Monday, September 30, 2013

Closing Field Day Weekend

The weekend kicked off with the Men's closing Event. The weather was perfect and the numbers were up from 2012!

The team of Mark Burrell, Ron Stoneburgh, Mike McDonald and Bob Store captured first place with a net score of 57.8.
In second place was the team of Ken Josling, Josh Hewitt, Greg Shea and Peter Weiser who fired a 58.5.

Third place finishers were Mike McGarragle, Steve Spiers, James Munroe and Tom Budgen who shot a score of 60.8.

The Women's Closing Field Day was held on Sunday and the Teams enjoyed an awesome day to play golf.

The winning team of Angela Colm, Linda Briggs, Mary Charlton and Judy Calder shot fine score of net 65.0.
Second place went to the team of Josette Bell, Terry Hosford, Joanne Kajganich and Maureen Cormier whose score of 68.8 narrowly edged out Lori Sheffield, Donna Power, Dee Steinwall and Julie Pingree who shot 68.9.

A big thanks to Andrew and his staff for the great BBQ lunches.

Don't forget to sign up for the Derby which will be held on October 12, 13 and 14th.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Women's League Closing

The Women of Whitevale would not let this stop them from celebrating their league closing party.

Special thank you to Michelle Miles, who arranged for the party at the Harp & Crown.
Congratulations to Playoff winners "Who's Your Caddy" lead by Team Captain Kandice Brackenbury. "We had a great team of ladies, who played for fun, winning is just an added bonus" was the rumoured quote by Captain Kandice.
Regular season winners, "Chicks with Sticks" lead by Team Captain Jan Pugh had a great season. "I took my role as Captain very seriously" said Captain Pugh with a wink in her eye.

Congratulations to:

Gail Pimm, who won low gross and low 9 hole average
Low net was a tie between Suzanne Sambleson and Veronica Raos.

Congratulations to all participant's and to team Captains:

Kandice Brackenbury - Who's Your Caddy
Patty Davis - Iron Ladies
Sandra Milner-Dockering - Par-Tee Girls
Jan Pugh - Chicks with Sticks

Lets hope next year's end of season bash can be held in the new clubhouse. Speaking of new, we are looking for new Captains for next years league. If you are interested, please contact the Pro Shop. Ask this year's Captains and they will tell you, it's not that much work and really is loads of fun.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I learned a long time ago that refusing to try something new means staying right where you are, and usually falling behind. Think about it, architects would never come up with new building styles, vehicles would never improve, there would be no cell phones, microwave ovens or stereo equipment, and………no new clubhouse for Whitevale Golf Club. The human race has thrived, for the most part by constantly making changes and improvements for the betterment of tomorrow.
Closing the golf course for 5 days to complete all the  aerification was a massive commitment to making improvements. The 5 days of closure coincided with the grinding and removal of our original parking area and the construction and finishing of both the new entrance road and parking area. The timing to complete all this work was perfect and could not have been accomplished while the course was open.We could not have known the exact outcome or all the benefits of the aerification without golfers present unless we tried it. I am happy to say we learned a lot, and found many benefits.
We found we were able to aerify all the greens and the entire fairways in just two days. Compare that to only getting two fairways done in a day with golfers present in past years. This does not include other steps such as top dressing and clean up. But the productivity was easily doubled compared to previous timing. The following 3 days were used to complete top dressing, brushing, level lawning, over seeding, fertilizing, core clean up, tee and approach aerification, and mowing. Best of all, there were no unexpected damage or machinery malfunctions connected to rushing.
An unexpected benefit was with the upbeat morale of the staff. Even our part time staff who were working 10 hour days with the full time crew working 12 to 14 hour days between Monday and Thursday were all in high spirits. Friday we managed to get everyone out of here with a 9 hour day. This is an ideal time for me to thanks my staff for their commitment and dedication to their jobs; Awesome job gang thanks!
 Even with these long days everyone was in a great mood, and after discussions with many staff they all commented how great it was to be able to accomplish the tasks they were given without disruption or having to stop and wait on anything; focus and attention to detail was the payback for having a positive, engaged staff during a tough, long process.
We  also completed a new process called 'Drill and Fill' to the 5th and 13th greens which have some of the heaviest soils and poorest drainage on the golf course. With two machines on site it took over 6 hours to complete the 8,000 sq ft. This process removes channels of soil 12 inches deep, and then fills them with sand. This process improves drainage and turf health dramatically. These two greens also received the traditional aerification with the 5/8 inch tines. We also drill and filled the weakest collars. (front of 4, 5 and 13). Have you noticed how much better the front of 5 collar is? As I said last year, regular aerification, top dressing and time are needed to improve this area, and it has. And it will continue to get better with these treatments.
 Here is a great comparison photo of the Drill and fill and traditional coring tine.
The Drill and fill is an awkward looking and slow moving unit.
 After the drills are raised sand it automatically poured into the open holes
And the finished product after the soil has been removed from the green surface.

