Friday, December 16, 2011


Not a moment too soon.  At last report this was the last week we could get sod before they stop harvesting.   Number five is complete.  Sand and sodding have been finished.  We are left with some scars, namely a haul road which will be leveled and seeded next spring.  Number 11 is complete except for adding sand to the bunker.  We hope to finish that next week. 

Good news,  The loan has been secured.  We can now start the process of installing the irrigation system.   It will take three weeks for the construction company to mobilize.  (May be even a little longer with the holidays)  Mother Nature holds the cards in respect to when they will start.  We will keep busy these next few months obtaining  permits for pond work and finalizing cart paths.  Now is the time to prepare so when the weather warms up we can hit the ground running.  I will certainly keep you posted  with weekly updates during the winter. 

The staff has been busy.  The drainage on 17 is completed.  We have started our winter maintenance on all the machines.  Frosty morning have allowed us to split some wood.  If you have a fireplace and want a few pieces please feel free to stop by the shop and pick up a few.  Stop and say hello,  we always have a pot of coffee on the burner. 

If I don't get a chance to update this,  Have a great Holiday and a Healthy and wonderful New Year. 

Five Fwy. bunkers completed

5 green right side bunkers completed

Number 11, we only need to add sand.  (the white bunker floor is from the liners) 

number 11 before the addition of the bunker. 

Friday, December 9, 2011


Remember it’s the turtle that won the race.  It seems every week we are hampered by some kind of rain event.  This past week was no exception.  Just as we were ready for sod the rains came.  But we have kept a steady “turtle like” progressive attitude and it is paying off.  We have scheduled a sod delivery for Monday.  (They got rained out also).   That should sod most of the area by five green.  We will follow that up with a load later in the week and that should do it.  Only thing left is installing the sand and they may start that today.  

We have started removing invasive weeds in the native area on 14. Invasive weeds have become a big problem and we don’t want them to expand any more than they already have. We have found that the best way to remove them is to just dig them up. The area will be seeded with a native mix of wild flower seed. The low area will be filled with bog type plants that can handle wet feet. More info on this to follow.
There may be some exciting news regarding the irrigation system. The club is very close in securing the bank loan and signing the Contract with our Irrigation Contractor John Leibold. Work may start next month weather permitting. (The turtle keeps on going) 
covering bunkers on five in prepartion of the rains.

sodding the fairwy expansion on 11

#5 green bunkers getting ready for sod

invasive weeds on 14 left of path by tee. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bunker Update:

The weather last weekend was georgeous!!!!  I hope you all had a chance to play a few holes.  Last Wednesday’s rains did set us back a few days but we have made steady progress since.  #11 has been cored out, drainage installed, Sod added and the liner is now in place.   Liners are being installed in number 5 today as well as sodding the fairway expansion.  Tomorrow we plan on starting the drainage by the pot bunkers near the fifth green.   

We are working on preparing the course for winter.  Snow mold fungicides applications, removing rakes and benches for painting and a final topdressing on greens will all be done shortly.   I am afraid that my winter coveralls will soon become the standard uniform.  Till then I will enjoy the some what warmer days. 

working on #11 bunker

# 11 with sod and liner installed. 

Installing liner in 5 and preparing for fairway sod. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


It is the time of year that the seasonal staff gets laid off.  The leafs (or most of them) have been picked up and the grass has stopped growing.  I want to say a big thanks and job well done.  This has been a interesting year.  Snow in October, Tropical Storms, Hurricanes and even an earthquake for good measure.  I hope to see everyone back next spring.

We are still busy with our bunker projects.  The recent rains have slowed down progress but we are still moving forward.  We just got the sod down on 5 before the sky's opened up again.  We will start work on 11 next week.  No real updates regarding the irrigation system,  The appraisers were here and seem to be ahead of schedule.  There have been some other issues that have popped up.  Hopefully we can still get approvals by the middle of next month.  

I want to say thanks to the staff for a job well done this year. 

