Monday, October 16, 2017

Course Closed

#14 Fairway 
The golf course is closed again today due to the rain events between Saturday and Sunday.  The golf course received just under five inches of rain. Over the last two days the water has drained considerably. We hope to be open for walking only tomorrow.

#3 Fairway after the water level has gone down

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Greens Aerification

Sand Topdressing the Greens 
 Fall greens aerification was completed earlier this week, the entire process was a success. Your maintenance staff got started on Sunday after noon, getting six holes completed before dark. Then on Monday with the golf course closed we completed the remaining thirteen greens. Starting on Sunday night insures that we are completely done by Tuesday and that the golf course can reopen. 

Core Aerification in process 
Core aerifing the greens is one of those necessary evils that helps maintain and continue to protect our investment in the greens. Aerification helps remove unwanted organic matter that can cause the greens to be soft and retain water, replacing that organic matter with sand helps improve firmness and drainage. 
The finished Product  
The finished product looks like the picture above with thousands of neatly filled holes. We will be out rolling the greens periodically to help with smoothness and to help push the holes together while the grass continues to grow. We are hoping that with good weather we should be healed in approximately two weeks.


We will be keeping the greens watered to make sure those aerification holes don't dry out. Soft aerified greens are very receptive to golf shots, we are asking that everyone does their part and fixes ball marks.  

Have a good week, we will see you out there 


Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Seeding Process

#3 Fairway 
The last couple of weeks the maintenance staff has been hard at work getting the fairways seeded after the flood related damage from July. On July 12th we received three inches of rain, and yet the golf course handled that amount of water just fine. It was the days that preceded that created the inevitable damage. The intense rains that took place north of us in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois made the rivers and flood plains rise, causing back-flow up our drains and onto our property. Areas of the golf course remained saturated and underwater for more then four days. Grass needs air and oxygen to stay alive and after long periods underwater it begins to decline. 

#14 Fairway 
The damage that you see here is a result of that flooding creating a rather unappealing and undesirable playing surface. The decision was made to seed these damaged areas. Many have asked why we are not sodding in this occasion. Although sod sounds like a quick fix, sod is a much more expensive alternative then seed, and sod takes time to mow and groom down to a desired height for a fairway. Sod would be more aesthicically pleasing but would still be considered unplayable for several weeks. Seed takes time to germinate, but learns to grow and adapt to its surroundings. With good weather from start to finish we could have the seeded areas back and playable again in approximately six weeks. 

A newly germinated area
These newly germinated areas are quite fragile the seedlings have a very short root system and it doesn't take much force to ruin these seedlings. Although it is inconvenient we have roped several areas on the course off to eliminate as much traffic as possible. We certainly don't want golf carts driving through these areas, and would prefer if walkers and pull carts stay off as well.

Fairway irrigation keeping seeded areas moist 
All seed and germinating seed needs to stay either wet or moist, do not be surprised to see irrigation heads running during your round of golf. We hope not to inconvenience anyone, but on warm dry days it is important that we continue to protect the clubs investment. 

A picture of "Goose-grass" 
Several members and golfers have inquired about the weeds, Crabgrass, and Goose-grass that are currently on the golf course. After the flood we decided not to spray for weeds because we did not want to put anything onto the grass or in the ground that would prevent seed from growing. Now that we are seeding and the seed is germinating the best course of action is to wait to spray these weeds until it is safe for the the newly established grass. 

We hope this information helps we will continue to keep you updated 


Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

More Rain

#3 Fairway 
The current weather pattern over the last couple of weeks has undoubtedly begun to get a bit tiresome. Although it is out of our control we apologize for delivering unwanted news.

#5 Fairway 
Today will be the second day this week that we have needed to close due to the rain, and standing casual water on the golf course. We have received almost 3" of rain since Wednesday evening. The difficult part is that as every storm passes through the course has not had time to completely dry from the last storm.

  • Since April, we have received just over 16 inches of rain in 2017
  • In June we had  4" 
  • In July to date we have had 6" 

Flood Damage 

The full scope of damage related to the storm that took place on July 12th, remains to be seen. There are definitely areas that we are going to have to work on and fix, but the total assessment of damage has not really set in yet. Several areas were under water for three days or more.

View of #14 this past week, the brown areas were under water the longest


Golf Course Superintendent 
Nick Marfise 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Yesterdays Rain Event

Yesterday was quite the day for much of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Towns only a few minutes north of us received in some cases 5 inches of rain or more. We fared pretty well considering what it could have been.

#3 Fairway 
Wednesdays storm brought us a lot of wind and a total of 2.7" of rain. Needless to say the golf course was flooded in many of our usual places. Most bunkers have standing water and are washed, while other areas on the course are really soggy and holding standing water still today.

A good portion of the water has begun to go down and we see the southern portion of the course beginning to look better.

Water has drained down on #9 Approach

Reverse angle of the picture shown above, #3 Fairway as the water has gone down.
The north and north east corners of the property near hole #'s 6, 14, and 15 will take some time to drain. Yesterday after the initial rain we were not flooded, but now that the water from the northern part of the state is flowing south, the river has come up over its banks and up through our drains onto the golf course, backing up the drainage in these areas to almost a stand still.

#6 Fairway/native area... notice the red hazard stake...

#6 Fairway as you approach the green

#14 Tee 

#14 First portion of the Fairway

#14 Approach in front of the green
While we wait for mother nature to help us drain and dry out, staff is hard at work cleaning the debris from the storm. Cutting up a few trees and branches that fell, as well as raking up all the small sticks and twigs that were blown all over.  

Large Oak Tree Branch #12

The golf course will remain closed until further notice, thank you for your patience.

Golf Course Superintendent
Nick Marfise

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Warm weather means progress

Windy day overlooking #3 Fairway

With what seems like the first week with sustained and consistent weather we have gotten some really nice productivity out of our Kentucky Bluegrass fairways.We are seeing several areas in the fairways begin to mature, and the areas that are thin, are showing signs of new growth.
Seedlings beginning to mature
For the first part of the spring the fairways were not mowed very frequently. This was due to the fact that the grass was not growing enough and did not need to be mowed, also excessive mechanical stress can hinder the growth of new grass and we trying to be safe and cautious.There were times on the course that you may have seen lies similar to this, where your ball landed next to a "bunch" of grass and the areas around that patch appear to be thin.

A golfers lie next to a patch of KBG
Once the grass gets mowed more frequently, it transfers its energy to grow more laterally and the grass begins to nit and fill in.

#13 Fairway
We will be continuing to push lateral growth in order to get golf ball lies tighter. Part of the way in which we will do this is through aerification. Aerification practices help alleviate compaction, by alleviating compaction it frees up soil space for the grass to grow into the aerification holes and the loosened up soil.
Tractor aerifying #8 Fairway
Close up of aerification holes

We are looking forward to some more warm weather and continued growth. If the weather cooperates and stays warm we should see these fairways fill in over the next few weeks.   


Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent