Sunday, October 16, 2016

Construction Update week 1

We have concluded our First week of bunker Renovation with some great progress.  We are taking advantage of all the work to make some additional improvements to the course, As our construction team is working on the bunkers, I am working on these additional improvements.

  We started to work on the greens bunkers first in order to have enough ready to spray the Billy Bunker ploymer.  I would anticipate that we will work to 5 green before spraying the stone layer.

front bunker before
hole 1 new slope 
 Once the bunkers have been sprayed we will install sand into the completed bunkers.  The fairway bunkers will not have the Billy Bunker bunker system under the sand but we will repair the drainage and install new sand.

3 green bunker before
We removed 2 bunkers this week the back bunker on 1 green and the first green bunker on the right side of 3 green. I did the shaping work on the removals.  In the place of the bunker on hole 1 we will be adding some approach and rough.  Hole 3 will be seeded to rough.  We are also removing some rough along the edges of the greens that is contaminated with creeping bentgrass and replacing these areas with the sod being harvested from the old bunkers. We also worked on adding some fairway on the left side of 7 approach just in front of the bunker. This area had a high percentage of contaminated rough also.

We are doing our best to maintain the golf course as we work on the renovation.  I plan on topdressing all the greens tomorrow and the approaches on tuesday. Next week, I plan on solid tining the greens and do our best to complete the tee core aerification.

3 after 
I hope you have had a chance to see the start of our renovation,  I am on site every day I will gladly answer any questions regarding this exciting time at Hawks Landing if you would like to stop by to see me.

Thank you

7 approach work

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Our bunker renovation is about to begin, I hope that you are as excited as our greens staff.  Lohman Construction is here and should be working today.  We will have back nine starts daily for the rest of the golf season and there will be a good chance that we will be closing down or setting up a temporary greens on the front nine moving forward.  Once we start spraying the ploymer  in the greens bunker, I may choose to completely close the golf hole to protect the bunker from damage. I apologize for any inconvenience.

The transition to October usually is the start to a few fall projects 
  We typically lay off the rest of the staff the last week in October and really need to take advantage of the time left in the season to work on a few enhancements.  Typically our mowing is slowing down but this year is the expectations.  We have started to mow down the fescue. This takes time and with all the rain it is taking even longer. I have been topdressing the greens weekly for the last few weeks we will continue until late fall.  I have raised our greens mowers over the last few weeks to our winter height.  This allows for much  improved sand penetration into the turf. I have been alternating rolling and mowing the greens over the last week.  Our staff is greatly reduced right now and with the extra rough and fescue mowing we have a hard time mowing the greens daily.   We have completed a few nice enhancements on the course.  The tees on 8,9,13,4 have either been straightened or we increased the physical tee space.   Yesterday we started to work on the rough edge on 7 green and approach.  The rough will be replaced with fairway this week.  

I will continue to update the blog on the progress of the bunker work.  I will also post on twitter daily once the project gets underway @hawksnr


Monday, September 19, 2016


I hope that everyone has had a great summer at Hawks, this season has had its challenges for us.  Overall, I feel we have had the course in really nice shape when the weather has been on our side.  This year it seemed like every time the course was in great shape we had another major rain event to deal with.  The numerous rain events kept me on my toes this season. there was no less than 6 major rain events that my staff spent countless hours getting the course back in shape. Our staff is a seasoned, dedicated group of individuals that rarely complain even under the toughest timelines and countless hard and long hours to prepare the golf to the standards we have. 

The test Better Billy Bunker, BBB, we installed this spring preformed as expected this season.  With each rain event the bunker took whatever mother nature dealt it.  I honestly feel there was no better year for us to see how the bunker renovation will perform for us.  The photo shows the performance of the bunker after the 7.5 inches of rain we had this summer.  I think we all agree that the project will be very exciting for us.  I  meet with our contractor last week to go over the scope of the project and a pre construction site visit.  We plan on starting the project no later than the second week in October. The sand from all bunkers will be removed, drainage repaired and new sand that we have in the green bunker on 5 will be installed.  All the greens bunkers will have the Better Billy Bunker system installed. We are looking at removing a few bunkers as well;  the first bunker on the right of 2, the bunker on the left side by the woods on 5, and the small fairway bunker on hole 1.  During the construction each bunker will have the ridges and humps removed.  We will be working on a number of holes at the same time during the construction to increase productivity.  Once we start installing the BBB system in the greens bunkers we may either have a temporary green in play or close the hole entirely.  It will be very important to not walk in the bunkers once we start the BBB installation this will cause major delays in the curing process.  I also plan on having back nine starts once we start construction on the front 9.  During the construction process I will give daily updates on Twitter @hawksnr  on our progress. I will also update my blog regularly. 

We will continue to work on our organic matter reduction on the golf course weekly until the end of October.   I will be core aerating all the greens using a 1/4 inch tine on the 26th and 27th.  I will also topdress the greens weekly until November.  The tees will be core aerate at least 1 more time this fall and the approaches will be aerified as well.  This process is very important for the health and playability of the playing surfaces. In October we will move into taking care of the plant and soil for winter survival and playability of the golf course into next year.  Our focus will not be rolling and mowing daily and near tournament green speeds.  I will also start to raise the heights of our putting greens very slowly in October.  There is so much to do and so little time once we get into the shorter days in October.  

If you have any questions regarding the construction process please feel free to contact me directly.  