Sod was just installed yesterday on number 5

we covered the hill with plastic because of the heavy rains expected,

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Last night we received over one inch of rain.  That has put a delay on the construction projects.  We will give them one day to dry out and start up again tomorrow.  Hopefully we will dodge the showers they are predicting today.  Check out the pictures,  as you can see things are starting to shape up.    On the irrigation front we have met with the appraiser's.  They are scheduled to submit their report to the bank later this month so hopefully we are still on for a  mid -December approval.  It will take at least three weeks for the irrigation company to mobilize and get materials, so the "shovel" in the ground will not take place until January.  There is a lot that can get done at that time, it just depends on how Mother Nature treats us. 



Here, we are saving some fwy. sod

John Harvey marking sand lines

Say good-bye to the tulip tree on five. 

there is always something.  here the main irrigation line runs right through the middle of the new bunker. 

The bunker is shaped and drainage is being installed. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Irrigation and construction update:

The current irrigation system has been put on hold because the bank has requested an appraisal of the property.  We are hoping to have that completed by Mid-December.   If we get the go ahead in December it will take 3 to 4 weeks to get equipment and supplies here.  Depending on the weather we will do as much as possible this winter - spring  and hopefully finish up in the fall.  I will keep you posted as things develop.  Obtaining pond permits and moving forward with cart paths have also been delayed.

The construction on holes 11 and 5 are really moving along and starting to take shape.  Things literally change by the hour.  We are playing number 5 from the 150 marker to allow the construction company the ability to work with out worrying about being hit with golf balls.  There has been a small change in the plans.  We are going to re-work the right hand green bunker instead of working the back left bunker.  This will keep the area of disturbance to a minimum and the right hand bunker holds water as well.  I will keep you posted as things develop.

Our major focus has been and will continue to be picking up leaves to keep the course as playable as possible. 

number 11 roughly shaped in. 

work starting on number 5 fairway 

a view of number 11 from the tee 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


We are awaiting an official ruling from the U.S.G.A. to see if snow is an immovable obstruction. All kidding aside, most of the snow has melted and we are busy keeping the golf course clean. The leafs are really starting to fall. We have started moving on our capital projects. Today we are hauling fill from our dump to 18. We are constructing a new bunker and mounding in that location. We are re-working the fairway bunkers on the right side of five and adding two more bunkers by the green. We are going to remove the large tulip tree  but we might wait till the ground is frozen so that the large trucks can access the area with out doing any damage. If you want to get a better picture of what  is  proposed there are some plans posted on the Audubon Board, in the ladies locker room and the 19th. hole.



Fill being trucked to the right of 18. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Winter Storm Update:

All things considered, the course came through in pretty good shape. We lost a few trees, but nothing of consequence. (the trees you want to fall down never do) We are waiting for the snow to melt so we can start the clean up process. It just goes to show you that mother nature holds all the cards.

And Its only October!!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


The new irrigation system has been put on hold.  The Bank is requesting an appraisal of the property and until that is done the loan can not be secured.  What the impacts of this are is not known at this time.  It depends on when we do get the loan finalized.  The board has done a good job in the fact that no contracts have been signed so the club is not obligated for any part of the work or any materials.  Only for the plans of the system and cart paths that have already been developed.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.  I will keep you posted as things develop. 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Deep Drilling of Greens

We finished up our aerification yesterday on our greens. All that is left is to touch up a few spots and make sure all the holes are filled. This is the first time we have done this exact type of procedure. It is a lot of hard work. Over 30 tons of sand had to be hand fed into the machines. The staff did a great job.    Check out the video to see how the machine works.  We also have started receiving fill for the mounds between 11 and 18. I'll keep you posted on how things develop, in the mean time be patient. The greens are going to be bumpy for a week or two. We should be able to reap the rewards later in the year and next spring. 

here we are on 8 green.  A lot of work

Receiving fill for the mounds between 11 and 18

Friday, October 21, 2011

Green Aerification Mon - Tueday

This Monday and Tuesday we will be doing a new procedure on our greens called "Drill and Fill".  A large machine actually drills holes 3/4" by 12 inches deep.  We will be following him with our own machine.  Check out the pictures for a better description.  They were taken at Montammy Golf Club last year.  The main reason we are doing this is to improve the drainage on our greens.  It will take a little time for the greens to heal, but if the weather stays warm we should be in great shape heading into the main part of the winter, which will mean good greens in the spring. 

