Saturday, April 27, 2013

Opening Day 2013

Opening Day 2013 with the new clock.
Click pictures to enlarge.

The brain trust at work.

Bill and Victoria figuring things out.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

1st Day of Carts - Wettest April on Record

Today we are allowing carts on the course.  Even with all the rain, things are starting to dry out and the turf is begining to grow. Please be careful around trees where the rough is typically thinner as it can still be soft.  We have set the record as the wettest April ever in Chicago and the coldest in the last 17 years.  But it looks like spring is coming and the weekend looks great!

Rolling the peat - the peat is very soft and bumpy in the spring.  This large roller is filled with water to help firm and level the peat.  Just about done for this year.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Aeration - Almost done

Monday we finished 16 greens and if our truck load of sand was not delayed 4 hours we would have completed all of them.  Today if it dries enough we will complete the process on the greens.  We are aerating tees today.

The flood waters are gone and the grass is turning green.  We are on track to have the most rainfall ever for the month of April along with being on of the coldest Aprils on record.

No trees are leafing out and the daffodils are just starting to flower - weeks later than normal.

We did have some poa die on a few greens and will be addressing those spots in the weeks ahead.

We have also begun work in moving the cart path near #10 green to increase visibility at the intersection, redoing the back left bunker and adding access to the green from cart path (on the left).

Carts will be allowed soon - maybe Wednesday if we don't get any more rain! 

Aeration in progress - very labor intensive.  Holes are filled with sand.  This aeration is mainly about removing thatch, so we use lots of small holes (cores).

Compare this phone to the one taken a few days ago (see past postings)

My new screen saver - snow/ice on a fairway took the picture last week.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Course Open - Sunday

The flood waters are gone and the course is drying and firming up nicely.  We are now cleaning the course of debris and fixing the washouts in the bunkers.  We should have most of the course cleaned up and bunkers repaired today.  Come on out, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how firm the course is.  Years of drainage work has paid off.  Hopefully we can return to a normal spring - warmer, temps and no flooding rains.

A reminder that we will be aerifying greens tomorrow (Monday, April 22nd).  With any luck we should have it all completed in one day.

Water is gone, now time to clean up.

Cleaning up all the debris.  Flood water covered part of #8 green.  Rarely does this happen.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Flood Update - Saturday AM

The water has begun to go down, but millions of gallons of water remain.  We were hoping to begin the cleanup process today, but now the ground is frozen and snow covered.  Most likely we will not be able to do much work today, but begin on Sunday.  If all goes well, most of the standing water will be gone by Sunday, but the course will still be very soft.

Friday AM - light snow covers the frozen ground - even some ice on the water.  Debris cleanup will take a few days.
A valve box floated up and away.
Snow on April 20th - has not happened this late in the last 24 years.

Water receding, but still many more hours of pumping to go.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Flood Update - Friday AM

Overnight the water did rise to the highest I have seen in years on the course.  We are now at levels rarely seen.  Honey Lake is still well above normal which limits our ability to lower the water on the course.  We hope the peak has past and now we can begin to see the water drop on the course.

Clean up will hopefully begin this weekend
For the numbers people out there- the pumps remove 18,000 GPM - that is a over 1 million gallons of water every hour - and 26 million gallons per day.  In an entire summer, we use about 26 million gallons of water for irrigation.

There are 325,826 gallons of water in an acre foot (that is 1 square acre x 1 foot deep).  Right now we have about 40 acres of water on the course at an average depth of 2 feet, or 26 million gallons of water, which would take about 24 hrs to remove.  The problem is, Honey Lake has a watershed of 1,250 acres plus we have an additional 300 acres of land that also flows onto the course - for a golf course watershed of nearly 1,550 acres.  4" of rain in produces 168 million gallons of water over 1,550 acres.  If only half of it makes it to us, that is still 84 million gallons of water which will take 3.5 days of the pumps running nonstop to remove.  The problem is, the ground was saturated prior to the 4" rainfall, so most of the 4" has and is coming our way - so the pumps will be running non-stop for most likely a full week.

So far we are in day 1 of the pumps running nonstop and I expect it to take several more days before things begin to settle down.

