Audubon Program

Before the start of the nesting season, our staff replaced half of the blue bird boxes on the course. All of our new boxes are numbered, allowing our staff to track which boxes are being used by blue birds or swallows.

Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, Dave Ward, has monitorted the boxes and provided these pictures of our new friends. 

Looking inside the box on the fifth hole, blue birds have used the nearby pine straw from the white pines to make their nest.

Within a few weeks, we had a few eggs (above) and a few hatchlings (below)!

Prior to next season, we will replace the remaining older boxes on the course and hope to continue to provide habitat for our blue birds!

Salt Burn & Rust in the Lines

On Tuesday of this week, our staff solid tined the greens to allow for oxygen exchange in the subsurface soil. In addition, we applied some potash to encourage root growth and enhance our bentgrass greens to ward off stress they will experience with higher temperatures in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately, we had some tip burn to several of the greens on the course, the worst being #14. The other greens affected are 1, 3, 4, 5, 12 and 15. The burn is a result of the salt on the fertilizer prills not sufficiently receiving irrigation after the application of potash. The picture below is the main culprit and evidence of a looming issue for the irrigation system. 

Above is an internal component to a sprinkler called a foot valve. The black objects in the center of the foot valve is rust. Small amount of rust will not allow the sprinkler to operate efficiently. In other instances, rust build-up can lead to a sprinkler not functioning at all. 

Aesthetically, the greens affected by the salt burn are blighted, but they will grow out of the tip burn, on some of the greens in a matter of days, while it may take a week for the most severe case on #14.  

Master Plan: #14

Throughout the latter half of the winter and beginning of spring, our staff was preparing the fourteenth hole to restore the golf hole back to the original Dick Wilson design. 

Our team re-incorporated sod was from the right-hand side of the hole to the tenth fairway, as well as, expanding the left-hand side of the fairway on fourteen, seen below.

Tee construction began in April utilizing soil on-site, minimizing expense, wear and tear of hauling this material to the site.

Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, A.J. Josefoski (seen in blue shirt below), oversaw this project, and will complete this improvement once we return to this area and install a flat-deck teeing ground in the fairway this fall.

The tee was compacted and laser leveled.

The tee opened on June 13th for the Ladies Member Guest. We hope you enjoy the new teeing area.

Below is the architect’s rendering of the fourteenth hole from the Master Plan.

 

 

 

13 Green Damage

On Tuesday evening, there was an incident of negligence involving an employee and the range picker cart. The pictures here display the damage on the putting surface.

The scarring will heal in time, mostly likely as the weather warms and the greens begin to grow.

All appropriate measures have taken place regarding this incident and we do not expect any further damage.

Number 10 Bunker Update

The picture below is from our previous blog post of March 9th displaying the drainage system for the fairway bunker.

Our staff installed an erosion blanket allowing the sand to adhere to the slopes of the bunker floor, preventing washouts during rain events and contamination of the sand with the soil below.

The blanket is tacked to the bunker floor using the construction adhesive Liquid Nails, seen below on either side of the pen.

Next, we began the arduous process of covering the four inch drain pipes with pea gravel.

Bucket after bucket, pea gravel is poured into the trenches.

Our staff hauled the equivalent of 20 tons of stone into this bunker! Below, the finished drainage system and the bunker is ready for sand.

As part of the Master Plan for the tenth hole, the fairway was enlarged to “lock-in” the bunker to the dog-leg of the golf hole. Below Ray Lewandowski is preparing the ground for fairway sod.

Our staff cut rough grass sod here on #10 before the bunker and re-laid this grass on #14 as part of the another spring project. This sod transfer, including using fairway sod from #14, was a tremendous cost savings to the overall project. 

Above, (left to right) Assistant Superintendents AJ Josefoski and Dave Ward, along with Evan Didonato, are laying fairway sod brought down to number 10, seen below in the cut-out on #14.

 

Tenth Hole Improvements

The February warmth allowed our team to begin improvements to this golf hole, per the Golf Course Master Plan of 2016. We began by installing a forward tee in the fairway. When the Plan was created, a major component was to improve the golf course for players of all abilities. On every hole, a new proposed teeing ground can be placed in the rough or within the fairway. Here on #10, our staff built a “flat deck tee,” as indicated by the letter E in the second-to-last picture of this post.

The purpose of these teeing grounds, are to add enjoyment for golfers of all ages, while not adding extra maintenance and expenses for the grounds operations.

Sod was cut, stripped and laid-out on a tarp to be replaced back in it’s originally position on the fairway, as see below with two of our staff personnel, Hector Bonilla and Jesus Aponte (left to right).

Soil was brought in to level the area on the fairway. The tee deck measures approximately 15 by 15 feet. The area of disturbance was more than double the measurement to blend the new teeing ground into the fairway and allow our large riding mowers to maintain the tee surface. 

Above, on the left operating the tractor is Charlie Lonergan (Lead Assistant Golf Course Superintendent) and Dave Ward (Assistant Golf Course Superintendent). With the February thaw, care was taken to limit our traffic and area of disturbance as depicted in the picture below with a plywood “road.”