On another note, because we have seeded so many areas in the roughs we are asking everyone to please keep there carts in the fairways as much as possible. 

Thanks for you patience,  We need to do this in order to insure good conditions in the future. 

Friday, October 14, 2011


We finally did dry out, only to get another inch last night, hopefully the worst of the wet weather is over.  The weekend weather forecast looks promising.  The area on the hill between  3 and 4 has been a problem for as long as I can remember.  The area faces north, so it receives little sunlight.  The large oak trees don't help ether. Through the years heavy rains have created gully's, and exposed rocks.  There also is no irrigation in that area.  At least until next year.  We made special provisions with the new system to make sure that area receives the water it  needs.  Because of the slope and the fact that it is so much in play we will sod the area next week.  I can't guarantee perfect grass in the future but I know it will be much better.    

We are also trying out a new re-routing of the course.  Play 1, 2 then go to 12, 13, back to 3,4 then 7, 8, 9.  that is the front side.  The backside is 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 5, 6, 18.  The idea is to make the nines more even and to break up the back and forth that happens as you currently play.   Try it out---Let Bobby or myself  know what you think.  We will be playing this new route for a few days so everyone gets a chance to try it out.  

Another piece of good news is that our mole on 14 has moved on to greener pastures.  I haven't seen him in over a week.  I think he knew we were on to him. 
3 becomes 5

worn out area between 3 and 4 on hill

Remove rocks, level, cover with top-soil then sod.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The rain is taking it's toll.  Area's that have stayed wet are starting to thin out.  Roughs are not immune,  add cart traffic and maintenance equipment and it only compounds the problem.  I listened to the forecast last night and it looks promising for the next several days.  hopefully they are right and we get some good drying weather.  I appreciate all the help with carts.  I know it's not fun staying on the paths, but with this extreme weather we have had no choice.  Please use the same caution regarding blue stakes.  We will have several wet areas for the next week or so. 

We have started seeded some rough areas.  Now is a good time.  (actually a couple of weeks late but you can't seed if it is raining!!!)  Preemergent control for crab grass has worn out.  This time of year there is little competition from weeds that makes fall seeding ideal.  We also are anticipating a "good chance" keeping the seed alive next year because of the new Irrigation system.  Please play these areas as ground under repair and avoid the areas with carts. 

I have had a few questions regarding small holes on the greens. They are from sampling.  We are having our soils tested for nutrients, Ph and other items  that I wont bore you with, but it is a good idea to have your soil tested to see what is happening.  Especially Ph. 

Finally we are adding some more drainage on the bottom of 14.  These areas just are not drying out. 


new drain on 14

Seeding roughs

Mole 1 Ceplo 0 (We tied last week) 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Last Saturday the membership approved to install  a new irrigation System and cart paths.  This is very exciting and will no doubt improve the conditions on the golf course.  Now the real work begins.  Over the next few weeks the construction company will start to mobilize.   We are going to use the left side of the sixteenth fairway as a staging area.   It will take between 20 and 25 weeks for the system to be fully installed.  Leibold, our construction company will work as long as the weather permits this winter and then start up again as soon as possible next spring.   I believe you will be surprised at how non-disruptive the process is. No more than one hole will be closed at a time.   I will use this blog to keep you posted on the progress we are making. 

We had 13 children participate in this years Bill Moran Fishing Derby.  A good time was had by all.  The Idea is to show case our pond and its water quality to the membership.  We have not had use any pesticides in our pond in over 10 years.   We use various best management practices  to control the algae.  We have even had articles written in various publications on how we treat our algae problem.   Willard "Bill" Moran was instrumental in starting and helping us achieve Audubon Certification and was an avid fisherman.  A special thanks to his son Geoffrey for helping on Saturday.   Congrats to the winners!!!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Special Membership Meeting Tommorrow

The votes are due tomorrow. I hope you have all had a chance to review the exciting proposal regarding the Irrigation system and cart paths. If you have any last minute questions you can always call me, or flag me down. If you can make tomorrows meeting that would even be better. I plan on making a brief explanation of the impacts of the new system. Cart paths are a welcome addition.  I think you will be pleased with the new locations of some of the paths and what we plan to do.  I will be there to answer any questions you may have.

