Thursday, December 22, 2016

OLD DOG LEARNS NEW TRICK

Yes, you can teach an old dog a new trick.    It took me awhile but I finally learned how to attach a video to a page on this blog.   A little History:  One of the reasons I started this blog was to allow someone who might want to play a way of seeing what the course is like.    On the right hand side of this post you will see "course description"-- Front Side and Back Side.   I added pictures some time ago so you could at least get a feel of what the course was like.  Recently Mark Ashkinos from Screamer Vision used his drone to do a fly over of all the holes.   For the life of me I couldn't figure out how to add them to the page.   Some snowy, cold days and sitting in front of the computer for (I won't tell you how long) but I finally got it.   So..... If you’re interested in seeing the course from a birds eye view click the course description buttons on the right.  Then click the flyover button.   


PS:  I'll try and change the music later, let’s not push things too much.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

WINTER SOLSTICE--

Today is the Winter Solstice. Longest night and shortest day.  (The Owls must love it)  Winter did arrive early.  We had just enough time to finish putting the course to sleep.   Winter protectants have been applied, Greens are top-dressed,  we installed the  temporary’s, brought in the rakes, ball washers, garbage cans and installed the drain by 10 green.   Our winter servicing of mowers has begun and we have some work to do in the maintenance building.  Just finished picking up the leaves before the first snow.  


This year we added a drain in the green on 14.  
















Close up view of drain.  We are hoping this helps remove water before it has a chance to freeze.  I figure it can't hurt and anything we can do to protect from winter injury is a good thing. 

Tony and Owel preparing Rakes, Garbage Cans, and Tee Markers for next year.





We just purchased a new Reel Grinder.   Here we are sharpening one of our fairway units.   Our Equipment Manager Greg, is very busy this time of year.  We have over 45 different mowers to sharpen and service.   Our mowers have to be sharp all the time in order to get a good cut. This becomes extremely important when it comes to green speed and good lies in fairways.   In closing:  Have A Great Holiday Season And A Better New Year.   

Monday, December 5, 2016

SOME GREAT FINDS

We have done a number of bird counts over the years so I tell everyone that I have become a amateur birder and a dangerous one at that.  I mean, I know just enough to think I know what kind of bird I'm looking at or hearing.  Chances are I'm wrong.  But I am always listening and looking for the next interesting Bird that may be visiting the course.  I always carry my camera for these rare moments. A picture also helps me identify what I'm looking at.   This past week was an exceptional week in the birding category....

The picture below is a Sharp-Shinned Hawk.  Sharp-Shinned Hawks are
This is the first time a sharp-shinned let me take his picture.  a very impressive find.  

tiny hawks that appear in a blur of motion—and often disappear in a flurry of feathers. It is  the smallest hawk in North America and a daring, acrobatic flier. These raptors have distinctive proportions: long legs, short wings, and very long tails, which they use for navigating their deep-woods homes at top speed in pursuit of songbirds and mice. They’re easiest to spot in fall on their southward migration, or occasionally at winter feeders.




Not to be out done,  I saw this
A special visitor:  Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon on the Cell tower
by 15 green.  First one I have ever seen at the club.  Peregrines are the largest falcon over most of the continent, with long, pointed wings and a long tail.  They catch medium-sized birds in the air with swift, spectacular dives, called stoops. They were virtually eradicated from eastern North America by pesticide poisoning in the middle 20th century. After significant recovery efforts, Peregrine Falcons have made an incredible rebound and are now regularly seen in many large cities and coastal areas.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

GIVING TUESDAY

Today is the day.   I really appreciate what Audubon has done for us here at Rockland.  A few donation dollars can go along way in keeping this great program working for us.
For more info log on to:
    
              https://www.nygivesday.org/organizations/audubon-international



Thursday, November 24, 2016

SUPERINTENDENT PARDONS


President Obama is not the only one who can give Pardons on Thanksgiving.   Saw these guys today picking at some seeds in our native area and thought we could give them a pass today. 😊

Kitchen Staff is busy preparing for a big day.  


