Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2016 year end review

March 11 2016

July 26 2016
  Looking back, Our first mowing of the greens was on March 10 this year and we opened for play on the 28th.  April started off pretty cold and ended with heavy rain.  July was very warm humid and lot of rain and flooding on the golf course. July was a very tough month for my staff with multiple rain events.  We had a lot of cleanup including pumping bunkers and repairing the bunkers. We had another stretch in mid august and early september that it seemed to rain every other day.  We ended the golf season with a great record breaking November. Looking back it was a tough season but our staff did a great job getting the course back in shape quickly.  I feel we had very quality playing surfaces even with Mother Nature against us.  We have a dedicated seasonal staff that work tirelessly this year to provide these great condition and I am very thankful for everyone. 

Our fescue program here at Hawks is doing well.  We have yet to remove all undesirable grasses and weeds but every year we are getting closer.  This year I experimented with roundup and a growth regulator in a few fairly dense stands of turf.  The results were promising, I plan on expanding on this next season. 

Most of the construction on the front nine this fall has been completed.  There are a few projects that we did not finish and will  complete in the early spring.  November had some great dry weather for us to  tackle a lot of small projects on the front nine.  We leveled all the sprinklers heads around every green and replaced some sod around the greens that had creeping bentgrass containment with new bluegrass sod. Worked on squaring off a few tees and adding a little more tee space on 13 gold.  We never are able to complete everything on the list but we made a pretty good dent in it.  I also concentrated on our soil profile issues in the putting greens this November.  We continue to hold more soil moisture than desired. We have been addressing this by solid tine aerification and filling the holes using a granular sand to open up more pore space. We will continue to evaluate our progress in the spring.  After thanksgiving, we core aerated around every green and all walk ons to the tees. We solid tined all roughs on the course.  I am encouraged by our progress in the health of the roughs from doing this process for the last few years. 

 In addition to our solid tine program on the greens we did a process called drill and fill to a few trouble spot on 1,5,11 greens.  This is a very time consuming task that will be worth the effort in these areas next year. We used a 15 inch long drill bit and backfilled each hole with sand.  This will allow for much improved drainage.  
The first load of our new sand going in
Our front nine bunker renovation turned out better than I imagined.  We removed 4 bunkers and made 2 much smaller and more functional.  The sand has already firmed up. I am looking forward to next season already.  We will have our challenges with the back nine next year but I feel it will be worth the wait to complete the project in the fall versus the spring. The weather is the biggest factor in making this decision.

We continue to work on the course even with snow on the ground.  Currently we are pruning trees on the course and general cleanup when possible.  Our equipment manager has started to work on equipment which is a huge task.  We remain very busy inside the shop repairing everything from the trash cans to our largest pieces of equipment.  Before we know it March will be here.  

I would like to thank all of our members for a great golf season and look forward to seeing everyone soon

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Course Update 10/29/2016

If you blinked you most likely missed out on the construction project of our front nine bunkers.  The project lasted 11 days from start to finish.  During this time we softened all the humps in the bunkers, installed the billy bunker liner system into all the greens bunkers, cleaned out the drainage and added the new sand into all the bunkers on the front nine.  We hauled a total of 150 tons of pea stone and 700 tons of new sand.  We also removed or made a few bunkers smaller to allow for enhanced playability and improved drainage.  There are a few projects that I plan on addressing before the end of the season to improve surface drainage away from a few fairway bunkers. The day after completion, we received 2.4 inches of rain before we were even able to rake and compact the new sand.  The green side bunkers performed as expected with no washouts. The fairway bunkers without the billy bunker system washed out in a few areas. I feel we can address most of the washout areas by reducing the surface flow of water into the bunkers.  I am looking at each bunker to evaluate further improvements.  Yesterday and this morning we raked all the new bunkers for the first time.  I feel that over time the sand will firm up and play the same as our test bunker on 5 green.  The photos of the front nine really show the transformation of the golf course.  I am very fortunate to have a great staff that worked many hours laying new sod in the areas that we removed the bunkers.  There is a seamless transition of these new areas and hard to imagine what was even done.
Yesterday was the last day for our seasonal staff, I am down to 2 employees and our equipment manager.  I plan on topdressing and solid tining the greens this upcoming week as well as the approaches.  We have a tremendous amount of work to in a very short time before the end of the season we will be very busy.  

I plan on shutting down the on course restroom on November 2nd and we will be winterizing the irrigation system on the 8th.  

I hope to see you on the golf course in the next few weeks the weather forecast looks to be very good to get in a few more rounds this fall.  


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.  


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