A little something from our Superintendent, Ahren Wonderlich.
Here we are in mid-November and we’re talking about this is the best the golf course has played all year. But why is that? Many factors are contributing to this but the main one is Mother Nature. We had a very wet year other than a dry stretch in June. Now we’re in late fall and the rain has shut off. This equates to firm and fast.
Turfgrass requires water for survival. We all know this. But demands for water differ throughout the season. In golf course maintenance we often talk about ET rates or Evapotranspiration. ET is the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration from the Earth’s land and ocean surface to the atmosphere. Or in other words…..how much water are we losing each day. A few basic factors that contribute to ET are humidity, temperature, wind and day length or sun angle. Our ET rates are typically the highest in the summer months which requires us to irrigate more frequently which in turn leads to a softer playing surface. We try to walk the fine line of too much or too little water when it comes to irrigating. We don’t want it too wet but we also don’t want it to burn up. I prefer the drier side but it doesn’t always happen that way. I will also add this little tidbit….the drought of 2012 was one of my favorite growing years. It was a lot of work keeping grass alive but our humidity was low based on no rainfall and the golf course played firm and fast all year. This summer not so much. Too much rain which led to high humidity and disgusting dew points. The golf course played soft and turfgrass disease pressure was very high.
Let’s fast forward to now. Why is it so good? As I write this our rainfall totals have decreased significantly over the last 6 weeks compared to earlier in the year. Also, we are in the time of year where those ET rates are at their lowest. The demand for water is significantly lower with shorter days and the air is dry. It feels like a desert climate right now. We still need to water but not much. A little bit of irrigation goes a long way right now. This allows for a much firmer faster playing surface. Right now is about as good as it gets. I’m a big fan. So get out and enjoy it. It looks like this weather pattern will continue for a while.
Are you on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? Do you follow The Players Club on all three? In 2017 we will have a contest/giveaway on one of the three social media outlets every single month. All you have to do is follow or like us so you know when the contests are. We also post fun things that go on around the club and are planning a video series for next year too!
Our Annual Chili Open was held Sunday, November 6th. After moving the scramble to the first weekend in November we didn't think we would have anything to worry about regarding the weather. Last year it was far from chilly, it was unseasonably warm which until this morning I thought this year's would be too! It was chilly at 9am for the shotgun start but didn't turn out to be a bad day to be out on the course. After golf all players came in for some chili, grilled cheese, cinnamon rolls, french fries, hot dogs and Tim insisted on Fritos this year. Congrats to Steve Buroker, Ryan Turek, Jay Muller and Mike Muller on winning this year's tournament!
Now that the golf season is slowing down I want to take more time informing our members of the tools we currently have in place to help inform you of what is going on around here. Although this is not a new feature I am pretty sure most of you don't know it exists.
DID YOU KNOW..... that we post every single event flyer on our website?
If you visit our website and click on the current members tab there is a tab named "event details". In that section every single event for the entire year is listed. Each title is a link that will take you to the event flyer. We always keep these updated at least 2 months in advance. Several times a year there are more events listed here than were included in the yearly calendar we send out. So please use this as a tool to find out whats going on as well as answer any price, time or how to sign up questions.
We have had some requests for more information regarding the bunker projects on #4 and #6 so Tim has responded with the following:
The fairway bunker projects on #4 and #6 are coming along better than expected right now! We missed a rain Monday evening and that allowed us to really accomplish quite a bit. By the time this weekend wraps up the bunkers on #4 and #6 will be completed. The idea we have is to make the golf course easier for higher handicaps and as difficult for the lower handicap player. Not changing the integrity of the hole has been very important for us. If you notice, anywhere that sand has been removed is really out of play for the better player. It was also very penalizing for the higher handicap. Making the course more enjoyable for those players and keeping the challenge for the better players has been priority #1 for our team. Attached are some aerial pictures of the areas before any changes were made. The red lines indicate where the new bunkers will be placed. We plan to move over to #10 and #12 fairway bunkers next week. We also will be finishing the pond surround on #15 with rip-rap. This will look exactly like #14 when finished and will help stabilize the banks. The maintenance department lead by Ahren Wonderlich and Craig Mantz has done a great job getting all these projects accomplished while also maintaining spectacular playing conditions. If you have not played golf in the last few weeks I encourage you to do so, greens are firm and fast and the fairway height has been lowered again. The golf course is literally perfect!