When golfers did return Saturday, we were able to put all staff  back onto regular course conditioning tasks, which we were able to ignore over the previous 5 day. In the past we have had to neglect jobs such as bunker raking to keep the aerification process moving. You may have noticed almost all divots had been filled when you returned. We were also able to edge all irrigation heads and yardage monuments. The only damage sustained was some lifting/tearing in weak areas in fairways where the soil is stickier and tends to hold onto the tines. Most of these areas were sodded or seeded before members returned.  

We continue to mow greens in the early afternoon when the green are dry to reduce sand being picked up by the mowers which causes them to dull  and give a poor quality cut. Each day the quality of cut improves and the bumpiness to the greens surface diminishes slightly. Scott is constantly re-sharpening and adjusting the mowers to improve the cut.

It is unlikely that any of us will be pushing for a full 5 days of closure next season, but we already have some ideas for improvement to the full process which will be discussed with the greens committee and the Board with the plan to make next years event faster, less disruptive to play and precise. This year made for a good trial to gain information.

Unfortunately we don't own all the equipment required to properly complete the aeration process. Fortunately I am able to access some needed machines from local colleagues. The equipment I had to borrow, demo or rent to complete the weeks work was:

-Two Toro 648 greens aerifiers
-Bannerman greens top dresser
-Toro workman heavy duty utility vehicle
-Core pulverizer
-Core sweeper
-60 HP Kubota Tractor
-60 HP John Deere loader
-4 Cubic yard sand delivery trailer (which weighs 11,800lbs)
-Buffalo debris blower
-30 HP Kubota tractor
-PTO driven fairway aerifier
-Two Drill and fill machines
and a flat bed trailer to move much of this equipment on site.

Once again I would like to thank the members and Board for their support and vision in helping us complete an invasive, but very necessary process for the long term benefit of our playing surfaces. Enjoy the Fall conditions as we hope for an extended, dry golf season.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hole in One - do we give him a parking spot?

In perfect conditions, Craig Colquhoun walked up to the tee on #12, tossed some grass in the air and watched it slowly float left to right. He pulled out his 8 iron and without a practice swing jarred his first hole in one.

The "patio" was buzzing as Craig sat back and enjoyed his beverage of choice.

Congratulation Craig, now I guess we need to find him a parking spot!

The work on the range has been moving along at a great pace. Tonight they started putting down topsoil on the range tee deck.

While the demo crew worked on removing the snack bar/patio and banquet room.
 All that remains tonight is the pro shop and the showers from the women's locker room. Demo should be completed by the end of this week or early next week. Then we need a few stars to line up for us so we can start on the foundation of the new clubhouse.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Today is a BIG day!!!

At 11:45am today we received this:

I always felt like I had the best job in the world but today was better then most!

At exactly high noon, the demolition of the Whitevale Golf Club Clubhouse commenced.

