Saturday, August 28, 2010


Yesterday was a shocker!!! Around 2pm screams of a fire in the maintenance barn were flying across the radios. By the time I arrived on the seen - 30 seconds or less - the old polo barn was completely engulfed in flames. Seven different fire departments were called to the seen in order to control the blaze. The firefighters are to be commended for their efforts even though there was not much they could do. The nearly 100 year old building, formerly a horse stable, was the perfect conduit to a large fire.

The fire was so intense and fanned by the wind that it quickly spread to the second structure pictured below.

That's the bad news! The good news is that almost all of the project materials were not stored in either of those buildings. The biggest loss to the project is some sprinklers and PVC pipe that can be quickly replaced. All the seed, fert, Klingstone, spreaders, and chemicals were spared from the blaze.

We put our helmets and shoulder pads on today and got back to work. The final 5 greens were seeded today. Seeding of fairways will follow on Monday-Thursday of the upcoming week.

Please know that I might be off the blog site of a few extra days while we sort everything out that transpired yesterday. To all of those of you who have wished us well, I say "Thank You". Your support and rallying efforts for the best interest of the club is what makes CCD such a special place.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 43 and 44 - Seed!!!!!!!!

It is with great pleasure that I report to you this evening that we were able to get 11 of the 19 greens seeded today. It was a long, long day but very successful. With what was accomplished today, I expect to have all 19 greens seeded by the end of work tomorrow. With the greens behind us, we will move directly into seeding the fairways and approaches on Saturday. With any luck, we should have all the fairways seeded by Wednesday of next week. I will post pictures of this process tomorrow or Saturday.

On the tee front, the forth tee complex was laser leveled today and the prep work to lay the sod around the tee was complete. The contractor has ordered a truck of sod for early tomorrow so the forth tee complex should be complete late tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 41 and 42 - Only One Remains!!

Over the last two days the prep team has been working full tilt on the remaining four greens they had to prepare for sod. As of last evening, #'s 7, 9, and 10 where complete and ready for sod. The crew even got a head start on the new 17th complex. Today, there are a number of bodies working on the new 17th green in hopes of having in ready to sod the surrounds tomorrow. Below are a couple of photos:

It looks like it's a long way from sod ready, but because it is a new site the machines can do most of the work. All the other greens had to be prepped by rake and shovel.

The old cart path that ran behind the 17th green and along the 18th tee has to be removed in order for the new 17th fairway to be placed. In the end, there will no longer be a cart path in this area, something I believe will be a cleaner, more elegant look.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 38-40 - More Finish Work

We continue to press toward a seeding date this week. On Friday of last week, we sodded the 11th, 6th, 14th, and 8th green complexes. This only leaves the 7th, 9th, 10th and 17th to get ready before seed can go in the ground. Regardless, we expect to now start the seeding process on Thursday of this week and will wait a day or two for the final 4 greens if necessary. I still believe these greens will be prepped, sodded and ready to go by Friday of this week. It look like we have terrific weather heading into our seeding date.

The tees continue to move along at an exceptional pace. By the end of today, the only tees that will be left to shape should be on hole number 12. They will be doing the shaping work on #'s 1, 7 and 10 today and the drainage on number 8 and 6. I expect to start laying sod around some of these tees by the middle part of next week.

The locations of the new bunkers on hole #3 and 18 were defined over the weekend. Brian Slawnik of RGD worked on these designs all day Friday and Saturday - until the rains came - to get this work done. This was an important step as now all the fairway lines can be hard painted and identified as we head into seeding the fairways late this week or early next week.

Lots to do this week before the seed goes in the ground so I gotta run. I can't wait to see green tinge just 14 days from now!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Days 34-37 - Finish Work Continues!!!

Over the last few days the continued focus has been on finishing the green surrounds and getting them sodded. To date we have now finished greens 1-5, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18and the practice green. We anticipate finishing the rest of the greens by Tuesday of next week and appear to be headed for a seeding start date of next Friday or Saturday. We expect the seeding to require two - three days for the greens and another three days for the fairways. The plan calls for us to start on greens by Friday and move right into fairways by Monday of the following week. There is an outside chance we may start on some fairways by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

In preparation for seeding, today my staff began to make a final sweep through the greens and fairways that are complete. We are putting a microscope to every little detail to make sure things are in order by the end of next week. We are focusing a lot of our time around what will be the new collars and approaches to ensure there are no issue during the grow-in. Any little imperfection could lead to scalping of the turf and result in set backs - something we desperately want to avoid in order to open on time next season.

