Friday, December 7, 2012

Closing down the Greens

On Monday December 10th, the "Greens" will be closed.  We will be moving the flags to their temporary positions on the approaches.  The golf course will remain open to those who would like to come out for some exercise and play winter golf.  The greens crew will be putting down a heavy topdressing and staking off the greens starting next week.  It has been a tremendous golf year, that opened up in March and finished in December.  We would like to thank all the support of the membership through the 2012 golf season, and are already looking forward to 2013.

Monday, December 3, 2012

#3 Tee Renovation

Here are a few pictures of #3 Tee during and after renovation.

Removing the Austrian Pines behind #3 tee box

Installing the retaining wall
Removing the grass from the tee box and surrounds
Rough grade
Almost at final grade
New irrigation being installed
Laser leveling tee boxes
Brick paver walk path being installed
Cutting pavers to be installed
Walk path pavers finished
Limestone retaining wall finished
New #3 Tees and surrounds grassed

#2 Tee Renovation

The greens crew has been busy on the course as well as overseeing the renovation of #2 and #3 Tee areas. With the design of C.W. Golf Architecture and contractor Eagle Golf Construction we were able to finish the transformation of these 2 areas during November. Below are some pictures of #2 tee from start to finish.

Old #2 Tee

Timbers from wood retaining wall
Reconstructing the wall in limestone slabs

Rough grading the area
New Irrigation being installed

Tee mix being added in background, and new cart path base
being added in foreground
Rough grass sod around tees
Large willows beside the ladies tee removed
New asphalt path being installed
Project finished! View from the new back tees

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tree Update

We are on the 8th day in removing the Imprelis damaged trees on the golf course.  So far 67 trees have been removed out of the 74 scheduled to be taken out.  We will have all the trees removed by next Monday.  The maintenance crew will be restoring the effected areas on the golf course next week.  The majority of the areas will be seeded, and the thin turf areas that now can see light will be over seeded as well. If anyone has not witnessed the tree work at the course below is a quick picture series showing the 90 foot tall Spruce on hole 15 coming down.

Cutting the notch at the base of the tree
A little push in the right direction
Safe landing
Photo moment

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Course Update

Aerification Update

The greens crew has been working at aerifying the golf course through September.   The tees were aerified at the start of September and we were successful in aerifying the greens on Tuesday September 18th.  The fairways we have 2 left to finish, with the goal of being finished during the week of October 1.  The most impacted area of play is the greens.  The process this year removed about 40 yards of material form the greens, and replaced this with sand.  The smoothness of the greens surface are altered from this process as well it took a few days for the excess sand to settle into the grass canopy.  2 weeks have passed since the cores were removed and playability is good as the holes have started to recover and are less of an impact on ball roll. 

Fairway Aerification
Greens holes filled with sand

Tree Update

We would like to thank the membership for their support and understanding this season, as we worked through the process of resolving the tree issues surrounding Imprelis.  On September 24th we started our action plan of removing 74 trees that were dead, or an advanced declining state from herbicide injury.  So far 41of the trees have been removed.  Schilbe Tree Care has done a great job in removing the trees as well as leaving the ground around the areas effected in good condition.

Although these trees have been fixtures on the property for many years, the new look without them is open and pleasing.  This winter along side an architect, arborist and the greens committee we will be choosing tree species and strategic locations on the golf course to replant.  In many cases the trees may not be placed in the same locations but we will plant in areas which will best define the golf course for the future.

There are also other trees that were damaged from Imprelis that will not be removed at this time.  This is because the injury that they incurred was not as significant enough, and they have a chance to survive.  We will be evaluating their conditions this fall and taking appropriate measures to improve their health.  Also not to be mistaken for herbicide injury we do have trees at Forest Lake that are dying because of old age and others that need some attention.  To recapture a quality forest on the property we will also be focused on all tree needs during the upcoming years.

Here are a few pictures of the tree work.

The first tree to come down (behind 3 Green)
#3 Green after
#14 Tee
14 Tee after
Using a crane to remove Spruce behind putting green
Working on the Pine grove between 7 and 13 greens
#17 after the 3 dead Spruce were removed

#8 Bunker

The left greens bunker was in need of repair.  There were numerous factors effecting the quality of this grass face.  Sand splashing from bunker shots, invasive grasses, and finally grub activity. Below are a few pictures of the restoration process.

8 Bunker before
Removing the grass face
Boarding the edge to prevent contamination
Leveling the face with new soil
Installing Sod

Friday, September 14, 2012

Course Update

We are in the middle of our fall aerification program.  All the tees were aerified, and cleaned up last week and are starting recover.  This week we started the fairways.  We were able to to aerify 3 fairways, and this process will be ongoing, until all of the fairways are complete.  Since the course is rapidly growing many of our maintenance efforts are focused there.  Our goal is to aerify 2 fairways per day, during days that are dry and will give us the ability to pull cores and finish the cleanup process.  Greens aerification will be on Tuesday September 18th.  The course will be closed for this day.

Aerifying #13 fairway
Cleaning up the cores on #5 Tee

It has been a year since we started the claims process for dealing with the herbicide injury to the trees on the golf course.  There have been inquiries through the year as to when the trees will be removed, repaired and replanted.  We will taking down 74 damaged trees starting September 24th, which will start the process of repairing the quality of the trees on our course.  This process will take approximately 2 weeks, and the greens crew will be restoring the effected areas with seed and sod during this period.   We are working closely with an architect to provide a vision of quality plantings that will enhance FLCC and the golf course in the future.  Newly planted trees will be selected through the winter, and we will start the tree planting process this spring.

The greens crew have been working hard at pruning the Forsythia hedge behind 4 Green and 5 Tee.  This hedge has been a fixture on the property for along time and has received little attention.  By lowering the height and removing all the dead, stray branching, and invasive plants, we will be able to promote a much denser hedge.  Results will not come immediate but this hedge will make a healthy rebound next spring.

Hedge from Tee side
Hedge from Road side

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Course Update

It has been a few weeks since the last update on the course conditions.  The course remains in very good shape despite many challenges we have faced from the hot summer.  As we move into the tail end of August the days become shorter and we have experienced several cooler nights and mild summer days.  Also we have experienced a few rain showers over the past weeks.  This weather is tremendously important for us, as it helps promote turf grass recovery.  Recovery from heat stress is never instant, and you will see a slow progression of injured turf rebounding.  The pictures below show some of the damage we incurred by the extreme heat of June and July, as well as maintenance and player traffic that can quickly add to already stressed out turf

#12 fairway - Heat stressed turf with additional cart traffic causing damage

#1 Green - Compacted Green with weak roots worn down completely
at the entrance and exit point of the green
We have definitely seen improvement in many areas of the golf course, thanks to the hard work of the Greens crew along with Mother Nature.  Some of the extra processes we have been doing, and will continue see on the cousre are; Needle Tining, Spiking, Topdressing and seeding, sodding as well as watering.  Below are a few pictures of the last few weeks.

Slicing marks on fairways to promote
space for new growth and to help with

Deep Tine aerifying greens to relieve
extremely compacted greens after Men's

Needle tining greens to temporarily
relieve compaction and improve air and
 watermovement in the soil
Deep Tine holes on #9 green
With stressed out turf our sprayers were used on a frequent
basis, to help control turf grass disease pressure