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.  

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.

 

 

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.

 

Course Update: The First of May

A lot of work has been taking place on the course since the snow melted in March.  The Club received favorable news from our insurance carrier regarding the tree damaged sustained from the February 5th ice storm that damaged nearly every white pine tree on the course.

4 Tee Area

Numerous trees were left standing like telephone poles.  The picture below is from the 3rd hole.

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The new putting construction commenced on March 27th and on April 14th, we sodded the green.

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Above, First Assistant Tim Friel is rolling the green for the first time on April 17th using a mower for our tees.  We used a 50 pound fertilizer bag to add a bit of weight to the mower.

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The following week, we used our traditional greens roller and then mowed it for the first time.  Below is Second Assistant Superintendent, Dave Smith.

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In order to lower the height of cut over the next few weeks, we buried the green in topdressing sand.

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While work on the course continues to take shape, we are also focusing on the Farmhouse and Locker Room areas as well.  We have removed the shrubbery that lined the front drive.

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Below, we are beginning the process of preparing for sod.  Our Planting Committee will evaluate these areas over the course of this season for replanting next year.

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On April 25th, McDonald and Sons began shaping the bunkers on the second hole.  The storm from yesterday will more than likely dash our hopes of finishing these bunkers, as well as, the bunker on the 9th hole in time for the Dick Wilson Derby Day Tournament.

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Below is a picture take at approximately 5:30 PM yesterday afternoon.  Water has breached the banks of the pond on the first hole.

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Below, water has engulfed the spring house on the first hole.

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Below, water is just below the base of the electrical box that supplies power to the Farmhouse, Golf Shop and Locker Rooms, as well as, the irrigation system for holes 1, 17, 18, Old 17, Chip, Old and New Putting Greens and Practice Range.

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Below water is flowing down from the 17th and 18th holes to the teeing area of 17. 

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Below is a picture from Adams Dam Road looking towards the first fairway.  The water on the fairway is about 40 yards wide.

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The video below depicts the force of water flowing at the spillway below the pond on the first hole.