Monday, November 30, 2015

Picture Story 2015

As try as I might, being able to find time to post relevant material is becoming increasingly harder. My good intentions to update as we go along through the season never materializes, but winter has arrived and now as I glance at pictures that were taken, I will comment after the fact that it happened.
We converted the rain shelter on hole 7 to a refreshment center, aka "Mike's Bar". We had it opened on weekends and for some of our bigger events.
Of course it never fails, the night before the Men's Member Guest Tournament, a storm blew through the course and made a mess of everything. The crew was able to get out and clean up before the event started. Unfortunately, one of the casualties was this tree guarding the dogleg on 7. Most of the members I talked to say they won't miss it.
We were finally allocated funds to purchase some needed equipment. Shown here is one of the new greens mower on a new shop hoist. The greens mowers along with a rough mower made a huge difference in maintaining the course properly and this lift was used to maintain and adjust the equipment correctly.
. With a little muscle from the Luck Football Team, the boys did a nice job cleaning up the area between holes 4 & 5. We even got out many rocks and we should be able to regularly mow this area next year.
In late October, we started this project to make this area to the left of hole 4 more playable. We will finish this up with sod in the spring.
We will be taking out a few more trees this winter. Pictured here is the red tee on 18. There are 4 large oak trees that are inhibiting turf growth in this area. There will be more tree pictures as they begin to fall.

That was 2015 in a nutshell. I've already started plans for 2016 and when you show up in the spring, there will be new golf cars waiting. Have a great off season.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Whew, Really

Looking at the date of my last post, has it really been that long? Must be, computers don't lie. So what have we doing for the last 2 months? Short answer, a lot. Let's take a look to see what we have been up to as long as it is raining on this Saturday morning.

The main projects from last fall and winter are nearly completed. The drainage lines on holes 9 & 15 have been seeded and sodded and are recovering and working nicely.
Nearly all of the 457 stumps have been cleaned up, back filled, seeded. and are growing nicely.There are a few random areas for whatever reason not growing, have been seeded again. There are several stumps yet to be cleaned up between 4 and 5, but now that the young staff is here for the summer, they will finish up as time permits. We will be dragging a landscape rake through this area as there is much debris to be cleaned up.The last thing we will do is to "pop some rocks". In other words, we will dig up the protruding rocks so we can mow this area once again. By looking at the number of golf balls that inhabit this area, I'm sure the golfers will appreciate it.

With all the timely rains this spring, the grass is growing very well. All the winter damage has recovered, and the staff is mowing constantly to keep up. So far so good in that regards.The purchase of some new equipment has helped tremendously in mowing, moving people around, and in the shop.

It is nice to see a lot of new faces enjoying the golf course. The overall atmosphere is a positive one and we will continue to improve and maintain our beautiful course. Summer is here. Come out and enjoy.In fact, you may be seeing me out playing golf and not working.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spring Clean Up

Spring clean up continued last week as volunteers from the Unity Golf Team and the Luck - Frederic Baseball Teams showed up and helped with our tree clean up. It is nice to have "Jr Muscle" to help load the stump chips for disposal. With that help, we are about half done with that project. We have the cleaned up stumps back filled with soil and will be seeding those soon.
A nice picture of the boys after their work. Thank you!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Clean up

This past weeks' weather allowed us to get out on to the course and begin the final phase of tree clean up. It was good to see that the actual mess was less than anticipated. All the areas that trees were cut in have had the remaining branches picked up and piled for burning. Well, the burning ban may make us think of alternate disposal methods unless the forecast of snow changes the conditions.

By Friday, we were able to bring out the blowers to not only move the remaining debris but get any of the wet leaves off the turf. This process will continue this week on the entire course.
There are still a handful of trees to remove. Some of these trees that need to go were a result of the storm on September 3. If everything goes well, I am anticipating an April 1 opening but that could change either way. Check the course website for updates.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Melt

I took a stroll around the course today. The snow is receding nicely. My objective was to inspect our clean up duties. Yep, the branches didn't disappear! It looks like we can start the clean up process next week. This view of 14 is wonderful.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

So Where We Going?