Blowing out the system,  putting the course to rest for the winter season.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

LAST DAY?

Is this the last great day for golf?   The forecast is not so great for the upcoming Thanksgiving week.  Not that it's bad,  it actually is about normal but today is about 15 degrees above normal, mostly sunny and not much wind.   A hard combination to beat.  
1st hole on a beautiful Saturday Morning.  

Picture of the 8th green.  Pond still has a way to go before it's full.  Fountain and Falls turned off for season.  Conserving energy.


   Our contractor got held up on another job but is scheduled to be here next week to level and expand the area on 17.   in the mean time we harvested some sod from the rough  and used it at the pool.  We also are receiving free fill for the black tee on 13.  We literally hit "pay dirt" because the fill is really nice. 
Pool area was in pretty bad shape after a tough summer.























Finished product.  The sod from 17 is much better.   Please replace divots, Repair ball Marks.  It will pay huge dividends  in the spring.   The turf is not growing so any damage will be around until things warm up in the spring.  Divots will sit dormant over the winter but will grow  next year.



This time of year we ask that you place the rakes in the bunker.  That's so they don't get run over by carts or maintenance vehicles and it makes it easier for us to pick up the leaves.














In closing I want to thank the Rockland Business Association for awarding us this years water conservation award.   It's nice to be recognized as a judicious user of water and not a water waster.   

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

ELECTION DAY !!!

A quick update from the course, then I'm off to the polls.    Two big changes:  1. we are keeping bunker rakes inside the bunkers.
Normally we place them in the grass but because of leaves we would like you to keep them in the bunkers.  Less chance of running them over with a mower or golf cart.   2. We also have raised our height of cut on greens to allow them to become a little shaggier.  The reason is simple.  It helps protect them from harsh winters.  We will sacrifice a few inches in ball roll if it will increase our odds of healthier greens in the spring.








This is the forward tee on six.  It is in need of some tender loving care.  "BLOW IT UP"  was what one golfer told me.  So we will!!!
















The process has started.  We have begun to remove the sod.  Once the sod is gone we will rototill the area,  haul in some topsoil, level and then sod.   The finished product will be about twice the size.   A good fall project.

Of Course Leaves take up the majority of our time. But these projects can be done when we have a frost.   Our staff is only here for a few more weeks and we want to stay productive.  We are fortunate to have such great guys working for us.  

Monday, October 31, 2016

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

The golf course is in good shape for this time of year.  We have started with leaf pick up and it will certainly keep us busy for  the next few weeks.  The grass how ever has been growing quite fast.  We have had to adhere to our normal mowing schedule.  Hopefully the growth will slow down, now that we have had our first frost. 

A few small projects that we will be working on:   (some are not so small)  
  • ·        Enlarging the black tee on 13
  • ·        Leveling the 6th blue tee
  • ·        Enlarging the yellow tee on 6
  • ·        Expanding the back of the blue tee on 15
  • ·        Re-contouring the 17th fairway –removing the grass bunker short left.  (check my last post)


Our contractor was scheduled to be here last week but he is a little behind schedule.    I am hoping he can start this week.  In the mean time we have transplanted a lot of rough sod to various areas around the course.  # 13 tee is ready to receive fill.  We will need a lot to expand the tee as much as we would like.   

Worms are always a problem this time of year.  We will try and mow fairways in the afternoons or more importantly when they are dry in order to avoid flattening of the worm casts.  


Lastly, our Dry–Jet and Needle Tine aerification was done this past Monday.  It went very well with very little surface disturbance.  Ball roll is still pretty good.   In a week or so we should be right back to normal.   

Dry - Ject procedure on our 11th green.   
Parking lot looks much better with a new Seal Coat. 

What's a weed?   A plant in the wrong place.  This is Miscanthus and some seed must have blown in this area.  If we don't remove them they will eventually take over.   
  A couple of Bumble Bees on Aster.  Getting there last licks in.  It's interesting, I have not seen any bees on any  of our mums that we have around the club house.  These are Asters and can provide some late season nourishment.  







