EZ Pins, A Division of EZ Locator

Over the last several weeks, the Grounds Department has been using a pilot program for hole locations on the greens. The intent of this software system is to use all available cupping areas to limit wear and tear of the putting surfaces.

With every new launch, there are some growing pains, in this case, you may have experienced some interesting hole locations. The system has been a learning curve for all involved and we are pleased to announce this system is available for use to the entire membership via the mobile app.

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The are many benefits beyond the agronomic reasons in utilizing this software system. The Club will save money in regards to labor and resources for golf events and day to-day operations:

The Golf Shop

  1. Staff members need not to print numerous copies of hole location sheets and place them in carts prior to an event, saving labor and paper!

The Grounds Department

  1. Staff members have been more efficient on the course using this system. We are able to cut hole locations in a timely fashion re-allocating 2.5 man hours each day!
  2. Less wear and tear to the putting surfaces will decrease inputs such as fertilizer and chemical applications and have the ability to re-allocate the labor that is needed to apply these inputs!

Each day you can access the app on your smartphone and have the hole locations at your finger tips. To add the app to your phone, go to the App Store or Google Play and look for EZ LOCATOR.

Some of the area Clubs utilizing this system (EZ Pins) or the parent company system, EZ Locator, are Gulph Mills Golf Club, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, Saucon Valley Country Club, Overbrook Golf Club, Llanerch Country Club, Aronimink Golf Club, St. Davids Golf Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club.

Sunscreen & Bug Spray

 

It is important to note, although it is beneficial for us to protect ourselves repeatedly from the sun and insects during the golf round, the chemicals found in these protection materials will damage turf, as seen in the picture below.

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This picture is from the Chip Fairway. The arrows are pointing towards where one was standing and applying either sunscreen or bug spray.

Please apply these protectants to your body on a hard surface or away from the greens, tees and fairways.

Maintenance Monday – Topdress Tuesday

With the great weather pattern we have been experiencing in the mid-Atlantic, our staff has been positively affecting the playing surfaces through various cultural practices.

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After the participants headed out for the shotgun of the Philadelphia PGA’s Connelly Cup, we aggressively groomed the teeing surface of the Latitude 36 Bermuda practice tee. Above is Ben Gotwalt, First Assistant Superintendent, with the Graden. For more information on the Graden, please click  here for http://www.gradenusa.com/.

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The material seen above is the organic amt layer associated with Bermuda grass. It is imperative to groom this warm season grass often as its aggressive growth habit will lead to soft ground conditions.

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After the event, we got a jump start to our maintenance plan for the week utilizing the Planet Air aerifier on the greens. Above is intern AJ Josefoski on #13 green.

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The Planet Air helps with gas exchange and is another form of aerification with minimal disturbance to the putting surface. More information on this machine can be found by clicking HERE.

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This morning, Second Assistant Charlie Lonergan vertically mowed the greens (or verti-cut) using a triplex to remove the underlying organic material, seen in the picture below.

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The triplex removed three cart loads of organic material composing of grass, thatch and minimal amount of sand. This was our fourth verti-cut of the season and each time the amount we remove has reduced, indicating positive results for our putting surfaces.

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The above picture displays the slicing that is made by the triplex verti-cut mower. Since it is a ride-on unit, there are some areas of the greens that can be mowed, mainly the perimeter passes along the green’s edge. We verti-cut these areas by hand, depicted in the picture below by Hector Bonilla.

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After each vertical mowing of the greens, we follow with a light topdressing of sand.

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The sand is incorporated into the putting surface using a mat consisting of cocoa fibers.

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After the sand is brushed into the playing surface, we applied potash and gypsum according to our soil reports on all the greens. Below on the 10th green is Intern, Dave Ward, on the left and Assistant Superintendent Trainee, Nick Keeley.

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Vertical mowing is different from our conventional mowing practices due to the machinery involved in the operation. Below is a picture of a conventional cylindrical reel mower we use on our greens.

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The picture below is the same machine, however, the reel has been replaced with vertical blades. By verti-cutting, we remove material, that if left undisturbed, would lend itself to slow, soft greens. In a few days, the greens will heal on their own and perform well during the next round of hot weather slated to hit our region by the end of the work week.

