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March Madness!

It is hard to believe that winter is almost over with almost no snow cover to speak of. February weather gave us a few record high temperatures and below normal precipitation. What does it all mean to the golf course and grounds operation at Hyde Park? Mother Nature has changed our plans! We began mowing, rolling raking bunkers, pressuring the irrigation system and many other tasks a month ahead of schedule. We are completing these tasks strategically with half as many people, not to mention putting the finshing touches on projects around the golf course. It has been a challenge but the staff has been very flexible to stay late and come in on weekends to get caught up!

(image)First mowing of the greens in February ever!


(image)Zoysia green-up!(image)Fungicide applications begin

It won't be long before the Aerification of the putting surfaces will commence, we hope to complete in March however, it will dependent on weather and soil condtions.

The staff and I continue to move forward with many projects including:

(image)Dan and Pat placing the fan

Minor details to wrap up on turf fan installation on 14

Fence installation on 14 to replace ailing cable line fence


Behind the first green: Drainage installation and regrading was employed to help with this extremely wet area. The tree removal will also help with added air movement to this green site. This site has been seeded and will maintained as a "high rough area"

(image)Plenty of ground water!(image)Drainage install

Other initiatives that we are focusing in include:

  • Staff hiring and training
  • Arrival of Turfgrass Interns
  • Refurbishing of accessories
  • Preventative maintenance on all equipment
  • Spring tennis court resurfacing
  • Planning related to the Legacy Project

As always we look forward to you're feedback and questions. Please email us or follow us on twitter @pobrienhpgcc




Pat O'Brien

Grounds Superientendent


(image)Posted with Blogsy
"Winter" Update

What an amazing couple of days of warm weather that was!  The long range calls for warmer than normal temperatures for the next week and then slowly returning to normal for this time of year. It was great to wear shorts and a t-shirt in February in Canada but what does it mean for our turf? We took the time to check under our greens covers and blow some cool air under them on the warmest days. The reason for this is that the solid plastic cover acts like a greenhouse and the temperatures can warm up to the point where the grass comes out of dormancy and starts using oxygen for respiration (the process by which plants convert sugar to energy for growth). Without going into all the details, the problem with this happening is the lack of oxygen combined with increased levels of carbon dioxide can become toxic in the closed system underneath the cover. The telltale sign of this is a rancid smell when the cover is lifted. Using a backpack blower to blow air underneath the covers gets rid of any toxic gases and cools down the temperature. We could also remove the covers entirely but we felt that we still may experience some winter weather in which they would be needed. The good news is we detected no signs of any kind of winter injury and everything looks very good at this point in time. We still have the potential for unusual weather and we will continue to monitor the situation closely as we head into spring. Based on the warm weather all winter I have a feeling we will see an early spring this year.  

(image)#18 on a warm February morning
(image)#14 with cover in place. Note the snow mould in the untreated rough.
(image)#5 is the last green to lose snow cover.The only damage we have experienced thus far is some light snow mould in the rough which we do not treat preventatively with fungicides in the fall.  This is typical for our property and if we did not treat our tees, greens, and fairways we would experience varying degrees of turf loss every winter. Some years would be devastating.  The reason I mention this is that on March 2nd the CBC will be airing a documentary entitled, "Dad and the Dandelions."  Based on the trailer, this documentary will attempt to link pesticide use on golf courses to cancer. Click here to watch trailer 

This is an emotional topic which will no doubt generate questions and discussion.  I am not an expert on pesticide safety or cancer but Health Canada employs many people that are. I trust the fact that they are using a science based approach to approve products which are safe to use in Canada. If you have any questions or concerns about this topic please call or email me to discuss them. The following link is to a video that explains the difference between correlation and causation which is very appropriate for this topic. It is about 5 minutes long and well worth watching. Causation vs Correlation 
Tree Relocation Update - #15

In our last post, our contractor, Hess Landscaping, had begun excavating the root-ball of a 75' tall white oak tree to be relocated on our 15th hole. To refresh everyone's memory, our 15th hole was designed around a similar tree. We lost that tree back in June during an intense thunderstorm.