On February 20th, conditions were not suitable for playing golf, but it was certainly a great day to begin the renovation of the fairway bunker on this hole.. 

Demolition of the bunker included incorporating whatever sand was left with the soil subsurface, seen below. 

 This “in-house” renovation has allowed our staff to gain valuable golf course construction experience. Dave Ward, seen below on the mini-excavator, has shaped the entire bunker complex on this project. Also pictured here, left to right, are team members Christian Lopez, Hector Bonilla and Gaudencio Rodriguez. 

It has been a total team effort as seen in the picture below. While Dave is shaping, Charlie has help facilitate the project on the mini-excavator. Jesus, pictured on the left, is ensuring we have a six inch bunker lip. Gaudencio and Christian are operating a plate tamp to flatten and compact the bunker floor, while Hector rakes ahead of the plate tamp process.

 The picture below helps you identify the new features of this bunker. Dave is standing at the far end of the bunker. The bunker has been pushed down the hole as far as the surrounding topography will allow, creating a carry from the Back Tees (blue colored tees) of 220 yards.

In the picture above on the left, architect Andrew Green has flagged and painted lines to widen the width of bunker. 

Before the drainage system is installed, the entire floor needs to be compacted, seen above.

We were making great progress after the nor’easter hit the area on March 2nd and hoping to finish the drainage install of erosion matting, pipe and pea gravel. But once again, Mother Nature had us change our plans. 

  On the evening of March 6th, we used our ice/ snow tarp to cover and protect the bunker complex, with the notion of whatever the second nor’easter produced, our staff could get back to working on this project as soon as possible. The storm dumped almost ten inches of snow on the golf course and we hope during the week of March 12th our team can get back to this project. 

Above is the Golf Course Master Plan of the tenth hole by architect Andrew Green. The bunker renovation is deemed as a “sympathetic restoration” to the original Dick Wilson design, seen below in the 1965 aerial. We are incorporating design elements of Wilson, while updating the bunker for today’s golf game.

 

Welcome Back!

Dave Ward has returned to the team after graduating from
the Rutgers University Professional Turf Management Program.
He will be an Assistant Golf Course Superintendent and we are
excited he will begin his management career with the Club!

You may recall Dave was an intern with our staff last season.
With several great improvement projects slated for this year and beyond,
Dave states he will be able to “gain valuable field experience that will
benefit his trek in becoming a golf course superintendent.” 

Dave was awarded two scholarships while as an intern for the Club.
He received $1,000 awards from the Philadelphia Association of Golf Course Superintendents (PAGCS) and Rutgers University Turfgrass Alumni.

Perhaps last season or this winter, you may have seen Dave’s Bernese Mountain Dog running aside his golf cart. Cesar was awarded the month of December, 2017, for the Dog Days of Golf 2018 Calendar. Dogs are selected by representatives of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and LebanonTurf. Attendees at the Golf Industry Show, held this past February in San Antonio, can vote for their favorite pooch. The winning owner “will receive a $500 prize and $3,000 for his or her GCSAA-affiliated chapter. A $2,000 charitable donation will also be made by GCSAA and LebanonTurf in honor of the winner.”

Although Cesar did not come out on top this year, what matters most is that he is a pretty cool pooch with a great personality!

Congrats!

Today we say our goodbyes to a long employed full-time member of our team. Gaudencio Rodriguez, better known as “Lencho,” is retiring from day-to-day employment. He will be back in mid-April to help our team this golf season.

Lencho has spent most of his career working on golf courses and has been an asset to our department for the last 10 years. We will all miss seeing his smile and all his wise-crack axioms that made us laugh day-in and day-out!

Native Rough Update & Happy Thanksgiving!

After three sequential applications of Round-Up, approximately 14 days apart, our staff completed the first phase of the native rough renovation. Above, Lead Assistant Superintendent, Charlie Lonergan seeded all 23 acres of native to hard fine fescue.

After seeding, we dragged the area to blend the seed into the ground and dead turf, followed by a heavy roll, pictured above and operated by Jesus Apointe. With help from Mother Nature, we should begin to see germination of the seed in late January. 

As part of the native rough renovation, we eliminated the Championship Teeing Ground on number 6 and used the turf to expand the middle and back tees near the Halfway House. The orange line above delineates the new teeing area.

Our staff added a sand/ soil mixture to the base and harvested sod from the Championship Tee. Below is the finished teeing ground. 

With the holiday upon, our staff wishes you and your families a happy Thanksgiving!

(left to right) 
Jesus, Christian, Evan, Alfredo, Gerry, Hector, Ray, Alberto, Charlie, Lencho and Miguel.

Please Be Aware: Native Roughs

Today we begin our application of non-selective herbicides (Round-Up) in the native roughs. We will apply this chemical to kill the un-wanted turf cover and seed fine fescue in a few weeks. 

We are asking for everyone to remain out of the native rough where the herbicide has been sprayed. Our staff will post signs like above and below.

This material will adhere to golf shoes and tires from golf carts. If this were to happen, we could see this:

Or this:

(notice the foot prints across the tee)

 

We thank you for your cooperation!