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Master Plan: #15 Cart Path

With very wet conditions for this year’s Dick Wilson Derby Day Tournament, more cart path work was needed on the 15th hole.

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The only area available for cart traffic was on the left-side of the green complex. This area is also where all surface drainage exits the approach to the green. After just 36 carts traveling through this area for the event, we could already see problems for the remainder of the golf season. Something needed to be done.

Picture3The Master Plan of 2016 called for a cart path through the hillside to the right of the green and below the Golf Cottage. The plan also called for the path to be hidden from the fairway.

Andrew Green Rendering #15Our Master Plan Architect, Andrew Green, sent us a depiction of the path seen above with the red line.

IMG_3466With some help from friends, we used a mini-excavator to find level ground for the new path.

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We created a sizable berm on the left-side of the path to help capture surface run-off from the hillside and not allowing the water to reach the green surround.

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Due to the slope, some interesting tactics were used for the installation of fine fescue sod. The turf will grow into native rough and will aid in hiding the path from the fairway.

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The above picture shows some golfers utilizing the new path. We now have options to help disperse vehicular traffic.

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Second Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, Charlie Lonergan was charged with this project and accomplished our objectives – to hide the path from play and capture water run-off before reaching the green complex. Well done Charlie!

Master Plan: Cart Path #6

Our staff recently installed a small cart path near the 6th green. This was all in accordance with the Master Plan of 2016.

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Each year, the turf on the right-side of the green complex would become thin due to cart traffic from golfers and maintenance vehicles.

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The Green Committee approved this new path and we had Dave Ward, Student Intern (pictured below), head-up the project with a few staff personnel.

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Some hand work was required at each end of the path for the red stone.

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The staff that helped Dave complete this task were, left to right: Jesus Aponte, Alfredo Pagan and Alberto Duran. All of these gentlemen are in the second season with the Club.

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When playing the 6th hole and utilizing the new path, please continue through to the end and park your golf cart at the rear of the green complex to enter the putting surface.

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Audubon Program: Pollinators

In recent years, there has been a lot of media attention given to the loss of pollinating insects in the landscape. There are a myriad of theories such as habitat reduction and degradation that has affected crop yields in various agricultural industries.

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With our on-going efforts to have the golf course become an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary (http://www.auduboninternational.org/acspgolf), our staff began an initiative to help increase the local population of pollinating insects.

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This past Friday, we received our “nucs” or nucleus colonies (pictured above) of honey bees from a local provider.

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Above, First Assistant Golf Course Superintendent Ben Gotwalt is transferring the bees to their new home.

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We estimate each hive has 3,000 bees to start the season. This number is expected to increase throughout the spring and into the summer as we add boxes and frames. In late August or early September, we will  begin the process of removing the boxes and draw down the hive population with the hope of harvesting honey.

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Above is a one-box hive. The small black box on top is the feeder tray. With the help of Chef Dave Daddezio, we added simple syrup for food. This sugary water concoction will help with the bees transition to the hive. We have already seen our bees beginning to forage on the course and they will rely less on the syrup going forward.

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In early March, we began prepping the area for the hives between the three ponds on the eleventh and fifteenth holes.

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The picture above was taken this morning.

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The picture above is again from March and the picture below is from this morning. It is our intention to seed this area in the future with fine fescue (native rough) as a natural habitat for our new neighbors.

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We wish our bees well and hope for some honey this fall!

Number 11

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As you have played the course, you may have asked yourself or your partners, “Wonder why this area is roped off?”

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Our staff has made two applications of Round-Up in preparation for seeding this area for fine fescue or native rough. With this species of turf in place, we have taken an area out of our regular mowing operations and can re-allocate resources such as labor and fuel consumption to other areas of the course.

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In a few years, this area will have the look of the third hole pictured above. The area below the fourth tee above was seeded in 2015 and will likely produce a golden hue similar to the third hole this golf season.

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Above is the approved 2016 Master Plan of the 11th hole by golf course architect, Andrew Green. The letter “F” on the right-side of the page represents native rough additions, with native rough also installed to the back left of the green complex, as well as, the hillside leading to the tees for number 12.