Since we took the photo above, the root-ball has been fully excavated (see below). To put this project in perspective, that root-ball is 22' in diameter and cut to an average depth of 6'. Doing some math... the root-ball alone is 84 cubic yards and weighs approximately 250,000 pounds. 

Once the root ball was fully excavated, the crew began cutting a road for the tree to slide along. 

 These pipes are driven under the tree on 8" centers. These pipes are 31' long and 5" in diameter. Once installed below the root ball, they will be welded together to form a "raft". 

The tree will be drug along this newly built access road. The road was constructed using the spoils from the root ball excavation. Once the tree is moved, this soil will be cleaned up and used as back-fill for the hole left behind. 

The picture below shows the final destination of the tree. 

More updates to come!! 

Course Update 2.20.17

-We have completed underbrush removal to the left of #5 and #7 greens. In the future undergrowth will be removed along the entire length of each of these holes. In the spring we will treat the remaining stumps with a systemic herbicide to ensure no regrowth occurs.

-The area to the right of #9 tees which was temporarily used as an area to place material has been leveled.

There is a pile of branches that need to be chipped then spread out over this area. Natural regrowth will begin this summer and after a few years this area will be as if it hadn't been touched.

-Clean-up of leaves and branches throughout the course has begun. Emphasis on cleaning leaves from the Secondary Roughs so as much pre-emergent herbicide that is applied this Spring will be able to reach the soil.

-This week I will have a blog post describing our plans for the area between #6 and #13 where tree removal occurred.


Most of the snow has melted and the forecast is for a warm week.  The way things look we may just be in for a early spring?   Too soon to call but I'm not going to complain if this warm weather continues.  

(image)Most of last weeks snow storm has melted.  So far so good.  I see no disease or winter damage.   

(image)A view from the 1st tee.  Notice the Deer by two tee.  They are taking advantage of a beautiful day.
(image)A Blue Bird basking in the sun.  They are always nice to see.  They do not go south in the winter but I rarely see them.  A signal of an early Spring?  (image)A song Sparrow Singing away,  A fairly common winter bird.  

2017 Maintenance Game Plan

This is a VERY basic summary of our plan for course maintenance this year.  Weather can and will require us to make some adjustments on the fly.  The "big" jobs like aeration as well as the "major" events are listed in this schedule.  We try to select aeration dates based on when the grass will recover the quickest so that disruption to play is minimized.  Once the dates for aeration are plugged into the calendar the golf schedule is set up.

Dam Removal

If you've watched the national news lately, you've likely seen the concerns about dams failing due to the heavy rains in the west.  In contrast to this, we've developed some dams on the golf course which we weren't looking for, and would like to get rid of.

These are referred to as "collar dams" and develop primarily due to sand accumulation from both bunker and topdressing sand over a period of time.  On several greens, the collar is now higher than the putting surface, thus preventing surface run-off of rain water.
Removing the dam requires a bit of delicate surgery on the green, collar and surrounds.  The first step includes checking the existing grades with a transit, and determining the area which needs to be regraded.  In order to have a smooth tie-in to the surrounding area, it's often necessary to start the grading well beyond the low point.

In the case of #3, we knew that an issue existed prior to last fall's construction on the surrounds.  The grading adjacent to the green and bunkers was done in a manner which would allow us to get some drainage once the green itself was addressed this winter.

The finished product.  The sod seams have been topdressed.  Winter (if that's really the season we're in) is typically the best time for us to tackle a job like this, as the sod will not require babysitting.  Now that it has a little more slope to it, this will truly be a knee-knocker of a pin placement...

Reinforcing philosophy, vision, mission, values and rules for your team

As spring time approaches and preparations begin to get the equipment and course into tip-top shape, it is also important to remember the importance of ensuring your crew is in tip-top shape.  The main way to do this is refreshing everyone on vital information.   While preparing for spring, it is the perfect time to … Continue reading Reinforcing philosophy, vision, mission, values and rules for your team (image)

Recovering from winter damage with GP and MLSN

You might have heard that my course has suffered some winter kill and I'm sure some of you have some questions about why this happened relating to GP and the MLSN as well as how I plan on recovering from it using the GP and MLSN.So is my dead grass a result of the MLSN or GP?If I was the only course to have winter damage I might think so. Even so, I do talk about some pretty extreme

Volunteer Experience - 2017 Waste Management Phoenix Open
(image)WMPO Volunteer Team


Over the past few years, we have used this blog to highlight the volunteer opportunities afforded to our turf staff at Hyde Park. Each experience is unique in its location, event, and its benefits to our team and club. Along with new relationships and experiences. Although this event is a repeat for myself, it was new for another one of our staff and we both walked away with a great appreciation for the preparation and execution for a great PGA Tour event.


The Waste Management Phoenix Open is an event like none other. Both in fan attendance and organization by the TPC Scottsdale Agronomy staff. Every aspect of the golf course and grounds was in perfect condition upon our arrival.


We were able to help out in different aspects of tournament prep. Daily mowing of the putting surfaces, bunker maintenance and other daily upkeep. Easy tasks, but very important nonetheless.


Our experience was not limited to our day to day tasks. Each day working with other volunteers and TPC staff helps create working relationships and networking we would not otherwise have. Not only did we meet and work with those from local and US courses but also volunteers from countries such as Brazil, England, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Peru, Russia and Slovenia, Spain and surely missing others. It was a networking smorgasbord.

(image)Front 9 Divot Team - Russia Slovenia and USA


While there, we were able to understand the dynamics and dedication of their team. While we volunteered on the Stadium course, a select few of the TPC staff maintained the Champions course. Yes there was a PGA Tour event ongoing, but the "Champs" course also hosted numerous sponsorship outings throughout the week. A second golf course that needed to meet expectations.

(image)A quiet "Champs" next door


The WMPO again set a record for attendence. Not only for the over 205,000 attendees on Saturday alone, but also for the entire event yet again. A fun fact that we learned, Saturday's attendence makes TPC Scottsdale the 3rd largest city in Arizona that day, only behind Phoenix and Tuscon. This alone makes tournament prep a challenge. Our team needed police escorts to get to work.


We volunteered for a dedicated staff, with great volunteers and for a loaded tournament field of professional golfers that provided an outstanding show. Conditions were excellent all week with sun and temperatures in the mid 70s. To top it off we were able to witness a great Sunday finish and a sudden death playoff.

We cannot thank the TPC Scottsdale team enough for their hospitality and leadership. It starts with their Director of Agronomy Roby Robertson, and on to assistants Josh Minson, Heath Booker and Julio Riojas. Thank you for the opportunity and congratulations on another great PGA tournament.

Volunteering for tournaments like the Waste Management Open provides our team even more experience in presenting great tournament conditioning for our members and guests at Hyde Park.


For any comments or questions, feel free to reach out to us through email, and And please follow along on Twitter for daily course updates, @pobrienhpgcc and @djlaw308.


Thank you,

James Marcum, Assistant-in-Training

Dan Lawendowski, Assistant Grounds Superintendent


(image)Posted with Blogsy
Limbing Up Trees and Dressing Up the Walkpaths
We are fortunate at Harrison Bay to have an active group of golfers who love to walk our golf course.  These golfers make up a significant part of our yearly membership and our yearly rounds.  Through the years as we have increased our native grass acreage to eliminate daily maintenance expenses and increase the nesting and movement areas on the course for the wildlife we have unintentionally constricted the travel path for some of our walkers.  This winter we decided to dress up the walkways through the native grass areas to make it easier to travel and more attractive.

This winter has been about some of the smaller projects we can do to the course to improve it and one of those easy but very beneficial projects is to limb up the trees in the playing areas of the course.  Limbing up trees will provide better shot options for golfers, will allow more sunlight to reach the turfgrass so it can be healthier, and will give the golf course a better appearance overall.

To make the limbing up process easier we created a secure platform which we placed on the front end loader tractor which allowed us to reach farther up the tree to do a better job.  Trying to hold up an extended pole saw will tire the operator out quickly so this technique makes it safer and more productive.  With safety in mind the saw operator is secured to the tractor with a safety harness so he can not fall out.  This process has really sped up the limbing project and we are through the front nine in only a couple of weeks.

The big question was what do we do with all the limbs that we will generate and how do we use them to benefit the course.  We decided that we wanted to chip up the limbs and use them as mulch on the walk paths as I have seen done at some other golf courses.  Willie did some research and found this great little chipper WoodMaxx DC-1260 chipper.  It will easily chip up a limb up to 4" and is very economically priced compared to some of the chippers we were looking at to rent.  Now we have a chipper to help clean up the course when needed.