There has just been so much rain recently that the soils are absolutely saturated. We started installing some additional drainage in the 18th. rough. The area just is not drying out. We will follow this up by adding drainage to the bottom of 14 and a few other areas. If these areas don't dry out shortly, we may have some substantial turf loss.

On another front I am doing battle with a mole on 14 green. He is very clever avoiding my traps. This has the makings of caddie shack all over again.

the start of some drainage

Pete Hunter checking elevations and cleaning pipe

Score:   Mole 1,  Ceplo 0 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


We are still wet in areas from all the rain.   Areas that are not normally wet are giving us problems because they do not have any drainage. I am watching these areas, if they don't dry out shortly we may have some permanent turf loss.   Hopefully we will get some good drying weather and by next week we will be able to remove all the blue stakes. 

We have all heard the battle cry "do more with less" and we certainly have had to tighten our belts.  Recently the "less" has been TIME.  last week we lost a day because of the holiday.  This week we loose Friday because of the tournament, not to mention all the time lost because of the rain.  The good news is we are starting to recover and will have the course in pretty good shape for the member-member.  We will have all the rough mowed for the first time in two weeks.  We are a little behind in divoting fairways and hope to catch up next week. 

The exciting vote  on Saturday, September 24th. will determine the path of the club for the foreseeable future.   A new irrigation system will help us improve the condition of the course.  The irrigation system is the most important tool that a superintendent has to maintain good conditions.  The cart paths are the eye sore of the club.  fixing both these situations well greatly improve Rockland Country Club.  If you have questions about any of this please do not hesitate to ask.    I hope to see everyone on the 24th. 

In closing,  we are holding our annual Bill Moran fishing derby on Sunday, September 25th. from 4:30 to 5:00.  Let me or Roisin know if you can make it.   It's a fun day with some very good fishing.  

Last years fishing derby

Still wet in areas, please avoid blue staked areas. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011


The course never had a chance to dry out after Irene.  to make matters worse, we have had 5.65 inches of  rain in the last three days.  The problem is areas that normally don't get wet....are saturated and there is no drainage in these areas.  I do expect the course to be open tomorrow but I am afraid we will still be cart paths only.  The staff is working hard to get the course playable for tomorrow,  every bunker needs to be fixed AGAIN!!!!!

too much water !!!

# 1 fairway above the bunker

even 6 is wet !!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


At the last Board of Governors meeting we decided to move forward with the strategic plan.  The plan consists of installing a new state of the art Irrigation System that would include all new pipes, sprinkler heads, new pumps and Increasing the depth of our pond.  It also includes fixing all of our cart paths. 

The Irrigation system is showing it's age.  (23 years old to be exact)  We have very poor coverage on our fairways, greens and tees. This translates into many isolated dry areas that we just can not water effectively.  We spend many man hours hand watering these dry areas.  Although the new system will not completely eliminate hand watering it will substantially reduce it.  We also do not have the ability to water the roughs, espically along the fairways.  environmental issues and effecency are also concerns.  There are many other reasons for the installation of a new system.  I  just don't have space enough to list them all here.

Cart paths speak for themselves:   All you need to do is play one round of golf and you will notice that our paths are in very  poor condition.  The strategic plan has reviewed every path on the course.  Some are going to be relocated because of safety concerns and playability,  others just need to be touched up. 

Stay tuned:  We are going to call for a special meeting of the membership later this month to explain the need for these improvements,  time frame when is all this going to start and how long will it take. what can you expect while the work is being done and how all of this is going to be financed. 

In the mean time don't hesitate to call me if you have any questions.  This is a big undertaking to say the least and we need everyone to know what to expect.


Green areas will receive full coverage. 

Cart paths speak for themselves.