November 15, 2016
Good Morning Willow Creek Golf Club Members, Some questions have surfaced as to why the speed of the greens has slowed down over the last week. Let me explain the reasoning, as well as short/long term effects of what is happening to the greens. During the peak growing season for the putting greens, normally May-October, the greens are cut daily at a height of 0.110” beginning first thing in the morning(6:00AM) and finishing all greens by 9:30AM.
During the growing season the turf is actively growing throughout the day, this means if you were to putt on the greens early in the morning after the mowing was complete, the greens would appear faster than if you were to play later in the day (rate of growth). The greens are mowed daily during the peak growing season, because it is absolutely necessary in order to have consistent green speeds. The same does not hold true however, during the non-peak growing season, normally (November-April). During the non-growth season our putting greens go into a dormancy stage. The growth rate is substantially slowed, if any growth, during these months, think about how often your lawn is mowed in the summer as compared to how often it is mowed in the winter. This lack of growth is expected as soil and air temperature steadily decrease during these cooler months.
Beginning November 1st, the putting greens at the club were raised from 0.110” to 0.125”. The idea behind this is to promote as healthy as turf stand as possible heading into the dormancy season. Longer leaf blades are able to capture more sunlight, which directly influences the photosynthetic rate of the plant. Creating a healthy stand of turf is paramount before the winter months, as the turf is not actively growing as compared to the summer months. The short-term effect is, yes, the greens are a bit slower for the time being. Once the turf begins its dormancy stage, and is not actively growing, thegreens will once again begin to pick up speed(naturally). It is during this time as well, that an alternating schedule of mowing/rolling putting greens will begin. A long-term beneficial effect of raising the height of cut going into winter is healthier turf when dormancy breaks next spring (Quicker green-up and active growth turf) and also having a healthy putting surface during the winter. In summation, raising the height of cut is an important decision that has large implications on a putting green, during the short and long term. It’s an actively changing decision based mostly off of the weather patterns and course expectations.
I’ve attached an article below that gives more insight as well. http://www.superintendentmagazine.com/columns/ron-furlong-and-talking-turf/deliberating-the-many-highs-and-lows-of-height/
Most of you by now have seen the wall project on #17. The wall is now rebuilt as well as the area between the wall and the green that had to be rebuilt. The Lake Fountain is now also operational. The only project remaining is getting the water feature on the wall going again. With last night's rain the lake is actually full!
Monday Morning Photo: The Wall is complete!
Saturday morning's work. The green had some damage from the equipment, so in addition to sodding the area between the green and the wall, there were a few areas on the green we had to fix.
Friday Afternoon....now we just need the sod...
Willow Creek Golf Club
Grounds Maintenance Update
October 27, 2016
Willow Creek Members,
What a busy summer and early fall at Willow Creek Golf Club. Great progress has been made on course conditions and flood recovery projects since June. I’m writing this to provide a brief synopsis of course conditions and expectations through the winter and also update about special projects we are completing at Willow Creek or will soon be completed.
The Greens are in very healthy shape going into the winter. With the completion last weekend of the Men’s Fall Member/Member, we will begin to gradually raise the mowing heights of the greens from the current height of .110” to somewhere in the range of .150”-.175”, depending upon ball roll and speed. Once the greens stop their current growth, as the temperatures begin to fall, the greens will naturally hold speed. At that point we will begin a technique of alternating rolling and mowing the greens.
All tees on the course, with the exception of the Zoysia tee boxes were overseeded once on October 10th and 11th with a perennial ryegrass blend. Beginning tomorrow, we will overseed once more on the tees to promote more germination with the end result of having a lush, thick and healthy turf stand through the winter months.
The fairways are our most accomplished project this season. With the completion of the drain work throughout the course, post-flood events, they have really shined! All sod has been laid in place and I believe the fairways through the winter will perform outstanding and superior to prior years. One project that is underway is a course-wide tree pruning effort. The idea behind this is to raise the canopies of many low lying branches to capture more sunlight during the winter and going forward. This will enable the turf in shaded areas to receive the much-needed sunlight for biological processes and also help dry areas that would otherwise remain saturated. We have already begun a rotation of CART PATH ONLY THIS HOLE on fairways that have struggled in the past. We ask that everyone to abide by these rules, as it will help maintain healthy turf through the winter and promote a stronger turf stand in the springtime.