This was our first year hosting a Halloween Breakfast Buffet and we had an awesome turnout. Not only was it fun for the kids to dress up but our staff had a ton of fun dressing up as well! Tim was a carrot, (some thought he was a tall skinny pumpkin) Morgan was a pea pod, Adam was a lumberjack and Paul got attacked by a tiger before getting to work. We also had a unicorn, scarecrow, Minnie Mouse and Peter Pan but the most popular person at the club was the T-REX. If we would have had a contest Christina would have won most popular. In addition to the staff being in costumes the clubhouse was decorated and the centerpieces were spooky. The buffet included your standard breakfast items as well as a pancake bar complete with whip cream, chocolate chips, sprinkles, syrup and butter and a donut bar. We look for this event to continue to grow in popularity as it was inexpensive for our members and great family activity. Thanks for all who came out!
Sunday Funday was a blast. We started the morning off with a hay rack ride down to number 15 to pick up our pumpkins. Lupe from the maintenance department was an excellent driver. The pumpkins then got a bath on the deck and sat out to dry as we started our craft. This year the kids made hanging bats. Although it appeared to be a very simple project it took a very long time. They were darling when they were all finished. We have pizza, pasta and bread sticks for lunch and decorated our pumpkins. The next Kids Sunday Funday is scheduled for Sunday, December 4th. We hope to see you all there!
We originally had over 100 people for Glow Ball. Due to the weather we had to reschedule and ended up with a much smaller group. Everyone that played had a blast and it was the quickest round in the history of Glow Ball at the club. Everyone enjoyed a breakfast buffet and several more cocktails following golf. Congratulations to Drew and Dakotah Taylor, Tony and Karly Daniel and Mike and Jill Danahay on their first place finish!
The Men's Deer Creek Cup took place this week starting Thursday, October 6th for their pairings party. They had a Friday practice round and matches began Saturday morning but not before the traditional opening ceremony. The bagpipes sounded as the men marched, shook hands and Don Germer hit the opening shot. The Deer Creek Cup is headed up by Brad Masterson. We are so thankful for all of his hard work putting this tournament together. He organizes all qualifiers, uniforms and this weekends event. After day one the Aqua team was up 10 to 8 we ended Sunday play with a tied score of 18 to 18. There was then a playoff to determine the Aqua team as the winners!
Here we are at the beginning of October already. It seems like every year goes faster and faster. We never know when the end of the golf season is near but we do know it is coming. It could be 4 weeks or it could be 8 weeks. With that in mind it’s time to get moving on some projects. I feel like we haven’t accomplished much project wise this year due to all of the rain we’ve received. It seems like all we do is fix bunkers and mow grass. Let’s hope for some dry weather these last few weeks. However, as I sit in my office delivering this update it is raining. Let this be the end for a while.
The eliminated cart path thru 15 fairway was for the most part a success so we decided to do the same on 18 fairway. It has turned out great so far. No more risky lies with a great tee shot. We took some lumps on 15 fairway sod this summer but it was primarily due to standing water and poor drainage in that area. We have since addressed this issue and look forward to better growing conditions there next year. Standing water and heat don’t mix well on fine turfgrass areas. We regraded a few spots so water can surface drain better.
We also eliminated the fairway bunker on the left side of 12 fairway. This golf hole is like a bathtub and that bunker was always wet. It may now look like we made the hole easier, but that won’t last long. Expect some trees to show up soon in that area. Did you know that #12 has a sump pump system? Next time look left of the green. We have a pump that is constantly pumping water out to a culvert that runs over to the pond on 14.
What’s next on the list for fall or future projects? Here’s a bulleted list: