island tees" (above)




Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Weather & 1st Mow

As expected the winter weather had little effect on the new bentgrass planted on greens, tees and fairways as part of the Renovation Plan.  As the snow melted Grounds went back to work preparing to open the golf course in early June.  TDI is set to return in mid-April to finish up cart path work and some minor sodding.  Follow along on Twitter and the Blog as we prepare to open! 


Snow melt in late March revealed no winter damage here on the 17th green or anywhere else on the golf course.


The 6th fairway after the spring thaw is in great condition.  The BBB and ProAngle sand stayed in place just as we left off in the fall.




The 1st mow on greens took place on March 20th (above).  The third mow on April 8th (below) shows some very nice green up despite the cold temperatures.



The short game area and 18th fairway were both seeded late in the fall and covered over the winter.  We removed covers on April 7th and are very pleased with the results.



A few of the shaded tees required sodding in order to be ready in time for opening.  Our crew (above) works from plywood to sod the 13th tee.


Bail areas behind 4 of the greens were also sodded early this month to 007 bentgrass.  The finished product looks fantastic! 




Friday, January 23, 2015

Winter Tree Work

The cold weather and frozen ground has allowed us to drive our  heavy equipment on the golf course and continue our Ash Tree removal and replacement program.  Several Ash trees we have removed show extensive damage from the Emerald Ash Borer.  Our goal is to remove all Ash Trees over the next several winters and phase in a diversity of new trees planted in strategic locations.  The first of these plantings will take place this spring in conjunction with the Renovation Plan.



This is the first evidence I've seen of cold weather damage.  The recent cold snap caused this tree to split.  Unfortunately we'll have to remove this tree for safety reasons.




Tunneling of the Emerald Ash Borer is evident in the photos below.









video

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Before & After

A quick look at some before and after renovation pictures.  Click on any picture to enlarge and view as a slide show.   More to come... 



The 2nd greens looking towards the 3rd blue tee.  Pure 007 Bentgrass vs the mottled Poa & Bent.  Consistent surrounds that flow to the next tee. 








The 12th green and bunker complex.  Nice movement against the green, bunker pushed closer and clean sod on the surrounds.  








11 Tee - Level and firm








Approach bunker on the 2nd hole.  Notice how the greenside bunkers are much more visible after renovation.








8th hole from the back tee.








15th tee - Square, level and firm








Greens - Bent/Poa vs 007 Bent