16th Hole Improvements

The latter half of the 2018 season, the sixteenth hole was saturated to the point we had to restrict carts to the path for a majority of the last quarter of the year. 

Our staff installed perforated drain tile and pea gravel. Almost upon completion of the pipe, the area had drained and will allow carts to traverse this area in the future.

We also undertook the leveling of the back teeing ground, as most of this tee surface was unusable.

We cut and discarded the turf, then leveled the tee, seen below.

During the leveling process, the tee was lowered slightly, which has created a smoother transition from the path to the teeing ground, seen below. 

 

17th Hole Improvements

As part of the Club’s Capital Improvement Plan for 2018, our team renovated the bunkers on the penultimate hole of the golf course. 

We began this project on October 30th and was besieged by all types of weather. Even a bout of snow did not deter our team!

The architect’s plan, seen below, involved expanding the left hand fairway bunker “F,” while removing the first bunker “E” on the right side of the fairway. With the bunker removed, our staff leveled a section of the fairway to incorporate a flat deck teeing ground.

Although not part of the original Cap Ex request, our team was able to create the second fairway bunker depicted above as letter “G” due to savings we experienced on other projects we accomplished earlier in the year. 

The day before Thanksgiving, our team installed the drainage system for the left hand bunker, seen above.

In the picture above is Matt Medina, contemplating the orange line for the bunker edge. 

If you click on the picture above, you will be able to zoom in and see the bunkers from the perspective of the back tees. While constructing the newly positioned bunker on the right, it was important to have sand “flashed” from all the teeing grounds to identify the hazard.  

#14 Hole Improvements

Earlier this spring, our staff constructed a forward tee on the fourteenth hole, per the Golf Course Master Plan provided by Andrew Green, illustrated in the picture below and labeled as “D.” We returned again this fall to add a flat deck tee, labeled above as “E.”Our intern, Matt Gillespie, was given the reigns on this task and did an outstanding job!This improvement was accomplished in a matter of days, from start to finish, that included removing and storing the existing turf; hauling and leveling the soil sub-grade; and setting the turf back in place. This new teeing ground will bring enjoyment to all level of golfers and this task was accomplished with our team members!

 

 

Congrats two times!!

Towards the end of August, we celebrated one of our own. Hector Munoz Torres became a 10-year member of our department. He is surrounded by fellow team members: (left to right) John Lermond, A.J. Josefoski, Dave Ward, Dario Valerio, Ray Lewandowski, Matt Gillespie, Jacob Williams, Andrew Furman, Nathan Hawk, Christian Kobosko and Matt Zimmerman.

In November, our student intern Matt Gillespie, was the recipient of two scholarships!

Matt was selected by the Eastern Shore Association of Golf Course Superintendents for the Mike Gilmore Memorial Scholarship totaling $1,000. In the picture above (left to right) is Bill Reil (Gibson Island Club), President; Tom Gillespie (Dad); Matt Gillespie; Tom Tipton (Prospect Bay), Past-President and Joe Perry (Eagles Landing Golf Club).

Matt was also selected by the Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents (PAGCS) as the recipient of the George E. Ley Scholarship in the amount of $2,000. Picture above with Matt is Derrick Wozniak (Radley Run Country Club), President of the PAGCS. Derrick is alumnus of the Bidermann turf program, having worked as First Assistant Superintendent from 2005 – 2008.    

On behalf of everyone involved at the Club, we congratulate Hector and Matt on these wonderful achievements! 

 

Water, Water Everywhere!

September has been an awful month for golf in the mid-Atlantic region, both for maintenance and playing the game we all love.

As the month is about to close, we have tallied 10.2 inches. The picture below displays monthly averages for our area.

By comparison, the table below are the actual amounts:

Some of the storms that we have experienced recently have been swift. As you drive by the course, you see the amount of water draining to the first hole, depicted in the first picture of this blog entry above. For the rest of this entry, we would like to share what we see when our staff arrives each day after a rain event.

Above, a pool of water in front of the 2/ 10 tee complex. Below, accumulated water on the left-hand side of the 6th fairway. The haze towards the green reveals the humid weather pattern for the month.

