Friday, June 7, 2019

Finally, Some Sun

Hole #15
It feels like it has been weeks since we have seen some sun. There was no real point in updating this blog for the past few weeks as it was the same old story with clouds, rain, and no carts. We have carts today and hopefully through the weekend. 

This past week we received 1.35" of rain, the 1" overnight on Tuesday was a pretty big set back as it came down hard and fast, washing all of the bunkers, even the greens sides that have the liners.

Staff has done a great job if hanging in there, through all these rains and storms and by the end of the day Friday we should have all the bunkers put back together.

Staff pushing up and raking bunker edges 
We have spent the better part of the week getting caught up on mowing all of the rough and routinely mowing all of our playing surfaces. We have even had the opportunity to mow the new sod in the drainage areas down to fairway height. 

#9 Drainage
It will take a couple of weeks for this sod to fully mature to its new height, and grow out of the little bit of scalping that took place. 

Sodded area #1 Fairway 
Once it is mowed up the golf course is looking pretty good, hopefully the weekend rain misses us and we can get back to focusing on detail type tasks. We appreciate your support and thank you for your patience through this wet spring. 


Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Another wet one

The Sun just teasing us
It was another difficult wet week with an additional 1.5" inches of rain. Fortunately we have dried out enough to have golf carts on Friday and through this weekend. We were once again unable to accomplish many projects on the golf course and it was difficult to keep up with the mowing. 

Trimmed bunker face on #4
We were able to mow some rough, and get the bunker faces trimmed and edged. Fairways were mowed twice this week, and most recently on Friday. We are looking forward to a more consistent weather pattern in order to provide more consistent conditions. Have a great weekend, Happy Mothers Day!

Fairways being mowed 


Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A Wet Week

#14 Fairway with standing water and flood debris

It was a pretty slow and wet week, we received just over four inches of rain for the week and that was after the snow had melted. Needless to say there was not much that was accomplished on the golf course. We were unable to get to any of the pending projects and we were able to do very little mowing.  

All standing water has gone down, and we do not think at the moment that there will be much damage done to #14. Our staff worked diligently to pump water, and clean any flood debris during the week. This weekend you will see us trying to get fairways mowed and some of the rough, while also trying to avoid a very busy golf schedule. 

Expect fairways to be shaggy and the rough to be, well, "rough". We appreciate your understanding as we play catch up over the next couple of weeks.  


Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

End of April

#15 Fairway
Looks as though we are going to end April the same way it started with a bit of snow. Hopefully mother nature will be kind and it will melt and be gone quickly. A lot was accomplished in the last few weeks, we had some pretty good weather and grass is starting to grow.

A green covered in sand and then aerified
Greens Aerifciation was completed on April 16th and 17th all 20 Greens were covered with sand and poked with 5/8 diameter tines. Aerification continues to be the best way to protect and prolong the Park Districts investment in these greens.This process will continue to help with our air and water infiltration as well as continue to keep the greens firm. 

Greens 10 Days Post Aerification 
In the coming days we expect the greens to be more healed and get back to a more normal routine mowing schedule. Our Fairways are getting more dense and growing everyday. We started the year very cautious and patient and it is paying off. We needed to mow a couple of times in the past two weeks. We have had good weather but, we still have not had consistent warm weather like in summer. We are confident with more consistent weather we will see consistent growth and improved grass density. 
#14 Fairway
Improved ball lie as fairways are groomed and mowed

In other news this week we have begun to get all related drainage projects sodded. We were able to susccesfully get hole #'s 1,3,4, and 5 sodded before the end of the week. We look forward to these areas maturing and the drainage improvements aiding in a better and more playable golf course.

#1 Fairway Graded and Sodded to Remove Surface Water
Hole number one fairway, after the fairway bunker is very flat on both players left and right and sides. By installing a sump basin and grading the fairways towards those basins we will be able to remove surface water after rain events .