Friday, October 14, 2016

OCTOBER UPDATE:

We just started one of our fall projects.  To re-contour the fairway on # 17.   Many years ago their was a bunker short left that we felt penalized the higher handicapped golfer.  We filled it in as a "temporary" fix.  That was about 12 years ago.  We are finally getting around to removing the mound and expanding the fairway.



This is a closer view.  We are stripping rough sod and recycling it to other areas on the course.  Where we are taking the sod from will become the fairway and the mound will be "flattened".   The hole will look better and help the higher handicapped player.


Marcos and Danny are installing the sod on the right of three where cart traffic has severely thinned the turf.  Other areas scheduled for sod include the fourth tee bank and 18th tee bank.   Other fall projects include expanding and leveling the 13th black tee, 15th blue tee, 6th blue tee and the 6th ladies tee.  We have hired a golf course construction company to help us with the heavy lifting and the earth moving.  They are scheduled to start the week of October 24th.  In the mean time we will keep recycling our sod.




A VERY SPECIAL HONOR:

On Thursday, October 20th Rockland Country Club will  receive a "Green" award from the Rockland Business Association .   This award is Sponsored by Suez and is given out to a business for Water Conservation.   This past Wednesday we were invited to participate and celebrate our achievements with the other winners on the Radio.   This picture is in the Radio Studio at WRCR AM 1700 in Pomona.   It is actually at the Rockland Boulders Baseball Stadium.  It was a first for me and quite an experience.  Pictured are the winners from left to right:  Mac Freeman, from Inovative Plastics,  The Mad Maven of Mulch (Aka-Ms. Reitman) from SUNY Rockland, Mike Shilale from The RBA Chairman of the Green Committee, Yours Truly, Susan Wilmink from KRB (Keep Rockland Beautiful) and Mr. Bill Madden: Director of external affairs Suez.  

Surviving part of the summer in stage two drought restrictions was no fun.  It is a very special day that golf is recognized as an efficient user of water. To be able to demonstrate to our neighbors what the benefits of golf can be and to offer our expertise on ways to conserve our most precious resource. On behalf of all the Golf Courses in Rockland It's nice to be recognized as the water managers we are.











Friday, September 30, 2016

FISHING UP SEPTEMBER WITH A RECORD

On a closing note to the month we finished up September with a record breaking large mouth Bass. Caught by Mr. Tom Caracciolo.   Pictured below it is the biggest fish we have ever caught at our 6th annual Bill Moran fishing derby.  This beauty came in at 16 inches.  


Everyone had a great day and Tom had some competition.  Kate Rottman caught a 14 3/4 inch bass and Tristan Conklin caught a 14.5 inch bass.  
Kate Rottman showing off her catch. 

Tristan Conklin with his 14.5 inch bass.  

You can tell from these pictures that everyone had a great time.   The fishing Derby is held in honor of Mr. Bill Moran who was instrumental in us becoming Audubon Certified.  Besides being a fisherman,  Mr. Moran was an avid birder, camper, skier and of course golfer.  We show case our pond as a example of our environmental management.  The pond was very prone to algae problems in the past.  We built a 2000 gal a minute water fall to help keep the water oxygenated and moving that acts as a water hazard to the left of the 8th green and is also extremely attractive.


"next year I'm bringing my pole"  
 We added two devices called Sonic Solutions.  (one at each end of the pond)  These kill Algae by using Sound waves.  We Dye the water a dark color so sunlight does not penetrate all the way to the bottom.   We also have fish that eat aquatic vegetation.  That allows the sound waves to do there job.  We keep the grass high around the edge of the pond.  This slows run off from heavy rains.  The slower moving water allows any particles or contaminates to settle out of the water before they get to the pond.
A little help please.  




All of these practices combined have allowed us to stay algae free for the past ten years.
 A perfect afternoon.

Our Member-Member tournament went very well.  Congratulations to all the flight winners and to overall champs John Bennett and Rob McGrath, who beat Aidan Quinn and Colin Gray on the final hole of the shootout.  
Mr. McGrath lining up his final Drive.  

Mr. Bennett:  Right down the middle!!!!!