Today we are hoping to begin removal of water from the course, but our success depends on how fast Honey Lake is filled by water still flowing into it.  If Honey Lake begins to top the dam, we have to release water and drainage on the course slows or stops.

The course remains closed and will most likely be closed Saturday.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Flood Update (3)

Flooding continues, but appears to have topped out.  If all goes well, by Friday we will begin to see the water drop rather quickly on the course (assuming no more rain).   Play for Saturday is questionable but Sunday is not out of the question.  Carts - don't even ask!

Lift station is barely keeping up.  18,000 gallons per minute.  All water from Honey Lake, parts of Lake Zurich, Rt 59 back towards Rt 22 and the golf course pass through this lift station.

The new "Biltmore Lake".  About at historic highs.

Rarely does #15 pond near the tee overspill its banks.  All this water has to go through the pumps..

A view from #14 green.  The water has stopped rising, for the time being.

Flood Update - 10AM Thur

The water continues to rise - I expect it to peak on the course sometime tonight.  Hopefully Friday we will begin to see the water drop on the course and maybe by the weekend the course can reopen.  It looks like the rain has pushed east for now and hopefully will not return anytime soon
Looking for higher ground.  The worms can't move fast enough.

#13, #10 and #1 greens are going under water.  The water is still rising on the course as the pumps just cannot keep up.  I expect the water to peak sometime tonight on the course.

The creek is at bank-full.  The water level in the creek is above the course.  If the creek banks are beached, the course will flood even more.

Spring Flooding 4" of Rain, so far

Record breaking rainfall.  The course has begun to flood, which is understandable under the conditions.  At 7:45 AM on Thursday, April 18th we hit the 4.0" mark for rain in the last 24 hours.  If this rain fell on dry ground, it would not be so bad.  The forecast for today is 1-2 more inches of rain.  These last inches of rain will cause more flooding.
Honey Lake drains through the course.  Honey Lake's watershed extends back to Lake Zurich.  In about 24hrs the peak water flow will hit the creek on the golf course.  Until this occurs, the water on the course will not begin to drop.  This water then flows to Grassy Lake and the Fox River.  All this water goes though our 2 pumps on #15 - they are removing the water at 16,000 gallons per minute.

Taken at 7AM this morning.  Major flooding is occurring and I expect it to get worse, before it will get better. Several greens are under water.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring Delayed

Think Spring!  or at least something warmer.

This year is nothing like last year.  The cold and wet continues.  Soil temps have been hovering around 40 degrees and for good spring green up and growth we need them above 50.  The forecast is not promising for the upcoming week and because of that we have delayed aerification at least 1 week and are tentatively scheduling it for April 22nd.  In the last 7 days we have received 2.17" of rain.  The forecast for next week calls for rain in the range of 0.64" - 4.01"!  The drought in IL is officially over - no part of IL is under any drought conditions.

We were able to burn all of our prairies this spring.

Spring aerification has been delayed at least until April 22nd.  The goal of this aerification is not necessarily compaction, but thatch removal.  This helps with smoother greens during the summer.

The forecast for next week doesn't look promising. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Greens Opening - 2013

It has been awhile, but it looks like winter is finally letting go. We will be opening the greens Friday, April 5th at 1PM.  As is customary this time of year, we start mowing the greens at a higher than normal height of cut ans slowly lower the mowers.  The poa is still mostly dormant, but the bent is showing signs of life.

Most of the branches have been cleaned from the course and then we will begin work on the bunkers.  With the cold temperatures, many of the bunker stapes were pushed up by the frost.  Please do not push them back down with your feet, as we need to be able to locate them and properly reset or remove them.

At this time, carts are not permitted.  We need to roll the peat and see some turf growth before we can allow carts.

A reminder that flower orders are due next week!  If you need a flower order from, please contact the clubhouse or me.

Look forward to seeing you on the course. We have made many improvements to the course last year which I think you will enjoy.  We also completed the 3 year greens drainage project, so no more green closers next fall!

Still pretty dormant - not much color.

Some greens were still frozen as of Thursday, hopefully the frost in the ground is gone by Friday so we can roll and cut them.

Cleanup of tree trimming and branches on the course is now complete.  We will begin work on the traps soon.