#5 Fairway with Sodded Drain Lines 
Number five fairway is also notoriously flat and would hold water after rain events, resulting in poor fairway conditions. After installing 700 liner feet of drain pipe we are confident this area will remove surface water more efficiently. It will take a couple of weeks for the sod to root to the ground, only after the sod is rooted will be begin to mow it and train it down to fairway height. 


Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent

Saturday, April 6, 2019

April Update

#14 Fairway this week
Spring is here and it seems as though it is going to be a more normal spring. In years past it has either been very cold, or it would warm up cool down and repeat. This gradual steady warm up is good for the grass and the golf course. This gives the grass a chance to get acclimated and build a strong root system.
Hole #6 about a week ago
As temperatures have warmed up we have begin to see our playing surfaces begin to green up and start growing. We need steady temperatures so that the soils get warm, when the soils reach a steady average in the 50's the grass will begin to grow more consistently

#6 Approach this week 
All fairway areas are definitely showing positive signs coming out of winter, we do have a few small low line areas that are still slow to get going. These areas still contain a lot of Poa annua, which is the grass we do not want, if they continue to be slow to get going we will be adding seed to them and try and out compete them here while it is early in the year. 

Low line areas #15 Fairway
#15 Fairway this week 
This weekends forecast shows positive signs for some warmer weather, we should see all playing surfaces growing and greening up even more. Once there is some better, steady warmer weather and all playing surfaces are "actively" growing we will begin to think about letting golf carts roll out. Have a great weekend. 


Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Welcome Back!

New Tee Markers that will be put out later in the spring
The 2019 season is finally here. It seems like it took forever considering the cold, snowy, and icy winter that is hopefully behind us. The last couple of weeks, and the forecast has yet to bring on any consistent warmth, but there is enough change to suggest that warmer weather is near.

#4 Green covered in ice during winter
The course handled the winter rather well, we had lots of changes including rains that turned to ice, and snow that melted and turned to ice, but overall our grass looks like it is coming out of winter just fine.
#1 Green after the melt 
Over the winter the maintenance staff was busy with lots of tree work. You will notice that up and down all of our tree/rough lines we have trimmed all the low branches helping raise tree canopy's, allowing for players to find their golf shots, and allow for sunlight to get to grass located near and around those trees.

Staff trimming trees 
 Over the coming weeks we are hoping for warmer weather so that soil temperatures rise and the grass can really start growing. The little growth we have had is not enough to support golf cart traffic, it is also not enough to fill divots and grow through ball marks. Also you will notice that the grass in our fairways has taken on many different colors this early in the year. This is due to the different spices that are out there and how each is coming out of winter at a different pace. Some will be more dormant then others, and will be brown to yellowish in color.
Modeled look of a fairway 
Like most springs on the north shore we encourage and thank you for your patience with the cold  weather and a slow start to the year. We look forward to seeing you out there. 


Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent  

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Winter Update

I think its officially here, we haven't had a "winter" in what seems like a few years. Not only are we having daily and weekly snow events but now we will have a polar vortex and the coldest recorded temperatures since 1994.

We are always asked what is the best kind of winter weather for the grass. With so many strange weather years over the last few seasons, its definitely hard to quantify what has been best, but we know that we don't want the grass to be exposed to the cold and wind or even ice for too long.

Greens roped off and ready for snow
Prior to the snow we received a few rain events, this is good because it gives the ground and grass a bit of moisture helping keep everything well hydrated. Then by having a good blanket of snow we know that the grass is well protected and insulated from the harsh winter wind protecting the grass from dehydration and desiccation.
Groomer in Action 
With snow on the ground we have been open for ski season. All of the golf course greens were roped off to keep skiers off of the greens, and we wait for a six inch base before grooming to insure that there would be limited damage to the grass/ground underneath the snow.

Due to the volume of snow we have been grooming regularly, almost once a day but on average four  days a week. We will not be grooming trails during the brutally cold days, but we will continue to groom based on snow and the amount the trail is used.


Nick Marfise
Golf Course Superintendent