Pre-Emergent Weed Control Application
We have completed our first preventative herbicide application to the course on all fairways, roughs and tee/green surrounds. A second application to the same areas will begin on Oct 31st and continue through the first week of November. This application will prevent the weed, Poa Annua (annual bluegrass) from germination on any areas the chemical was applied. As a whole, the course will be very clean this winter. There are a few areas, 18 fairway and 4 green surround, that have a weed present that is baffling me and evading my attempts to kill it. We have applied 4 different herbicides to these areas with no effective results. We will continue to apply herbicides until the desirable outcome prevails.
#18 Concrete Bag Wall and #11 Overflow Drain
This week at the club, the contractors will complete a new concrete bag wall behind #18 tee. This will prevent any further erosion or overall loss of a tee box into the pond directly behind. The bags will be placed and over time the actual bag will dissipate to form a beautiful bag wall, similar to the one previous. After this project is competed, the team will head to #11 and repair the breach in the overflow drain to the pond in front of the green.
#17 Green – Retaining Wall
On Friday, October 28th, we will begin the rebuild of the retaining wall in front of #17 green. Our first task will be draining down the lake to an appropriate water level that we can begin the work. We will be using a pump to drain the lake down. The plan is to have the discharge hose in between the panels of cart path and sunken as to not limit accessibility to holes #14-17. After the lake is drained down, the following Monday, October 31st, we will begin work on the removing the existing wall, regrading the sub-surface, replacing the wall and finally laying sod to complete the project.
Beginning on Tuesday, November 1, a TEMPORARY GREEN will be in place, similar in fashion to what was done during the 2015 Greens Renovation. Time of completion of this project is 10-14 days.
I’d like to thank all the membership at Willow Creek for their continued support of Willow Creek Golf Club. 2016 has definitely been a rough year for the golf course, however with the continued support and patience from the membership the golf course is looking better and better everyday as well as improving greatly on a capital level.
Golf Course Superintendent
Hello Willow Creek Family,
We are so excited to let you know that by Saturday, September 3 we plan to have ALL of the bunkers completed and ready to play! We know that it has been a long road and we want to thank you for staying patient, positive and excited as continue to do more to improve your home course! Will all the rain we have seen over the past two weeks, mowing the course has been a bit difficult. Alex and his team have been working hard to find the perfect time to mow the fairways, cut the greens, and shape the tee boxes. He is steadily getting back to routine so long as the rain and weather cooperate with us and our need for golf! Come out and join us for Labor Day weekend to enjoy some good golf with family and friends. We are excited about the month of September and look forward to all the fun golf and social events that it will bring!
Check out our new Mower! Alex and his team were excited about this one!
# 6 Before Renovation
#6 After Renovation
#8 Before Renovation
#8 After Renovation
Good Afternoon Willow Creek Members,
Continual work being done on the course with a lot of improvement seen! As of right now we are completing the drain project on #18, finishing up the bunkers on #6-#8 and finished with laying the new sod!!
If you have not been out to the course in a while, we encourage you to come on out and bring a guest! The course is in great shape and only getting better from here. We have multiple events for you to sign up for, including the Charity Classic Friday, August 19 and our Member/Guest September 16-18. Do not miss this opportunity to get involved and visit the new and improved Willow Creek Golf Club!
Hello Willow Creek Members!
We are so excited as we near the end of bunker renovation and could not be more thrilled for the entire course to be open and ready for "normal" play. We are currently finishing up #5 bunkers and then working our way to #6-8. The contractors are continuing to work hard to lay the sod down on #1, #2, and #18 to get everything where it needs to be. Repairs on #13 cart path will begin shortly meaning that we will no longer have a detour for you guys and things will be getting back to normal.
Monday the greens, fairways, and tees were aerified. The process of healing will get the course conditions back to normal in the next few weeks. Aerification is a mechanical process that creates more air space in the soil and promotes deeper rooting, thus helping the plants stay healthy. This practice achieves three important objectives. It relieves soil compaction, it provides a method to improve the soil mixture around the highest part of a green's roots and it reduces or prevents the accumulation of excess thatch. We appreciate your patience with this and hope you understand that this will only make the course that much better!