As for the tees, a 100 meter track star would have difficulty keeping up with the pace MacCurrach is demonstrating. As of this evening the only tees not shaped are 1, 8, 10, 12, and 7. Number 1 and 8 are scheduled for tomorrow and I expected all the tees will be cored out and the sub-grades laser leveled by Saturday. We already have 4 complexes that have been re-irrigated and expect most of the remaining complexes to be completed by the end of next week. There is a great deal of tie-in and sod work that will have to be done before seeding of the tees is a go, but there will be 20+ bodies solely focused on that next week so it should come together very quickly. Looking through my crystal ball, I see us seeding tees the first week of September.

On the design front, the shaping of the new bunkers on 3 and 18 fairways is expected to get underway tomorrow afternoon or Friday at the latest. I can't wait for all of you to see what the finished product on #18 will become. When complete, I believe #18 will become the signature hole of this historic renovation.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Days 31-33 - Starting to Put Things Back Together!!

Forgive my absence for the last few days, it has been a fast paced couple of days.

In the last couple of days we have plunged deep into the first stages of repairing the golf course. On Wednesday we took delivery of the first truck load of sod to begin repairing the green's surrounds. We managed to get #'s 3, 4, 5 and half of 2completed with the first truck. We are anticipating another truck to arrive any minute and it should be enough to finish the 2nd, 12th, 13th, 15th, and 16th holes. That would make 8 holes that would be complete and within in an hour could be ready to seed. We will continue to wait for as many greens as we can to seed at one time. I'm still hopeful that we will be able to accomplish somewhere around the 23-25th of August.

On the tee front, it is a lightning fast pace. The tee placements and coring out of the tees is complete on all but 7-12 and number 1. There are a couple small adjustments to made on the 6/13 complex but that will be completed today. I think all playing groups will find great satisfaction with the placement of these tees. Being able to witness it first hand, I can tell you the architect on site is very aware of the wide range of skill level that exists in our membership and is placing the tees accordingly. The forward courses will be a great enhancement to many members playing experience.

I will try to post some finished photos later today, but have included one very important photo below. The photo shows a hard edge that is created just prior to the sods placement. We call this "Keying-In" the bluegrass sod. Why is this so important? Many times is the past golf course just laid the sod at the same soil depth that the collar would be grown at and it created a damming effect that prevent surface water form exiting the green. By lowering the edge around the collar, we ensure that the soil layer that comes with all sod, will not impede the flow of water. It seems so simple but can be very problematic if not done correctly.

(The green will be on the light colored sand. The collar will be on the raised soil area and the sod is placed between the hard edge and existing turf.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 29 and 30 - "Finish Grade" and Tee Work in Full Force!!

Now the real work begins!! Yesterday the putting green drainage was complete and the mix is being installed as I type this. Below is a photo of the putter with the drainage and gravel complete. Remember, this green has been expanded from 6300sqft to 8500sqft.

With the "heavy lifting" on the greens now behind us, we began the finish work on Friday on last week. One of the most important steps of this process is making sure the rootzone mix has been installed to correct depth and properly compacted. Below is a photo of the lengths we are going to make sure these greens are constructed properly.

In this photo you will see a number of flags that were placed on the green in a grid fashion. The gentlemen in the photo is a CCD employee and he is checking the depth of the greens mix and each and every one of these flags - nearly 400 locations on one green. Any inconsistencies are immediately report to myself and then I inform the contractor and architect of the areas that require additional attention.

Between Friday, Saturday and Monday we now have the 18th, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th 12th and 16th greens in the finished state. There is a minor tweak here or there and that work will be completed today. Tomorrow, we will take delivery of the first truck of bluegrass sod to place around the green surrounds on the holes noted above. Once complete, the greens will be ready for fertilizer applications and SEED!! As I have noted in earlier posts, we will attempt to wait for as many greens as possible to be ready by the 20-25th of August, at which time we will hopefully seed all the greens at once.

The other really exciting thing that is happening right now is the tee placement. With the extra bodies that were sent here by MacCurrach last week, we have seen the pace of tee project triple. The location of the 2nd, 3rd, 18th, 4th and 17th tees have now been defined, "cored-put", and sub-grades have been laser leveled. They even began installing the drainage on some of these new tee boxes yesterday. Below are a couple of photos.

