Monday, June 30, 2014

Holy Cow

Last night we receive an email from WGC member Ed Griffin with a subject heading "Two golfers miss tee time". I read the email and thought it was a really bad joke.

Here is the email:

On our way to Whitevale Golf Club this morning we saw what we thought were two deer walking down the middle of North Road. As we slowed down as not to spook them we realize it was two Jersey bull calves. We stopped the car and corralled the two protecting them from any traffic travelling by. Ann called 911 and they dispatched a couple of Durham region squad cars. I used a tow rope from my vehicle and tied them to a guard rail while the two police vehicles canvassed the area farms to find the owner. After about an hour and a half the owner was located and came to retrieve the two fugitives.
Finally on our arrival at Whitevale Golf Club we were asked if we wanted to play the back nine, I replayed no, I wasn't in the Moooood!

Then we get a second email today, with pictures. This was no joke, this is one bizarre year.

What else will be in store for Whitevale members in 2014. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scarborough District

Calling all Ladies!

The next SDF event is fast approaching. In order to qualify for the July 9th Westview event, you must have your scorecard in to the pro-shop by July 2nd. It's easy to qualify, just register your round with the pro-shop prior to your round, and then hand it in when you are done. The quota points will be calculated for you if you don't want to do it yourself. Just make sure your handicap is marked on the card and your gross score is recorded.

The top four cards will qualify for the next round.

Also remember, our own hosted SDF event is July 21st with the cut off being July 16th to qualify.

Lets see lots of entries, we want to make sure we field our strongest team!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

No Practice Yet

Last September there was nothing but dirt and dust in our former driving range. Slowly over approximately two months, the area transformed into what will become our new Practice Facility. 

A large amount of earthworks happened last fall making significant improvements for our future.

This photo was taken on the Thursday before the Thanksgiving weekend, sod had been installed ringing the new practice greens and bunkers. By the Sunday the entire new Practice Facility had been seeded and the new greens had been tarped. We had perfect weather heading into winter and witnessed light germination to all areas before snow cover. Of course we all know what happened over the following four and a half months.

When we removed tarps from the greens in April we had respectable catch to the putting greens. The rest of the practice facility was another story, for weeks we could not find any living grass on the tee deck, and we felt we had lost any where from 70-90% of the seed everywhere else due to the extreme winter weather. We prioritized the greens and course clean-up from the ice storm as the area to receive most of our attention, the practice area had to wait. However, even if we had time to spend on the practice facility growing conditions were so poor we would not have seen any improvements early on and the range is so big we couldn't feasibly tarp it like we did the greens.

Then came the day we finally had enough growth on the practice greens we put the first roll on them to help smooth and firm in preparation for the first mow.

Meanwhile inside the practice area we had four separate and somewhat significant washouts. We have Vergeer Golf on stand by to return to repair these washouts when weather co-operates. We have had to cancel them a couple times because weather was not conducive to repairing the washouts. We currently have them scheduled to return this Friday to complete this work. This restoration will not cost the club any additional money as it was part of the original contract.

This is the seeder that originally was used last October to seed all but the greens, and we will be bringing this unit back in to over seed all bluegrass areas in order to fill in the range. We have seen more germination in all areas than we originally found as little as 4 weeks ago, but in order to get this practice area grown in and open we must introduce more seed to replace seed that died off during our winter.

Weeks after the photos above were taken we are mowing all new greens daily, and this photo shows significant growth compared to the 3rd picture above.

This is the tee deck which has a good overall haze of green growth, but as you can see below...

...this is not at all dense enough. Over seeding will take place soon and with the perfect weather finally with us we will see a significant jump to the growth. Weeds beginning to grow along with the grass is of no concern at all. Most will not survive the first time we mow the area, and an application of weed killer after the grass is mature enough to handle the application will complete the control measures. Although we are behind where we had planned to be only because of the long winter and cold spring, we are picking up speed and will get this practice area open in the not too distance future.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Greens update

We have reached a significant mile stone this week. Some greens are now both mature and dense enough we have begun to lower the height of cut and begin grooming. Until the turf stand makes it to a level of maturity that can stand up to this process, there is just no reason to begin even talking about when we might be able to open them for play. Each week the recover is gaining speed, so improvement seen this week happened faster than the week before, and will be better and fast next week . Who was it that said "A photo is worth a thousand words"?
Here is the 1st green at the end of April when only the faintest sign of any germination was found by crawling on you belly

And here is number one at four O'clock this afternoon, after it had been brushed and mowed.
Not all greens have bounced as well as the 1st green, but all are healing with significant seedlings at different stages of development. The slit seeder and mini tine aerators have been seeding and           re-seeding. Thin areas have been hit over and over again.
We are relying more on hand watering so we can make sure moisture is high on the young seedlings, and we can skip over watering the more mature areas which will help promote deeper rooting, something that is imperative before the real summer stress arrives.

Just like an Olympic athlete, you can't tell a couple years ahead when they will be ready to compete, it's not possible to tell you how many weeks away from opening these greens we are. I am every bit as anxious to get this golf course back in play as you are. Thanks for you continued support and patience.