Our Charity Classic Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, August 19 at 1 pm with dinner and auctions beginning at 6 pm. This year the club chose to donate the proceeds to Camp Hope, a PTSD organization located in Houston. The proceeds will also be going to two other great organizations: Augies Quest, ALS Research, and The Employee Partner Care Foundation. If you have not yet signed up, we would love to hear from you!
Superintendent Alex Kugelberg and the Turfcare team are making significant progress restoring the golf course following the second round of flooding in May.
The Bunker Renovation is being performed by a contractor. The progress has been brisk and we expect to have all of the bunkers completed and back in play by September 1. All of the bunkers have been completed on holes #1,2,3,9,10,13,18. The contractors are working on #11 today. The Fairway Bunkers are complete with the greenside bunkers in process right now.
Looking forward to having all of these bunkers back in play!
Welcome to the Willow Creek Blog
We are so excited to announce that we now have another form of communication with our members! The Willow Creek Blog will be a tool that is used to keep you undated, well informed, and in the know! We are very excited about the launch of the blog and hope that as members you find it helpful. We will use this to communicate club happenings, course updates, and any other piece of information that we feel needs to be shared in greater detail. We want to thank the members and let you know how much we appreciate you being at Willow Creek!!
The course is coming together after the flood and is looking even better than it did before! Alex and his team have worked hard and long hours to get the course in the shape that it needs to be for you guys. Exciting news…The bunker project is under way! Be sure to check out Facebook for the latest updates as the project proceeds. We expect to be completed in late August and, once completed, we will have the Newest Greens as well as the Newest Bunkers in town!
Membership Referral Opportunity – Firestone!Do you have someone in mind for membership at The Club? A successful referral of a Golf Member qualifies you to change membership categories to one of our new all-inclusive categories. If you are already in an All-Inclusive Category, then you receive a $300 credit to your account! Also, now would be a great time to refer because your foursome could win a trip to Firestone! Have you formed your foursome yet? Call Membership Director Stacy Adair for details.
Charity Classic – Friday, August 19The Charity Classic is an annual event hosted by all ClubCorp Clubs to raise funds for Charity. ClubCorp divides the proceeds between Augie’s Quest to cure ALS, The ClubCorp Employee Partner Care Foundation, and a charity of the Club’s choice. This year the Club’s Charity is Camp Hope. The entry fee is $55 and there will be some great Auction Items from which to choose. Click the picture for more information on charity classic.
Route 66 – Every Wednesday at 6pm This event is all about fun, fun, fun! Open to golfers of all skills, we will start at 6pm, play 6 holes, and the $6 entry will cover snacks and prizes. We will be playing a "scramble" in large groups and I will be pairing up the teams. Sign up in the Golf Shop by 4:30pm on the Wednesday you choose to play. Questions? Email me at Morgan.Gonzales@ClubCorp.com
MGA – Red, White, and Blue Scramble - Saturday, July 9 - 8:30 am Shotgun Start with Lunch – Saturday, July 9. Have you taken the opportunity to play in one of our MGA Events? These events are a great way to meet your fellow members as well as enjoy some friendly competition. All you need is a GHIN# and the $50 entry fee. The entry fee includes lunch.
Pinehurst Qualifier – July 23 and 24$100 entry fee for the qualifier. make your own team of four to compete for a chance to take the team to Pinehurst to compete in the Acura ClubCorp Championship. Dates: Sept 11-15. Click the link below for more information. Pinehurst Information
Food and Beverage Special Evenings These nights are about the food, but they are also about enjoying an evening socializing at the Club with friends and family. Executive Chef Chris Forrey and Chef Cullen Clinton are here to serve. They love to entertain with Food, so be sure to join us for these fun-filled evenings at the Club. Be sure to make your reservations early as these are popular nights that fill up quickly. Lauren.Yost@ClubCorp.com.
A-La-Carte Dinner Served from 5:30-9:00pm – Thursday and Friday EveningsPasta Night – Friday, July 15Prime Rib Themed Buffet – Friday, 29
Are you looking for an organized game to participate? Tuesday – 1pm – Scratch Game AND 5:30pm – Ladies 4-Hole ClubWednesday – 9am - Ladies GolfWednesday – 6pm – ROUTE 66Thursday – 5:15pm – TopDog – 9-Hole – Modified Stableford ScoringSaturday – 8:30am - Pirates AND 9:00am GameSunday – 11am – Sunday Game