A simple plywood box was built on the back of one of our Toro Workman MDEs and we chip the limbs directly into the box.  Being small in size like the DC-1260 is makes it very easy to maneuver around and easy to use.  Once the box is full we take the chips to a nearby walkway and spread them across the path.

Using the wood chips on the walk ways will hopefully make the native grass areas more attractive and will give our walking golfers a nicer path to walk.  In the past following rainstorms some of the areas along the walking paths have had standing water or have been extremely muddy which is less than desirable to walk through or pull your pull cart through.  We hope this will eliminate these issues.

The wood chips through the native areas are a nice addition to our golf course and will help our walking guests have a better round.  That being said these areas are for WALKERS ONLY. NO golf carts should ever be taken into native grass areas or driven down the wood chip walk paths.  Please allow me to repeat this.  THE WOOD CHIP PATHS ARE FOR WALKERS ONLY.  GOLF CARTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO USE THEM!!!!  Please help the course by doing your part and obeying the cart rules that are in place at Harrison Bay or at your own course if you can't come join us.
The Train has Arrived
This week we started with snow.........a lot of snow.  There was a good 4 inches on the ground and it stuck around till Friday.  One bit of good news is the snow didn't bring down too many big branches like you see in this picture.  It shouldn't take long to clean up, but it was another week of course closure and unfortunately with the snow we couldn't work on 12 tee.
Speaking of 12 tee.  Here's a pic of the new teeing ground with snow cover.  It's a cool picture because you don't see all the dirt and you can really envision how the hole will look from the new tee.  Look how the trees frame this tee shot.  It's not a very narrow tee shot compared to most holes at Tacoma but as we all know, the landing area is pretty unforgiving.  What's nice is as a player you have a choice.  You can play a fade or a draw off the tee since both oak trees can easily be carried if you're playing from an appropriate tee that fits your game.   
 With the snow cover our options were limited as to what we could do this week on the golf course.  We did take care of removing those small firs on the right of 10 because we could work from the road.  Keep in mind these trees will be replaced with a more appropriate tree that provides better protection for the pedestrians on the road.  
Our attention moved indoors for some projects that were well overdue.  We painted the inside of the maintenance facility and the restrooms on 13 tee.
We also got every piece of equipment outside for a thorough bath. 

Lastly, we all knew this was coming but just so you know the train has arrived.  I clicked this picture Friday and as you can see there is an Amtrack train on the rail.  This is the first time I have ever seen an Amtrack train on that rail.  As announced, the rail is ready for testing and clearly they are testing.  This train was moving slowly and I know that the objective of this test was to just make sure all the road crossings are working properly.  I'm sure that soon we will see them testing at full speed which we're told will be about 80 mph.  The crossing at Thorn Lane on the south end was working and it was loud!!!  For more information on the new trains click HERE.
Great week of progress
The abnormal weather was not only great for the golfers, it was an opportunity for us to get a few projects and tasks done that we normally wouldn't be working on at this time of year. 

We got an early start on our stick clean up, this year we might be done before we would typically start picking up sticks.  This will allow us to move on to other tasks quicker and complete other projects on our to-do list. 

Believe it or not, we mowed all the fairways this week - in February!  This wasn't to produce outstanding conditions for the few golfers, they actually needed it. 
It felt great to open up the doors and let that fresh air in.

And have you noticed the trees, they to are waking up from the winter along with the tulips and daffodils. 
Normally at this time of year the ground would be froze and we would be taking down trees.  While the ground conditions aren't conducive for this type of work, we are busy getting other projects completed. 
Golf Course Update
#13 Tee:

The recent nice weather trend has allowed us to button up the tee top of the new back tee on #13.

We brought in sand after staking off the perimeter of the tee to form the tee top.

Following the arrival of sand, we used a plate tamper to compact the top to depth of 3 inches.

Once the entire tee was filled, we used a board and laser level to ensure a level tee surface.

Finally, sod was placed to form the new tee.

The new tee will add about 25 yards to the #13 hole and will be the permanent home for the black tees.  The blue tees will venture back and forth from the front of the new back tee and the existing tee to provide parity with course setup.  I wasn't anticipating finishing the tee till March, so the warmer temperatures have us ahead of schedule and I'd anticipate the new tee being in use for Willie McKay.

Cart Paths:

During the past two Springs we have completed the first two phases of a cart path project to resurface and install new cart paths throughout the entire property.  I touched on these phases in the blog over the past two Springs as phase 1 in 2015 addressed #8 green/#9 tee and phase 2 was completed last spring on #1 green, all of #2 and #3 and #4 tee.  I'm thrilled to announce that we have received approval to complete the remainder of the golf course this spring.  Work will begin towards the middle to end of March on the excavation of the new paths in anticipation of the asphalt plants opening the first of April.  We are looking at a 6-8 week process depending on weather, with the goal of completion prior to Willie McKay.  Below you will see a hole by hole outline of the project on the remaining paths using Google earth.  On each outline, you will see lines indicating the paths.  The red lines are the existing paths that are being re-surfaced and the yellow lines indicate newly constructed paths.

Tying into the existing path, a new path will be constructed to send traffic up the hill along the right wood-line.  This is a similar direction that has been used following rain events and was used during the seeding project of the fairway this past August.  One of the key areas addressed to get carts out quicker following rain events.

The existing path on #4 fwy/green and all of #5 will be resurfaced.

 # 6 will see all of its existing paths re-surfaced and with two newly constructed sections.  The first will be an extension from the lower blue/white tee to service the red tee.  The second section will be a new path that will connect the path by the upper white tee to the entry point of the path by the green.  This path will run the entire left side of the hole on the native line to reduce daily traffic wear along with providing a "cart path only" option following rain events.

#7 will have it's existing path re-surfaced by the tee.  A new extension will be created to service the red tees and the upper section of the path on the tee (by the H20 fountain) will be connected to the entry point of the path above the fairway bunkers.  Again, this path will hug the native line on the left side to reduce daily traffic wear (especially at fwy bunkers) and improve patterns following rain events.

#8 will be resurfaced starting at the red tee continuing across the land bridge to the "y" before the fairway.

The entire existing path on #10 will be re-surfaced with some changes and additions.  A new path will be created for the bottom tee with an entry in-between the oak and satellites.  The path will be reduced at #11 tee (as indicated with yellow turn connecting two sections of red) in preparations for the expansion of #10 green in the near future as a part of the Master Plan.  The existing turn at #11 is feared to be in play with the expansion of the back left corner of #10 green. That section of old path will be removed, backfilled and seeded to rough. Finally, an extension will be given to the exit of #11 tee to get traffic past the dip between the tee and fairway.

The entire existing path of #11 green and all of #12 will be re-surfaced.  The gravel section to the right of #11 green will be paved along with a little additional path before the start of the existing gravel.  A path with a turnaround will also be provided to replace the gravel path servicing the upper tees of #12.

The section by #13 tee will be re-surfaced.  Then a new path will be created from the green tee using the existing gravel path by the pond before turning and hugging the entire wood-line up the right side of the hole.  The new layout will send the cart path around the right-side and behind the green before tying into the path of #14 tee.  The old path to the left of the green will removed, backfilled and seeded to rough.  This new construction will provide a "cart path only" option following rain events and drastically improve traffic patterns while playing the hole.  Exiting the fairway to the old path was problematic and challenging to maintain healthy turf due to the bottle neck nature of traffic flow.

You can see by the picture how the new path of #13 will tie into #14 tee.  The existing path of the tee complex will be re-surfaced.  A new path with a turnaround will be created to service the back tee.

A new section will be installed prior to the entry of the existing path by #14 green, this section will hug the base of the hill.  The stretch of path to the lower tee will be resurfaced on #15.  And the gravel path to the upper tee will be paved.

The path from #15 green to the bottom of the back tee on #16 will be re-surfaced.  From there, a new path will be constructed to the back of the new white/gold tee then to left of the red tee before traveling the entire left side of the hole by the oaks.  This will improve traffic wear and provide uniformity of a tee to green path like the rest of our Par 3s.

