Friday, April 27, 2012


The Irrigation system has reached the half way mark.  The large 14 inch main line is now completely installed on number 7.    The main is also installed on number 8 and sprinklers are installed around the green and fairway.  It was not easy,  we did have to negotiate a few small rocks (see picture below).   This is the largest pipe and consequently took the longest time.  

Thank You very much for the rain last weekend.  When we rebuilt the fairway bunkers on number five we destroyed the existing irrigation system.  I was not all  that concerned since we were installing a new one.  The extreme dry weather had us running hoses.  If it gets dry, we will have to do it all over again.  The last holes to be irrigated with the new system will be 5 and 6. 

We took advantage of the pond being so low.  We had a lot of extra soil left over when the main line was being installed.  We had the contractor haul the material to the 8th tee.   We were loosing shore line due to erosion.  We are getting sod  next week to finish up the job. 

We took advantage of the last frosty morning and started getting the benches ready.  The winter was so mild we never got a chance to paint them.  It is a good problem to have. 

Brian, our irrigation engineer posing by a rock we could not move. 

We have to run hoses on number 5 because we have no irrigation in that area. 

We have lost a lot of shore line due to erosion

Liebold helped us out by hauling extra soil

we had some sod, more is on order

taking advantage of a frosty morning 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Irrigation Update 12

Our Irrigation contractor is in the process of installing the largest section of pipe.  The big 14 inch main will connect the pump house to the seventh hole and the rest of the course.  Larger pipe means a larger ditch which also translates into more time.  They will be on hole 7 for the rest of this week and into the next.  Just to make things a little more difficult they hit a rock pile behind 6 green and had to work around our main line.  Hopefully the rest of the hole will be smooth sailing. 

According to the specs no rocks bigger than 1" in diameter can be back filled against the pipe.  This is to prevent any rocks rubbing against the pipe during periods of freeze-thaws.  They accomplish this task by placing a wire mesh over the ditch and back filling by hand.  Any rocks that are captured are hauled off to our dump.

The picture of the course is from the map in the foyer next to the Audubon Bulletin. It shows how far we have come. I would say we are not quite half way, but close. I update the map as needed, so you can get a quick view of where they are working and what is left. Blue lines are completed mains and green lines mean sprinklers are installed. 

Too many rocks behind 6 green.

installing 14 inch main,  white pipe is our main that they had to go under.

Wire mesh is placed over ditch so rocks are not placed next to pipe when they back fill

Almost half way !!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Our irrigation installation is moving along at a great pace.  The weather has been great.  They have not lost one day due to rain in the last two months.   On the flip side we have had to water more areas than ever before, and are putting the new and old systems to good use earlier than ever.  They did have some problems on thirteen.   A little club history.  Our current driving range used to be holes 8 and 9. (about 30 years ago)  The Club sold those two holes to the Palisades Park Commission and purchased additional land to replace those two holes which are now our current holes 12 and 13.    When the holes were constructed they buried some of the trees in the middle of the fairway's.  That's why we have "sunken areas" on those two holes.  Unfortunately they found a few of them as they were installing the new pipes.  In order to fix the areas we took some fairway  sod from number 2 and sodded the damaged areas.  We will  shorten the second hole fairway just like we shortened the fifth fairway when we expanded that fairway around the new bunkers. 

The Staff has been busy with our spring duties.  We  have made good progress edging many of the courses bunkers.   Because of the mild winter we never painted the stakes.  We sent Chico out last Monday to paint them while the course was closed.  Greens are starting to fill in and are improving every day.  I expect that by the opening scramble they will be in great shape. 

Logs buried in 13 fairway

We had to take sod from the second fairway to fix where the logs were taken from. 

Tony is edging the bunker on Thirteen

Chico is painting stakes, we never got the chance to paint them this winter

Saturday, April 7, 2012

First Week Back

You may or may not know that this has been the first week that we have been fully staffed.  The crew hit the ground running.  Our most important spring task is clean up and for the most part we have cleaned up the entire course.  We also started edging bunkers and have finished  the back side.  We will start the front side next week.  We not only edge but we check the depths of sand.  We maintain a 4 inch sand depth  in all our bunkers.   This helps keep them as consistent as possible.  We have been mowing, but because of the cold night time temperatures the grass is just starting to come out of dormancy.  We are not on our normal mowing schedule.  to keep things simple, different types of grass grow better at different temperatures.  You may have noticed that the areas on our greens that were affected by last years severe winter look different than the rest of the green.  This is because the Bent Grasses could survive last years ice cover and the poa was killed.  The surviving Bent grasses are slower to start growing because they need warmer soil temperatures.  Once the soil temperatures warm up they will start to grow and resemble the rest of the green.    

We have made a slight rule change this year. Our green staked flower beds are no longer MANDATORY relief.   If you would like, you now have an OPTION.    You can play it where it lies or take relief (no closer to the hole) There is no penality. Ask Bobby or myself if you have a question regarding this rule change.

The staff hand rakes all the bunkers on Saturdays

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Augusta and the Masters

To me the Masters has always gotten my Golfing juices flowing.  It's signifies spring and the upcoming golf season.  We have had a record breaking warm March both being warmer and drier but with today's frost it seems we are back to somewhat normalcy.  April means a fully staffed Greens and Grounds crew.  Yesterday, was the first day back for  most of the staff.  We have hit the ground running.   Our priorities are getting the course cleaned up and ready for play.  We have already started edging bunkers, getting ball washers and garbage cans ready to go and will continue with our clean up efforts.

Greens are starting to recover from our late fall aerification. In a few more weeks we should be fully recovered.  Unfortunately, aerification is a disruptive process that must be done if we are to insure good surfaces in the future. 

The Irrigation install is moving along nicely they are working on #9 today.  We are in the process of checking depths of sediment in our pond to determine how fast the pond is silting in and how much material needs to be removed if we dredge this fall.  We are in the final planning stages regarding our cart paths.  We are going to review the plan and specs and hope to have a few contractors here to bid on the project by the middle of the month.  Work is expected to start this fall. 

Hard to see but we have a good frost today. 
Probing the pond for sediment depths.