Leading up to this day, I have been asked numerous times, "who will take the wrecking ball to the clubhouse?" Well, turns out Blair is the only one who knows how to drive this thing. Blair was a little rusty at first but wait for the 40 second mark for some real action.

After that Blair made way for the expert:

Men's Locker room - first to go.

 The course will re-open on Saturday. We will have some routing issues as you get from the new driveway and parking to the 1st tee

Please stay away from the demolition site, it is unstable and not safe.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Everyday more changes

Well each day I arrive at the club seems we have more and more activity happening. It's exciting to say the least but the stress level is building as I get pulled in 5,6 or 7 directions at one time.

So what's happening today?

The demo crew is getting ready for the removal of the asbestos. Tomorrow a crew in full hazard gear will be pulling down the material located on the exterior of the men's locker room.

 The propane company arrived to haul the tank away.
The upper parking lot has slowly disappeared. 
As the crew grind up the asphalt

 The previous ground up asphalt that was on the lower parking has been moved to the new road entrance.

 Getting the new parking lot ready for the weekend.
 The pipe to control the water run off from the new parking lot, arrived. This pipe caused many a sleepless nights. But we got it done and the install is underway.
 Tee deck on the left, new road in the middle, parking on the right.

Oh, and the new practice bunker looks great.
 This is the view from what will be the entrance in 5-15 years. Note current clubhouse behind the trees, the new clubhouse will be in full view as you arrive. The work on the range is looking great, in fact I think it looking better then planned.
 AND - we are poking holes all over the golf course today.
 That's Blair himself poking holes on #6 fairway
 Murray top dressing #6 green
The turf crew have been working from first light to sunset. Come Friday we will have an exhausted crew on our hands. If you see them on the weekend, feel free to buy them a coke, they will need the sugar kick.

Stay tuned, who knows what will be happening tomorrow!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Moved Out

It's done, we have moved out of the clubhouse. On Monday the demo crew moves in and will start removing the asbestos on east exterior wall of the men's locker room. This will take a few days and then the real demo should start towards the end of the week.

Keep checking the blog for updates and pictures.

This is what the clubhouse looks like today:

Men's Locker room:

Banquet room:
 Snack Bar:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Construction, sod and aerification..............Just a little busy!

The construction of our new practice facility continues to move forward at a very fast pace. The new road and parking areas are roughed in and ready for gravel. The range tee is shaped and ready for the root zone to be placed. The two new greens are being shaped into the sub grade, and next week the catch basins and drainage will be installed into the parking lot. Thomas McBroom has been visiting regularly and has made “tweaks” to the range tee and the target greens to improve sight lines and visual aesthetics. Temporary water and power hook ups are almost done to the temporary trailers and should be complete by the weekend. Demolition of the clubhouse should begin happening while the course is closed next week. We plan to have part of the new parking lot open when the golf course opens back up after aerification. (Watch for the September issue of Sideline 30 for details on next week’s aerification).
What might just appear to be dirt to some, is actually the new entrance road in the lower part of the picture, and the roughed in bunkers and chipping green in the center.
Also a view of the new entrance road behind 17 tee and the second practice green roughed in.
Sod arrived from Donalda last week and was quickly installed onto our prep’d areas. I expect by the end of this week we will begin a regular top dressing program to theses sodded areas which will help level them. We also found that the contractor who cut, shipped and installed the sod brought us a lot more than we asked for so we took that opportunity to strip and level out the area where the small chipping green is behind the 9th green. We now have a very large greens nursery where we can use at any time.
From what was the small chipping green................................................. what is the new greens nursery.
It does not require a close look to see how much healthier the sand greens are in the aerification holes. The hole provided (mainly) a big breath of fresh air, and the benefit of the aerification is very evident. A second large hole event will take place next week, and if weather cooperates we plan on another smaller hole aerification on the 6 sand green in early October.
The dots of healthy green are the holes made from the latest aerification. You don't need formal education as an agronomist to see the immediate benefits of the aerification.