As temperatures rise, the and snow melts, plans made over the past few months are now getting ready for implementation. The immediate plan this early spring is to do a solid clean up of the tree removal areas and the couple of trenches from drainage installation. This is top priority and we may be able to accomplish this even before we open the doors to the public. The stump grinding process will commence when the chance for damage to the turf is minimal. The clean up and seeding will follow as quickly as possible. As mentioned in an earlier blog, attention to detail is high on the priority list. All playing surfaces including traps will be upgraded to higher maintenance practices. The results will be noticeable but necessary for us to continue upgrading our playability.

Our new membership campaign is going very well. With finding a price point that people are comfortable with, we are finding a commitment level from golfers who would have not regularly played our course. We are noticing families signing up, golfers who use to be customers coming back, and a lot of locals who are ready to try golf again. With these additional committed golfers, we have the opportunity to improve our overall financial health as well broaden our appeal among our customers and broaden our base for growth.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Winter Waiting

With the sun angle a little higher in the sky, spring will be coming. Ah, not real soon as the as the temperature this morning was -28! Work on equipment continues in the shop and realize that the golf season will be here sooner than I think. We had a Golf Commission meeting the other night and plans and pricing were discussed so I have some more office duties to work on. Next week, I leave for San Antonio, Texas to attend the GCSAA Golf Industry Show. It will be 4 days of business seminars and golf maintenance educational opportunities as well as the trade show to look at and inspect anything golf course related.

Nothing could be better than 4 days of golf with no clubs.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

All Done

That is correct, all 375 trees are cut down, hauled away, and the brush burnt. Walking down the 14th fairway to inspect the progress, a big smile came over me. The sunlight, that now will be able dry down the turf, was beaming brightly. The ability of golfers to play this hole that is now opened up is awesome.

This picture is from about 150 yards out and shows an open feeling to this hole. It was 2 years ago that we removed 5 oak trees from the east side of the green and immediately the quality of turf improved. I am counting on the same enhancements here.
We removed a few more trees in this area but more to help the approach. Look to see an expanded approach mowed this spring. As you can see, there are still some small branches yet to be cleaned up. I anticipate being able to get to most of the debris before we open. Once it dries enough to get equipment on the course, we will use blowers, sweepers, rakes, etc to remove the remaining sticks and then run a debris mower over the area. This will allow our sharpened equipment to mow turf and not branches.
This photo shows the reduction in trees between holes 14 and 15. It will be a bit easier to navigate through this area than before.

The last thing that needs to be done is to remove the stumps. We have a local tree stumper who will start as soon as he can get his equipment out onto the course. That will happen yet this winter. His plan is to have as much done by the time we open. My staff will have to clean up the chips and then backfill with soil. I plan to seed most of these areas and put a cover on it to help the germination process. More on this at a later date. So if there are any volunteers out there that will be able to help us out, contact me and we can make arrangements.

Friday, January 23, 2015


The question most often asked is "What do you do in the winter?". Well, the answer today is a vacation. Actually, it's a trip to Japan to visit my daughter and son-in-law, who is stationed here in the navy, AND my granddaughter. This is a 12 day visit to not only see the kids but take in the country and and taste a bit of the culture. A marvelous opportunity to explore and think about the upcoming season. It is early spring as the locals are starting to work their gardens. I may get a chance to visit the local golf course before we leave. The question that I will leave you with is" How come if we leave Japan at 9:20 am, we arrive in LA at 9:00 am?" Can't wait to see the tree project completed. I will report back next week, after I eat a big fat juicy cheeseburger................

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

More Trees

The tree removal crew continues on today despite the cold temps. Yesterday they got to many of the trees to the right of the 7th green. They plan on working back toward the tee. The total number of trees in this rough line is 113.
If the weather cooperates, they will then tackle the trees between holes 14 & 15, with a few additional trees to remove to the left of the 15th green.