 Below, the fourth hole, water draining across the approach from number 3.

The water above eventually makes it’s way to number 5, seen below at the beginning of the fairway.

All this water ends across the 15th hole, seen below.

In order to protect the turf on the fairway, we have had to use the right-hand rough to get carts down the golf hole, seen below. Persistent rains of this past week did not allow for this area to be used.

It’s the same case for the 10th hole below. We are hoping for the best this coming weekend, but ultimately, the weather has shown us we are in need of installing drains in certain areas of the course.

Where water has sat for an extended period of time, we have lost turf. The first hole has continually flooded this year. 

Below, areas of this fairway melted out and we made preparations (painted dashes) to eliminate the eye sore.

The picture below is very tell tale sign of the recent weeks…(1) the green and white stakes delineate where the fairway has been sodded and (2) we are using portable fans -that we normally use for our GREENS– to dry out the area due to yet another storm.

It has rained so much in the recent weeks, areas that traditionally would have survived even with slightly above precip amounts, have succumbed to the extra moisture.

In turf renovation, we have two choices: seed or sod. If we choose to do nothing, Poa annua would germinate in the voids seen above in the rough before the 12th fairway. 

For this area, we went with seed as Assistant Golf Course Superintendent Dave Ward began this process earlier this week. In some instances, it has rained so much, drains were seen bubbling out of the ground. Check out the quick seven second video of Hail chomping at the water!

 

Lastly, the USGA has written a great article regarding the recent weather pattern for the area and you can access the article below:

http://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/course-care/regional-updates/northeast-region/2018/the-costs-of-a-wet-summer.html

 

 

2019 Golf Course Management Internship

Each year, our team seeks to fill one, if not two positions on our staff with students from colleges and universities throughout the nation. Our goal, upon completion of the season-long program, is that our student(s) have been prepared in a manner that will enable them to attain the position of Second Assistant Golf Course Superintendent.

Our recruiting process is vigorous and students we have employed since the inception of our nationally recognized program, have been awarded over $18,000 in scholarships. In addition, the internship has been a conduit for our department to promote highly skilled team members to the level Assistant Golf Course Superintendent as evidenced with two of our current assistant managers, A.J. Josefoski and Dave Ward. 

If you know of a student currently enrolled in turfgrass management program or similar field of study, please pass along our information for the opportunity to join a winning team!

USGA Amateur Qualifier Prep & THANKS to our Volunteers!

Our staff began mowing operations yesterday evening, dodging the storm that produced over seven inches of rain in the Coatesville area. Thankfully, we did not receive any more rain and we were able to fully prepare the course this morning with our team and a cadre of dedicated volunteers.

A few team members began their work-day at 2:30 AM by placing portable lights throughout the golf course to ensure and maintain a safe environment for our workforce. After our morning meeting, all personnel was in transit to their respective starting holes by 4:10 AM. Pictured above is the first hole as the left green-side bunker is raked and the green is rolled.

 

With tee times off #1 & 10 at 7 AM, our goal was to mow all fine turf areas on the golf course. With this in mind, we placed a “call” to some friends to help us accomplish our objective. The picture above represents the integrity and support from our vendors and the strong bond amongst our colleagues.

Above, from left to right on fairway mowers:
Jesus Arroyo, Assistant Superintendent – Kennett Square Golf & Country Club
Charlie Koennecker, Territory Manager – Finch Services, Inc.

  Above, from left to right on fairway mowers:
Greg Eisner, Golf Course Superintendent – Fieldstone Golf Club
Justin Lewis, Assistant Superintendent – Wilmington Country Club

Pictured above:
Mike Janzer, Regional Territory Manager – Plant Food Company
(raked bunkers, blew fairways)

Pictured above:
Tim Urbanski, Equipment Manager – Fieldstone Golf Club
(portable light transport)

Pictured above:
Pat Michener, Golf Course Superintendent – Country Club of York
Bidermann Assistant Superintendent, 2006 – 2010
(rolled greens)

Above, left to right:
Derrick Wozniak, Golf Course Superintendent – Radley Run Country Club
Bidermann Assistant Superintendent, 2005 – 2008
Tom Defino, Territory Manager – Genesis Turfgrass, Inc.
(both gentlemen rolled greens)

The entire course was set and our corps were back to the maintenance facility by 8 AM. It was a total team effort this morning, with a lot of fun along the way. Someone even snapped a photo of person to remain anonymous blowing divots from the fourth tee!