Friday, May 13, 2016

Update 5/13/16

I hope that everyone has enjoyed a few rounds of golf this spring.  The weather has not been the best, chilly with many rain events.

  We have come to a decision on our bunker renovation.  I would like to follow up our letter to the members and discuss in greater detail the upcoming project involving the bunkers on our golf course. The bunkers have reached a point that something has to be done to achieve better playability and improved maintenance.  We have been looking at many options over the last few months to solve these problems.  I am sure everyone is well aware of the fact that even after  light rainfall events our bunkers hold water. 

 This is problem is even worse after major rain events, some of the steep faced bunkers wash out.  These problems have been getting worse in the last 2 years.  Playability is an issue, this is directly related to the current condition of the bunkers.  As washouts happen,  silt from the subsoil along with finer soil plug up the drainage system and contaminates the sand within the bunker.  We looked at several options over the winter to solve this problem.  Our final and best option will be to remove all existing sand, replace and repair the drainage system and install a very advanced drainage matrix system into the green side bunkers, Called the Better Billy Bunker.  We will not be installing this system into the fairway bunkers, but will replace all the sand and repair the drainage as needed. Along with this renovation plan, we will be removing some of the humps in the floors of the bunkers to create a more consistent uniform bunkers.  I have chosen a sand for the project but we will be testing the performance of the sand and bunker system throughout the summer.  On May 27th, we will have our chosen contractor Golf Creations complete a Billy bunker installation in the right green
side bunker in front of 5 green.  This process will take 2 days  to complete.  The first day we will remove all sand and install the first part of the bunker system.  In this process; pea stone will be installed in the entire bunker and sprayed with a proprietary polymer that will need to cure for 24 hours before the sand is installed.  It will be very important during this curing process that no one will enter the bunker.  Once the sand is installed the bunker will be put into play.  The main reason we have chosen this bunker is that; it holds water, washes out after rain events, needs major edging work, and the bunker right next to it performs the same way.  We will be able to evaluate the performance of the sand and the Billy Bunker this summer to make sure we have made the correct decision on the chosen sand and also how the system works.  I feel very confident that the system will work and the end results will be well received.  We have also made commitments for the contractor to start the Front nine renovations at the end of September.  The work on the front nine will be done by mid November and ready for next spring.  We have yet to finalize a start date to complete the work on the back nine.  I will keep you updated on the progress and installation of the bunker system 

The bunkers is not the only projects I have been working on this spring.  We have completed our spring grass and weeds control in the fescue.  There are a few areas that we will be reseeding in the next few weeks.  If it's not fescue in areas we have sprayed this spring. The undesirable grass has been either killed or weakened.  We have some work to do but we are making very good progress since starting the program we currently are on.  

Yesterday, I treated the fescue along the path of 12 and to the right of 15 rough using a growth regulator to hopefully control the growth and thin the stand.  I will be evaluating this over the next few weeks to see if it may be an option in a few other areas.  

The golf course is in very good shape despite the cooler than normal spring and rains.  We have seen a flourish of dandelions in a few areas and are spot treating these. 

We have been topdressing and solid tining the greens on the regular basis this spring.  I will continue to solid tine the greens every 2-3 weeks this season.  This process will help keep with proper water and air exchange in the soil profile. I have also been using an old technique of using a broom mounted in front of our greens mowers. We have 2 of these brooms this year.  The broom stands up turfgrass plant up right before the cutting blades mow the turf.  My observations so far are less grain and a finer surafce. I feel the putting surfaces are very good after brooming.  The amount of clippings in our baskets are at least 1/4 more compared to the mowers without the brooms mounted.  At this point, I am not seeing any negative impacts to the turf.  We will continue to evaluate the brooms and the performance of the putting surfaces going into more stressful periods.   

We are waiting for 2 additional staff members to return from college.  We should be fully staffed by the end of next week.  I hope that you are enjoying the golf course this spring. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Update 3/23/16

Opening day is on hold for the short term, but we will will be making a decision in the next few days.  If the snow stays to the north our plan is to open the course as soon as this weekend.  My best guess is the course will be open at least by Wednesday next week.

Currently, we have most of the staff here working on mowing and cleaning up the golf.  All greens, tees, and fairways have been mowed at least once and are in good condition.  Even with the few warm days most of the playing surfaces are not aggressively growing. I do not see too much growth until the ground temperature stay consistently above 55 degrees.  We are currently around 45 degrees.

Some of our rough edges along the fairways have a high percentage of creeping bentgrass.  Bentgrass is a wonderful grass when cut below a half of an inch at rough height this grass tend to dominate and is very hard to advance the golf ball.  I have looked at this issue in the past and without a complete conversion in these areas the rough grass has not filled in.  This week, realigned our fairway edges and will start mowing some of the areas as part of our fairways.

We have made very good progress with our Fescue over the last few years. I have applied a crabgrass pre-emergent to most of the fescue already this spring.  Our plan will be to treat for broadleaf weeds and undesirable grasses late spring.  I will be looking at the heavy stands of fescue and treat these areas with additional products to help reduce the density.  The University of Wisconsin is working on a fescue management study on holes 13 and 7.  One of their research studies involves "playable fescue"   I plan on implementing some of this research into our programs.

This week, we just started working on preparing the bunkers for play.  Most likely we will not have all the bunkers completed by opening day.  Once we completed this process we will go back and work on edging.

I am looking forward to a great 2016 golf season and look forward to seeing you very soon.

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