The layout of #17 tee will change completely.  You can see the yellow line indicating the new path on #16 that will now turn in-between the two oaks at #17 tee to form a "T".  The Black, Blue and White tee players will now turn left and utilize the turnaround for hitting their tee shots.  Following their tee shots, they will use the same path when traveling to the fairway.  The Gold, Red and Green players will simply make a right towards their respected tee.

The current gravel path to the left and around #17 green to #18 tees will be constructed into a paved path.

Pretty exciting stuff that will drastically change the experience for our membership and guest on a daily basis while providing the added benefit of getting carts out faster following rain events.  If you are wondering about #18 green and scoreboard section, that will be on hold till next Spring due the project next winter on the Men's Grill parking lot.  While under construction, that path will be destroyed due to traffic, so it will be addressed when all of the main drive and parking lots are re-paved in the Spring of '18.

Speaking with the PSU Turf Club:

I had the privilege of being a guest speaker at a Penn State Turf Club meeting recently.  There I gave a presentation on my journey to becoming a Superintendent, the history and description of Longue Vue, touched on our operation and included slides on all that we have accomplished in 4 short years.  My 15 minute presentation turned into an hour and half discussion on the future/state of the industry, tips towards advancement and the biggest challenges I've faced.  The opportunity was rewarding and will hopefully start a relationship with the university as field trip plans are already in discussion for next Fall. 

In closing, let's hope this weather trend continues as it is shaping up to be a busy and exciting Spring.  Till then, we look forward to seeing you on the course!

Saturated Soil Plus Wind Equals Down Trees

It has been a while since I have posted, but the recent weather is noteworthy. I just got back from the Golf Industry Show where I teach a half day weather class, and I found myself going through a lot of the procedures that are covered for the severe weather portion of the class. California has not seen weather of this intensity in many years, with numerous big impacts to the course.

                This large tree came down on the 12th green

A large Eucalyptus tree across the 13th tee with 3 others down on the right hand side damaging the fence and nearly reaching the house.

      Numerous large eucalyptus trees in the drainage behind the fitness building

          A large pine down on the left hand side of the 10th hole

 All the trees came down between 5pm and 6:30pm last evening, and are in more or less a straight line, which indicates the likelihood of straight line wind damage from a micro-burst.

Fortunately Straun Edwards and Trees 360 are on site and taking care of us first thing this morning. And although it is raining at this moment, the forecast for the next 3 days is for mostly clear skies. That will be a relief after all the recent rain and resulting damage.

Back In Business
(image)The snow melted off, the ground thawed out and we are back in business.  Sod is going down again on #12 teeing ground and it's looking really good.

As of today we are well beyond the halfway mark with sodding the actual teeing surface. 

On the other side near the 11th green, Jeremy is bringing in some big rhododendrons to improve the buffer between the course and it's neighbors.  We still have a lot to do but the whole project is coming together nicely.

Right now the sod for the 12th tee is coming from in front of the new performance center.  A lot of this area will have to be torn up and regraded to fit with the new building so it made sense to go in and save as much of this sod as possible.  By May 1st this area should be regraded and restored if everything goes as planned with the building.  As you can see the performance center has come a long way in the last week.

The back of the pro shop has also progressed quite a bit.  Now that the roof has been built up the building has taken on a whole new look in regard to scale.  It looks really big and it looks really good.  Exciting times for sure.
Winter On the Grounds of Hyde Park

Mother Nature has thrown us curve ball this January, with many unseasonably warm and very wet days. This has created a set of new challenges to completing some of the ongoing projects with these wet condtions; however there are a couple bright sides with all of the rain.

We have been able to measure the success of the infrastructure improvements such as the added green drainage and our sand topdressing program. These investments by the membership at HP have allowed in many instances opening the golf course much faster in comparison to even 3 years ago. The excess water in the sand profile, drains much faster, reducing the threat of soft conditions and damaging the turf stand. We are still very careful and strategic not to allow foot traffic on the surfaces, when the sandy profile is thawing to reduce root shear. Please keep in mind, all courses and green conditions vary around the region and the opening of each facility is dynamic based upon many factors!

The recent drainage added to the 17th fairway is working well and we are anxious to see how it performs next season. Could these drainage systems be applied strategically across the property to improve turf conditions and reduce cart path only days? Evaluation and time will tell!