2018 Golf Course Grounds Team

Just as the golf season transitioned from a wet May, so did our staff this year as we acquired a lot of new faces and were finally at full strength when the local highs schools completed their academic calendar in June just after the completion of the H.F. du Pont Memorial Competition. 

Last week, we assembled the team on the 5th hole. The following pictures will give you some background information to the make-up of our team.

Above, seated left to right:
Matt Medina – 2nd season; Penn State University – 2021 Business, Ridley HS – 2017
Erik Iverson – 3rd Season; University of Arizona – 2022 Aerospace Engineering, Salesianum – 2018
Evan DiDonato – 4th season; Delaware Tech Community College – Computer Aided Design, Salesianum – 2013
Stephen Sagan – 7th season; Dickinson HS – 2008
Above, standing left to right:
Hector Munoz-Torres – 10th season; Puerto Rico
Dario Valerio – 1st season; Dominican Republic
Ray Lewandowski – 2nd season

Above, seated left to right:
Nathan Hawke – 1st season; Newman University – 2019 English, member of the Cross Country Team, Wilmington Christian – 2015
Victor Pelillo – 1st season; University of Delaware – 2020 English, Delaware Military Academy – 2016
Above, standing left to right:
Andrew Narvaez – 1st season, Newark Charter – 2020
Mat Zimmerman – 1st season; Delaware Tech – Nursing, Salesianum – 2013

Above, left to right:
“The Charter School of Wilmington 3”
Andrew Furhman – 1st season; CSW 2019
Jacob Williams – 1st season; CSW 2019
Cooper Fink – 1st season; CSW 2020

Above, left to right:
Christian Kobosko – 1st week; Delaware Valley College – 2022 Media Communications, member of the men’s lacrosse team, Long Stick Middie, Delaware Military Academy – 2018
Tucker Lange – 1st week; Ferris State University – 2018 Sports Marketing

Above, seated left to right:
Peter Burke – Horticulturalist, 2nd season; Temple University – Recreation & Leisure Studies, minor Horticulture
Matt Gillespie – Intern, 1st season; Penn State University – 2019, Garnet Valley HS 2014
Larkin Cowart – 1st season; Garnet Valley HS 2020
Above, standing left to right:
John Lermond – Equipment Manager,  4 years on staff
Charlie Lonergan – Lead Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, 4 years on staff, Rutgers University 2014
Dave Ward – Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, 2 years on staff, Rutgers University 2018
A.J. Josefoski – Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, 2 years on staff, Penn State University 2018

Master Plan: #1

After the completion of the fairway bunker renovation on the tenth hole, our staff turned their focus to the fairway bunker complex on the first hole.

It was a total team effort and Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, Charlie Lonergan, was charged with the role of project lead and shaper.

During the demolition process, we found there was no define edge or “lip” to the bunker, as seen here to the rear of Dave Ward, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent. Behind Dave is about a four-foot cut in the ground, filled with sand to make an edge. 

Drainage for both bunkers were trenched across the first fairway. During the process, we cut through drains that were installed previously and not working in a positive direction of flow. The new drains have been a great addition as subsequent rain events have allowed for carts to traverse the fairway in less than a day, as opposed to keeping the area roped off for a series of days. 

In the picture above, we have completed the drainage across the fairway. To the back left, rear and right of the bunker complex, we have dug the main line for the irrigation as the new bunkers were brought out into the fairway, necessitating us to abandon the old irrigation main line.

Above, from top to bottom, are team members Dario Valerio, Evan DiDonato and Jesus Ortiz-Aponte installing the re-routed irrigation line.

Above, the before and below, the after, with golden-brown fine fescue surrounding the bunkers and championship tee for #17.Below is the conceptual vision, drawn by Andrew Green, Golf Course Architect.