Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2017 Year in Review

Another excellent golf season has come end.  This has been my 17th year here at Hawks Landing.

Every season is different which is one of the exciting parts for me. My focus is to provide our membership with a well conditioned firm golf course daily.  We have implemented many new strategies in the last few years to do just that.  There is no status quo in maintaining a golf course, especially as the course ages.

This season we have been addressing the organic matter and excess water holding in the greens with very good results.  We will continue the profile testing for years to come and will evaluate what management strategies need to be implemented.  This testing provides us with valuable insight and an excellent plan to follow.  In the upcoming seasons we need to continue our focus on fairways and tees as well.  Our soils very extremely rocky which poses many challenges for organic matter control.  We need to look at alternative management practices that will help remove excess organic matter.  The problem is not going to go away by itself we need to be very proactive in order to provide the membership with quality playing surfaces.  Additionally, this is not an overnight fix, it took many years to become a problem.

It has been a crazy weather year as well,  This spring started fairly normal but then the rains started.  It almost seemed like we lived in the jungle with multiple  3+ inch rain events in a short time frame.  Every time we were able to have the course playable it rained again and again.  We were very fortunate this summer  had fairly mild temperatures.  The saturated conditions and excess heat would not have been a very good situation. Late summer came along we went thru a time span of  moderate drought conditions.  Onto fall with the start of our recent bunker renovation compared to last fall the temperatures were quite chilly.  This caused some delays in our renovation work. During Phase 1 bunker renovation most seeded areas were filled in by winter this year very little seed has come up.

Staffing is and will be a serious problem in the years to come.  It is very difficult in the current job market to find staff for summer months.  My Assistant will be moving on to another opportunity.  This in itself will be very difficult to find a replacment.  The turf programs across the country have seen a drastic decline in enrollment. I strongly believe that Hawks Landing is an excellent choice to learn and gain valuable experience now the challenges begins in finding the right fit to fill this position soon. 

All in all this season has been very rewarding and with all the progress we have made I am looking forward too 2018

We have completed our bunker renovation project with a few odds and ends to complete yet this fall.  Some of the bunkers on the back 9 were very large and posed many challenges for maintenance as well as playability.  We looked at each bunker, evaluated its purpose, issues, and what we can do to increase playability for the higher handicap player and still create varied shot options along with enhanced placement of the hazard for the skilled player.  I believe we did just that for the phase 2 work.  Holes 11,12,15 have dramatic changes that have been well received this fall by many members.  I removed a total of 4 bunkers on holes 11,14,17 these bunkers were not in play.  Compared to the Phase 1 front 9 bunker renovation we laid a lot of bentgrass and bluegrass sod.  In total 10,000 sqft of sod was laid down and about the same amount of seeding done.  We harvested sod from the golf course to better match the existing turf.  The weather this fall has been challenging to get any seed to germinate the sod has already started to root well.  We will have the seeded areas roped off until we have a good stand of grass in the spring.  I did my best to keep most seeded areas outside of play.  The sand in the new bunkers is very soft at this point. I am confident that the sand will firm up over time. Moving forward we all need to focus on smoothing out our footprints using the back smooth side of the bunker rakes and exiting from the low side of the bunkers.  During this renovation I also focused on correcting a lot of the very steep exit and entrances of the bunkers. This should no longer be an issue.

 I am very proud of our staff for all the hard work they did to complete this project.  Golf Creations also did an outstanding job.  This was a very rewarding project that I firmly believe has enhanced our great golf club to a new level.  I am very excited for the upcoming golf season.

I would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and a great holiday season.  It has been a pleasure to prepare the golf course for everyone this year and look forward to continuing our progress that we have made this year into 2018.

11 green before/after
14 green before/after

12 green before/after

15 green before/after

17 frwy bunker removal

17 green bunker rebuild

Total Pageviews