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2017 Student Interns

Each fall, we begin the recruitment process for our nationally acclaimed internship program. Since it’s inception in 2008, our students have been awarded scholarships from their experience here at the Club in excess of $16,000. We are fortunate to have secured two students this season year.

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Andrew J. Josefoski

AJ earned his BS in Sport Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the Spring of 2016. He is currently studying golf course turfgrass management at Penn State University in their two-year certificate program.

Before coming to Bidermann, AJ worked at Oakmont Country Club in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for three seasons where he was fortunate enough to be a part of the 2016 U.S. Open.

In July, AJ will spend the week helping the daily preparation for the U.S. Women’s Open.

In his spare time, AJ enjoys golfing, fishing and spending time with friends and family.

“I came to the Wilmington area to experience managing a golf course in one of the toughest areas to grow turf. I believe the internship at Bidermann will afford me the best opportunity to learn and will provide a solid base for my career in golf course management.”

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David E. Ward

Dave is currently enrolled at Rutgers University in pursuit of a Professional Turfgrass Management certificate.

 Although this is Dave’s first season in the golf industry, his past experiences of working in the tree management trade will provide a great foundation for his career and a benefit for the Club this season.

In late May, we will be sending Dave to volunteer on the grounds staff for the Senior PGA Championship.

Outside of work, Dave enjoys golfing, hunting and fishing.  He says, “I love the challenge of learning new things and look forward to being an integral part of the Bidermann team!”

Introducing…

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After an extensive search last fall, the Club hired Benjamin Gotwalt as the First Assistant Golf Course Superintendent. Ben joined our team this past January.

Ben was the Senior Assistant Superintendent in charge of all operations on the West Course at Hershey Country Club. His previous posts have been at Woodway Country Club (Darien, Connecticut), Merion Golf Club, and the Penn State Golf Courses.

Ben’s tournament resume includes the 2016 Barclay’s (Bethpage Black); 2013 US Open (Merion); and 2012 Sybase Matchplay Championship (Hamilton Farms GC).

He graduated from Penn State University in 2013 with a B.S. in Turfgrass Science and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Ben has beekeeping experience that we are looking to bring the Club as part of our on-going efforts towards environmental sustainability and achieving certification as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

2017 Season Preparation

Over the last several weeks, a plethora of activity has occurred on the course despite dealing with different weather extremes.

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On March 29th, our staff began the spring season with green, tee and approach aerification. This was followed by deep-tine aeration of the greens on April 3rd, then Dry-Ject aeration on April 5th seen below on #18.

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When weather did not allow for aerification, our staff was busy leveling irrigation sprinklers at the greens. Over time due to sand build-up from topdressings throughout the year and bunker play, sprinklers need to be adjusted in order to operate efficiently.

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It is quite a lengthy process to level sprinklers. It averages two and a half man-hours to raise and level the sprinkler. Each green has an average of ten irrigation heads. As time permits, we will continue with these adjustments concentrating on the greens, then moving to the tees by late fall and subsequently the fairways next spring. In all, this could take a few seasons to complete.

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On March 30th, internal drains were installed on the 12th green, followed by the Chip Green hitting area. The Chip Green will remain closed for a short period of time to allow the sod lines to heal sufficiently to withstand traffic associated with shot selection practice of the short game. In the picture below on the left side, you can see the sod stacked on the Chip Green that was replaced after the lines were tamped level.

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Yesterday was our first opportunity to punch the fairways. We had intended to begin fairway aerification on March 20th but the course was still under the cover of snow. This process will be finished today and the team will turn our attention to ready the golf course for the Dick Wilson Derby Day occurring in 25 days.

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The work being conducted near the range tee is for the septic system. The area to the left of the tee and part of the landing area is the drain field for the facilities at Bidermann. The contractor is flushing the seepage pipes and installing clean-outs for future preventative maintenance.

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Lastly, we are currently mowing the native rough in preparation for the application of pre and post-emergent herbicides. We will again mow the native in a few weeks with the intention of having a thinner stand of turf in the deep roughs to allow you to find and advance the golf ball.

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