The new look of the third hole. The forward tee is difficult to see in this photo, but it has been shifted to the right to get it out of the tree line.

The above photo is the laser level box blade that is used to get the sub-grade of the tees exactly right. Notice the yellow laser in the background and the yellow receiving unit near the top of the box blade. The two units communicate with each other and allow the red box-blade to automatically adjust itself. The operator simply has to drive around in circles until the box-blade is no longer moving earth. At that point, the grade is set and the process moves on to the next tee box.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 26, 27 and 28 - Drainage is Ready to Cross the Finish Line!

We have reached a critical point in the project. All 18 greens on the course now have the drainage and mix installed. The new practice putting green is being drained and should be completed by Monday afternoon, including the mix installation.

If you have not seen the new area, please stop by the club and check it out. The old practice green measured 6300sqft and the new green has been expanded to 8500sqft. It is quite an impressive sight and very fitting for a majestic club like ours. I think it is worth noting that this practice green will allow you to work on virtually every putt you may face on the new greens. There are areas that will allow you to practice a wide variety of putts including: down hill, side hill, up hill, and of course flat ones. I hope all of you will be as excited to use this new green as I am to get it opened for your use.

With the drainage portion about to finish, the MacCurrach group is shuffling bodies to begin the "finish work" around the new greens. This process includes water settling the newly installed mix, packing all the edges, trimming away the excess plastic liner, matching the grade of the new green with the existing surrounds, and most importantly checking the depth of the mix. I had hoped to post some pictures today, but I am without Internet service in my office and am doing this from home where I forget to bring my camera. Look for photos over the weekend or early next week.

This finish work will move quickly (The 2nd and 18th greens were completed just today) and we should be prepared to start laying the bluegrass sod around the first 6 greens by Wednesday. At that point, the only thing left to do would be to rake out the surface one final time and plant the seed. Given the pace of the project, we will wait for all the greens to be complete and seed them at one time - sometime between Aug 20th and Sept 1st.

One other item of note is that MacCurrach Golf recently sent five additional staffers to the club to begin cranking out the tee portion of the project. They arrived yesterday and have made an immediate impact. The location of the new tees on 2, 3, and 18 have been finalized and staked out. It will be interesting to see how quick the new tees come together - I suspect it will be very fast.

Again, sorry for the lack of photos. Hopefully my internet will be back up and running on Monday and I will get some photos out ASAP!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 23, 24 and 25 - And Then There Was One!!!

Wow! It's hard to believe that we only have one green left to install drainage and gravel on. With number one complete and 17 nearly finished, we are only left with the practice putting green to complete. We began the removal of the old putting green yesterday and will complete that work very early tomorrow morning. Brian Slawnik of RGD should be shaping this green by the lunchtime hour and the tiling and gravel installation will immediately follow - probably Thursday!

We have installed the new rootzone mix on all the greens except the first and seventeenth greens. Number one will be completed tomorrow and 17 should be done by Thursday at the latest, if not tomorrow afternoon. The irrigation is close behind with eleven greens now complete and the 12th beginning first thing in the morning.

So, where do we go from here?

The MacCurrach team has 5 additional staff members arriving on site tomorrow to begin the process of "finishing' the greens. All of the edges of the greens have to be sufficiently compacted, soil needs to be added to the outer edges to "tie-in" the greens, bluegrass sod has to be placed around the green surrounds and all the rootzones have to be probed one last time to confirm depths. If all goes as planned, we should be laying sod by Tuesday of next week around the first 5-6 greens. At that point, the only thing remaining to do would be to seed the greens. We hope to accomplish this sometime before September 1st.

The next agenda item will be to push the tee portion of the program forward. With the drainage component on the greens complete, MacCurrach will re-direct many of the greens laborers to start hammering on the tees. With any luck, they will "rough" shape two to three complexes per day for Brian Slawnik of RGD to approve. It is amazing to spend time with the architect and see his thoughts for the tee placement and "look" it will present after completion.

A special thanks from me to the 150+ supporters of the this voluntary portion of the project. You have provided the cherry on top of the sundae for this most extraordinary project. I think and hope all of you will be as excited as I am as this portion of the project starts to take shape over the next few weeks.