Our damaged areas in some of our roughs are much better.  The cooler temperatures have helped a lot. We still have some areas that need attention but a lot of the seed has already germinated.  We will be fertilizing in the next few weeks.  That should help thicken things up.  In closing we are fast approaching October.  We are busy getting ready for leaves and cooler temperatures.  Keep those clubs handy.   October is a great month to play some golf.  











Friday, September 16, 2016

A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING

You won't see our fountain lit up anytime soon.                                        


                   Why?

















It has become a resting spot for our Mallard Ducks.   Unfortunately the water level in our pond is so low we can not use the fountain.  It basically is sucking air.  Also, you may notice the flow over our falls is less than usual.  Again it's because the intake of our pump is out of the water.  The forecast is for some much needed rain on Sunday.  Every little bit will help.   As Benjamin Franklin once said "you know the worth of water when the well runs dry"






For our Monarch Watch Program,  Last week  we had the pleasure to host Girl Scout troop 40393 and 40756 from New City and Germonds.   We gave a short presentation about the Monarchs life cycle and how they migrate all the way to Mexico for the winter.   Here they are holding up coloring books donated by Audubon International.








Ready for some Monarch Butterfly Catching !!!!!!!



This Picture is showing a Tagged Monarch.  The program is run by the university of Kansas.  You place an Identification Sticker on it's wing.  If found the university knows where and when the tag was placed and can track there migration habits.  Monarch numbers are in decline and they need all the help they can get.   They only lay eggs on Milkweed which we allow to grow in several areas around the course.





On a sad note:  J-Pat's mother recently passed away.  J-Pat comes to us from Camp Venture and Divots fairways for us every morning.   You probably will never see him because we make sure he never is in any one's way.   A couple of years ago we asked Paul from Club Car if he could slow down a golf cart and make it brake going down hills to see if J-Pat could drive it.   It took some practice  and a few downed marking stakes but now J-Pat is a professional driver.   J-Pat has a wonderful family and I constantly remind him how lucky we are (I have a pretty good family also!!!) Last week he took his sisters for a ride around the course.  It is a pleasure working with J-Pat we enjoy every day that he is here.   Just make sure he has his coffee in the morning and we know it will be a good day.










Tuesday, August 30, 2016

1 WEEK-- POST AERIFICATION


Greens and Fairways are healing even though we have not had ideal weather.  It has been hotter and dryer than normal.   I would not mind at all seeing a few showers soak the course and fill the pond.  Looking at this picture from the 1st tee you can hardly tell we aerified. Yesterday we were able to get a descent cut on fairways but we are still playing winter rules.  We are mowing greens for the first time since aerification.  That should help smooth things out a little more.     




Close up of holes on greens.  Should be almost closed by the end of the week.   We fertilized yesterday to help speed up recovery.  














I was on the first tee last week when it was pointed out to me that there is a worn cart path from 6 tee to 7 green. It looks like crap (put mildly)!!! It is caused by our maintenance vehicles taking a short cut.  It was not visible until we removed the dead tree.  Now the path sticks out like a sore thumb. 









We cut down all the invasive weeds that were growing under the tree and will prep the soil for our native grass and flower mixture.  In the picture you can still see the stump from the tree.    In a few weeks we should have enough germination to hide the old cart path and we have re-routed our "short cut" so it is no longer visible from the first tee.  








Our Monarch watch program is in full force. A few have hatched already and there are 10 caterpillars currently in our aquarium.   Milk Weed is the only plant they lay their eggs on.  We have also started our tagging program.  When a Monarch is released we put a identification sticker on its wings and send the results to the university of Kansas. This help them track there migration habits.    Perhaps this will be the year they find a "Rockland" Monarch in Mexico.


Lastly, I wanted to point out that some areas in our roughs have been infected with disease. One is called Summer Patch and the other is Fusarium Blight.  These are root born fungus and can become a problem.  Unfortunately we do not have the time nor resources to prevent this from occurring in all our rough areas.   Hopefully the cool weather will arrive shortly and we can start the healing process.