What started as discussions with our lake and pond service provider about addressing the sediment buildup in the stream channel fronting No. 16 green (this constant flowing water body originates off property and we catch sediment and debris during heavy downpours) evolved into a small mobilization effort and a "camouflage" side project. We have a total of four wells on property, and although they are mostly "out of sight, out of mind" occasionally one or more will be discussed for its intrusive nature. In other words, how do you hide something in plain sight.
Well (pun intended), after meeting with our architect, Kris Spence a couple months back a plan was developed to enhance some golf course features that will "house" the pumps inside. We will be lengthening the Ross tee of hole No. 17 as well as (pun not intended) adding mounds like found between holes 4 and 17 to the right side of hole No. 10.
There's not a lot to share at this point as we're just scratching the surface of the project. We did manage to get both footers poured and we'll begin construction of the block walls first of next week. I will update and share more as we progress. #staytuned.Love having these guys on property. Always means a course improvement is right around the corner @CGC1929. #staytuned pic.twitter.com/WUcBOraMr6— Matthew Wharton (@CGCGreenkeeper) December 5, 2017
Recently Head Golf Professional, Bobby Cox spoke with me about the Short Game Area. He was concerned about the amount of divots recently made and their impact on the turf as we enter winter. I can tell you although the divots have been patched they will be there all winter because bermudagrass stopped growing over a month ago and will not regrow until late next spring. We discussed the matter with both the Golf Committee and Greens Committee Chairmen and it was decided this would be a great time to revisit the "off-season" usage policies of our practice facilities for those either needing a refresher or those newer members that just wasn't fully aware. But before I do I've added a link to a post from May of last year that contains some great information about the Short Game Area and its design and intended use. CLICK HERE
Now, our "off-season" policies go into effect each year when the clocks return to standard time. We close the Back Range Tee till spring and permit use of the natural turf on the overseeded Primary Range Tee Fridays through Sundays (weather permitting). Tuesdays through Thursdays all range use is on the mats. As for the Short Game Area it "technically" remains open but the big difference you hopefully have noticed is balls are not readily available. During the growing season den caddies, buckets, and shag bags of balls are strategically placed throughout the Short Game Area for your convenience and to "encourage" you to practice from certain locations. During the "off-season" the Golf Staff is asked to suspend this service while the turf isn't growing.
The Committee's thought behind this policy is if you really want to work on your bunker play or bump and run you can do so with a sleeve or two of balls from your bag and improve your feel and touch, then move on to putting and/or something else. By not having "unlimited" balls at one's disposal the likelihood of one or more individuals "over using" the turf is greatly discouraged.
It was recently brought to my attention some members weren't fully aware of the reasons behind these policies and were helping themselves to practice balls located inside the cart barn. Perhaps now you have a better understanding to the thought process behind these policies and you can continue to utilize the area throughout the winter but in a manner that still helps protect and preserve turf for the coming spring. Simply stated, the policies are there to ensure you and your fellow members aren't unhappy come springtime when the temperature is warm, the sun is out, but the grass in the Short Game Area isn't there. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!
Moving along, since it's cold, wet and dreary outside today (there's even a slight chance of snow) I thought I would share a couple of videos to brighten your day, and please my fellow golf course architecture junkies. Recently my friend Sean Tully (Sean is superintendent of Meadow Club in Fairfax, California) shared a link to a YouTube video featuring a flyover of Fishers Island Club in New York, regarded by many as Seth Raynor's finest design. Have a look. Fishers Island Flyover
If you enjoyed that then I'm certain you will enjoy this similar video featuring Westhampton Country Club on Long Island, believed to be Raynor's first solo design. Westhampton Flyover
I know Raynor isn't our guy, we're Ross lovers...
...but the videos are cool and I especially dig that soundtrack on the Westhampton one. Hopefully we can take inspiration and have one featuring Carolina produced next year. Maybe I can ask Santa, I believe he's dropping by the club this weekend. Hmmm.
See you on the course,
Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG