Thursday, October 24, 2013

Then and Now

Last year at this time, we started the Traver Creek Project. The transformation of the golf course is the previous 12 months is amazing.

Below is the view from #10 tee last summer.
Notice the tree to the left of the tee box.

This spring before the tee is rebuilt. You can see the ballwasher and tee sign.

Laying the sod.

The rough starting to come in this summer.

October 1st.

Number twelve shows a more drastic transformation.

The view from the tee in July 2012.

The view in December.

May 2013.


Number eleven.


After construction.


Number thirteen.



Number ten green.

View of the green from the fairway before construction.


Number seventeen.

This photo is from 2010.

November 2012.

Spring 2013.

Summer 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New Forward Tee on #11

Hole #11 at Leslie Park will soon be the hole with the most separate tee boxes. In the Fall of 2011, we constructed a new back tee box that brought the possible yardage on this hole to 503 yards. (You can read about it HERE and HERE) With the new water feature/wetland put in front of the current forward tee, it has become obvious that some golfers have too much trouble getting over the hazard. We decided that a new tee box should be built on the other side of the wetland. This brings our total number of tee boxes for this hole to 5.  The yardage from this tee will be around 325 yards.

The view from the white tee. You can see the brown hump where the new tee is going to be, to the left and forward of the wetland crossing.

The intimidating view from the forward tee.

The new tee in it's infancy.

We put some bluegrass sod around the tee to define the teeing surface as well as provide solid footing for golfers walking up the bank in the spring.

The view from the bridge.

The bentgrass seeded into the tee is coming in well. We should be able to mow this before winter.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Aerification

We have begun the Fall projects at both Leslie Park and Huron Hills. We aerify in order to decrease compaction in the soil and to slow the accumulation of organic matter in the soil. We can do this by either removing the plug created when we "punch holes" or by dragging the plug until all that remains on the surface is the thatch layer.

We use the first method on greens. We remove the plug and then put down a layer of sand. This sand is then worked into the holes left on the surface.

The plugs of soil, grass and thatch removed from a green.

Spreading sand on #12 green at Leslie Park.

The finished product.

On the tees and fairways, we will drag the cores around to mechanically break them up. The soil will go back into the holes while the plant material will not and be able to be removed, usually by blowing it off the playing surface into the rough where it will be mulched into the grass.

Here we are using a tractor mounted aerifier on #8 tee at Huron Hills.

Fairway plugs. Notice the larger diameter. We use 3/4 inch tines on fairways and tees and 3/8 inch tines on greens.

A turf vehicle getting ready to drag the cores on a fairway.

All that remains after dragging is the grass and thatch.

Blowing the thatch off of a fairway.

Since Labor Day, we have completed hollow tine aerification on all of the greens at Leslie Park except #8, #9, #11, #12 and #18. We elected not to do those greens until later in the fall in order to minimize disruption to golf play. We have completed all of the tees at both Huron Hills and Leslie Park as well as a number of fairways at Huron Hills. We are now working on the fairways at Leslie Park. We have also done a solid tine aerification of the greens at Huron Hills. This is done by an outside contractor with a specialized machine. It uses 14 inch long, 1/2 inch diameter tines. This allows for air and water to infiltrate much deeper into the soil than the 4 inch long tines on the aerifers that we have. We plan on hollow tine aerifying the greens at Huron Hills next week.

We know that disrupting the playing surface, especially on the greens, is one of the least favorite things for golfers. That being said, it is necessary to do this in order that the golf courses can handle the number of rounds we enjoy at Leslie Park and Huron Hills. A small inconvenience at this time of year will allow the turf to survive during the long, hot summer months.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 2013 Weather Summary

The highest temperature recorded at Leslie Park for the month of September was 92.3.  This happened on the 10th. The temperature also got above 90 the next day. This is notable because the highest temperature for August was just under 87 degrees. On the 14th of the month, we saw the lowest temperature at 36.7 degrees. This was also the day of the first frost of the fall. The temperature needs to be below freezing for frost to form but since the weather station is 15 feet above ground, the temperature at grass level can be quite lower. The average temperature for the month was 62.3.

The amount of rain for the month was 1.40 inches, bringing the yearly total to 22.88 inches. The most rain in a single day was 0.56 inches on the 20th. Eight days had more than a trace of rain, while four days had more than a tenth of an inch.

The average wind speed for the month was 1.7 mph with the highest sustained wind speed recorded was 24 mph. (Sep 12)