Saturday, February 16, 2013

Tree Removal And Selective Limb Pruning (Continued)

This first pic is of the two locust trees that guarded the green on #4.  These trees blocked a significant amount of sunlight to the green every morning.  The two shorter maple trees in front of the locust will stay to continue to guard the green, while two or more 6-10 ft tall trees will be planted somewhere around where the locust trees used to stand.  The goal is to keep the green guarded on the left side while also keeping an unimpeded path for morning sunlight to reach the green.  A rotation of trees will accomplish this.

#13 Green/ #14 Tee

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tree Removal And Selective Limb Pruning

Left side of #2 fairway

#3 Tee

Behind the back right of #2 green

Between #5 green and #6 tee

Right of #6 fairway

Behind #7 tee

Between #7 green and #8 tee

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Course Benches

Check out our newly refurbished benches.  Thanks to Tri-State Fabrication for helping us with the resurfacing and finishing of all the metal parts.  This project has given us five, like new benches for distribution around the driving range and the course.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Letter From Your Superintendent

As previously mentioned, the work that has been accomplished on our club this year by my staff and many others has been quite impressive.  However, we are not satisfied nor should we be. One of the greatest things that I feel we have going for us here at Stillmeadow Country Club, is a caring and loyal membership base who wants their club to succeed.  It is because of this that I have decided to make this post in an attempted to unify our thought process when it comes to golf course care policies.  There are a few topics that I would like to quickly discuss.  These topics are:  Cart policies, bunker rake placement, ball marks, divots, trash and communication.  Hopefully, by the end of this letter we will all have a single mindset on what is expected from the membership on all of these topics.  I realize that most of this will probably seem relatively simplistic.  Please understand that it is not my intention to insult anyone.  However, I feel that it is better to communicate even the simplest of concepts to ensure the best course conditions possible.  If you are already doing some or all of the items to be covered in this letter then "thank you". 

Cart policies
Out of all the topics that I plan to touch on today, I feel that this one is by far the most important.  It is my belief that cart traffic is the number one destroyer of detailed golf course conditions.  This can be for a variety of different reasons (compaction, wear, reckless driving, hot tires on heat stressed turf, wet conditions, etc.).  However, I feel that with a little common sense and an understanding of what is expected, this can be greatly reduced.  
An example:  A foursome is playing #13 two days after a major rain event and they go off the cart path and head straight for the right side of the fairway/rough and continue on that path all the way up the hole.  I hope that everyone reading this that has familiarity with the course, has the same understanding of why this is unacceptable.  That area stays extremely wet and cart traffic two days after a rain event is probably not what that area needs.
Example #2:  A member hits second shot from #2 fairway and then proceeds to drive their cart all the way up the fairway hitting every heat stressed area in their way.
I realize how ridiculous these scenarios sound but believe me, I see things like these on a regular basis.  

Here is what I propose:
-Utilize your course knowledge to develop a plan while driving around the course.
-When you get to within 30 yards of a green or tee complex, return your carts to the path.
-Rotate your traffic.  You probably have a pretty good idea of your driving paths so lets try to mix them up a bit.
-Stay aware of your surroundings.  This means to watch out for rough areas, wet areas, heat stressed areas, etc.  If you see an area that you are questioning at all, then stay off.
-When parking for tee shots or putts on a green, park on the cart path and not a cart width off of it.
-Keep carts on the paths at turns.  Nobody likes to see or hit those nasty looking ruts at every turn in a cart path so lets slow down and make the turn on pavement.

If everyone follows these six simple guidelines then I can promise improved course conditions.

Bunker Rake Placement
When it comes to bunker rake placement I would like to ask that after using a rake you place it inside the bunker lip so that the handle is with the direction that the hole is played and the rake head is closest to the tee.  In addition, I would ask that the original location picked for placement is one that has a need for an additional rake.  This means that we don't want all the rakes in one bunker close together.  Let's spread all the rakes out so one can be quickly utilized when the need arises.  The USGA rules leave it to the individual course to select their own rake placement method and this is the one that I have always liked from a maintenance and playability standpoint.

Ball Marks
I plan to do a future post that is a little more detailed on ball mark repair.  As for now, I would just like to ask that all ball marks get repaired.  Whatever method is used will suffice.  There were times throughout the season where I felt this was a little bigger issue than it should of been.

In general, I was very pleased with the effort made by membership in the way of divots.  Let's keep up the good work!  Don't forget to empty your bottles on the last hole of each side.

Course Trash
Course trash is another major issue at our club.  Unfortunately the majority of the trash comes from outside sources.  Hopefully you have noticed an improved effort from all club employees to remove much of this trash that falls onto our property on a daily basis.  However, I know that we aren't able to keep up with all of it.  I would ask that everyone tries to help with this issue.  While you are out for your round please stop and remove a piece or two of trash that you see.  If we work together as a team and everyone makes just a little bit of an effort this could easily be a non issue.

I have very much appreciated the fact that our membership here at the club has been very understanding of the task we have had before us as the turf and maintenance staff here at the club.  I have had very few "request" in regards to the course and grounds this past season.  That being said, I do want to let everyone know that I do appreciate your feedback and concerns.  Email is by far the best way for you to communicate with me but if you prefer to speak in person we can do this also.  I just want everyone to know that I have an open door policy in an effort that I can  best serve the members.  While I can't promise that every concern will be addressed immediately or even addressed at all I would like to know the concerns of the membership.  Contact me at .

In closing, I would just like to say again how impressed I have been with the dedication of the membership here at the club and hope to only improve upon this in the years to come.  We can do this together by continuing to build upon the condition of our course and grounds, and continuing to make it a place that we all can be proud of.

Klint Ladd
Golf Course Superintendent