(image)Sand Topdressing and Aeration; Key to long term success!

Over next few weeks our team is finishing a few key processes on the golf course:

(image)Fan stored away, ready for action on 14
  • Fan installation on 14
  • Recruitment of our Grounds Team for next year
  • Drainage behind the first green to capture seepage
  • Tournament volunteer opportunities
  • Refinement and assessment of current agronomic and department strategies
  • Legacy project planning for practice facility and details associated with other areas
  • Tree management program
  • Split rail fence installation on 14
  • Snow and ice removal around the grounds and platform tennis
(image)Exploring further concepts of practice area

As always, please do not to hesitate to contact us with any questions? Email: or follow us on Twitter for the latest course conditions and updates.


Pat O'Brien

Grounds Superintendent


(image)Posted with Blogsy
Plan for Area Between #6 and #13 Greens

With the trees removed between #6 and #13 greens there is a large area void of vegetation. The goal is to grass with Fine Fescue. However, seeding this turf type in the Spring is very difficult. Here is a link to a research article on the subject: Spring Fescue Seeding. I have also reached out to local golf courses to determine if any have had success with spring seeding. Unfortunately, no one has.  

Therefore we will seed in late summer, most likely using a hydroseeder. In the meantime we have tilled all the wood chips into the soil.

We will establish groundcover in this location and keep it mowed to 6 inches for this year. Then we will remove the groundcover in late summer and seed the Fine Fescue.

Please note, it takes 2-3 years for the Fine Fescue to fully establish.

Great Podcast by Dr. Frank Rossi and Dan Dinelli...
Calling all agronomists, if you haven't listen to the following podcast, YOU MUST! This is some great stuff! You may need to listen to it multiply times, because it is that good. Had a chance to talk with Dan at the recent GIS. May have to go visit him this summer when the renovation action takes place! Happy listening, click the link below:

Ryder Cup - Turfgrass Team Video
A wonderful video has been produced about the 2016 Ryder Cup. This video features the preparations of the golf course by the Hazeltine National Golf Club - Turfgrass Team and its volunteers. It's a fantastic behind the scenes look of what it takes to prepare for the biggest event in golf. Enjoy the video.   

To view, click here: 

Well Servicing

If ground conditions permit next week, we begin pulling the two wells next to 4 green South so they can be serviced. They were installed in 2000 to supply water for  the new irrigation system installed in the same year. It's been 16 years since any work has been done so it's time to do an inspection.

Drainage, Rock, & Stumps

What was suppose to be a simple drain pipe install on hole #4 has turned into a major project.  It shouldn't come as any surprise though as rock is everywhere at HFCC.  While digging a trench for 100' of drain pipe, we have dug up boulders and stumps.

(image)Left side of #4 fairway looking back at the tee.(image)Left side of #4 fairway looking towards the green.
Unfortunately for us there is very little fall available for the drainage, which means that any rocks, boulders, or stumps that cannot be removed must be be either jack hammered out or cut out with a chainsaw.  What was hoped to be a 2-3 day project is now going to be a week long one.  However, it is better that we take the time to do it right than to do poor job that will only need to be redone.

(image)Wilfredo Cruz loves using the jackhammer so much he won't let anyone else use it!  Notice the boulders and stumps in the trench.(image)Hammered rock.
The project is being done to unify all the drain lines on the hole into one drain pipe.  This will alleviate any extra water that my drain onto neighbors of the club.
Pavilion Pad Project Prep

The first phase of construction on a new pavilion behind #9 green is now complete.  While some of the projects we undertake require weeks or months to finish, the team made quick work of the field prep for this area.

A transit level is definitely required when you need to create a flat surface on a sloped hill.

When it came time to do the concrete pad and footings, we left that part of the job to a contractor who does this day in and day out.

As we said, this is the first phase of this project.  Once completed, the pavilion will be used for many purposes during the golf season.

Tee Markers

Starting on Tuesday, February 7th we will not have tee markers on the golf course for the month of February. This will give everyone a chance to use different parts of the tees. We will compare this to having the tee markers in one location. The idea of putting the tee markers in one location is to only have to repair that area. However, without tee markers the turf wear may be spread out enough that repair will not be needed.

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