Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lottery list and deadline approaching for 'The Invitational'

In an effort to insure all members who have requested are entered into the Lottery Drawing, Head Professional Barrett Martens sent an email to each member on Tuesday with a list of the current members who have expressed a desire to be in the event.  Please check your email to verify that your name is on the list or contact the pro shop if you have questions.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Maple Tree tapping beginning this week!

In looking at this week's weather forecast, I think the beginning of Maple Tree tapping here at Glen Echo will commence on Thursday, January 30th.  I expect to have 15-20 buckets running this year to collect the Maple Tree sap.  This sap will then be boiled down to the delectable Pure Maple Syrup that will be used by Chef Terry and Sous Chef Jeff to produce some great dishes for our members and guests during the year.

Preparing Sprayer for Dormant Zoysia Pre-emergent/Poa Control

Since I had to come in this morning to open the course, I decided to check spray rig before the next round of below zero temperatures settles in.  Within the next couple of weeks, we will be making our yearly Dormant Zoysia Pre-emergent/Poa control application to our fairways, tees and green surrounds that are covered in zoysia/bermuda.

This application includes a pre-emergent product Ronstar Flowable and non-selective herbicide Glysophate product for post-emergent on our fairways to control crabgrass/goosegrass/poa/other weeds and will kill already germinated poa annua that has popped up in the warm season grass since last fall.  We still need to do some off season work on the sprayer but the main thrust for checking it out was to insure that it is pumping properly before this very important winter spray application.  We try to spray on a sunny day when temperatures are above freezing and the ground can handle the sprayer driving on it.

Poa annua will become active in above freezing temperatures over a few days and will pull the material into its system and the herbicide will kill it over a few weeks.   It is only safe to spray this non-selective material during dormant periods in the dead of winter or it could hurt the warm season grass or delay it breaking dormancy.  The pre-emergent is sprayed onto the turf surface and prevents the shoots of the undesirable weeds from growing which kills the plant.  It is different chemistry than  other pre-emergents that inhibits roots from growing, including your turf grass roots.  If you ever hear someone saying that a pre-emergent is root pruning, that does not occur with the product we use.  It is not as price competitive as other products but when we are spraying over 30 acres like we do our tight zoysia areas, why would we not want the best product for the health of this large area of turf!  

The Glysophate spray will prevent little clumps of poa annua from interfering with play during the early part of the golf season.  It will also help to reduce the seed population of the poa annua which is a prolific seeding plant and will reduce competition in some of the less than ideal growing spots that we have on the course for the warm season grass.  Mainly shaded and or high compaction or traffic areas.  As the warm season grass is weakened, the poa annua or other weeds have a tendency to move in and attempt to reduce the warm season grasses ability to grow properly through competition for sun and water.

Still a few weeks away but the season will be upon us before we know it!

A good thing "This Guy" is not a gambler(Course is Open)

Well, its a good thing "This Guy" is not a gambler or an odds maker.  I would lose the farm.   I guess I could be a TV Weather forecaster.

Course is now open for Sunday, January 26th.  Temperatures stayed warmer than expected overnight and a majority of the greens are snow free.  There is still a little on 11 green but everything will stay rock hard frozen while some of the hardy souls come out today to bounce the little white ball around.  A little bit of snow in deeper bunkers and shaded areas but overall place cleared off nicely.  Just watch your step as you are going around today.  Have fun!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shutdown Friday's A Smashing Success

I was not able to attend last night's "Shutdown Friday's" event but from reservations made before I left for the evening,  it was another busy evening!

Thanks to everyone coming out and firing up our beautiful clubhouse during a normally quiet member period.  It was great to see so much activity during this tough winter stretch of weather!

Remember, the clubhouse reopens with a special reservation only event on Friday, February 14th for Valentine's Evening.  

The club opens for regular 
dining each Wed-Sun, effective February 19th.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Will He or Won't He(Open the course this weekend)?

Looks like nice weather at least high temperature for Sunday but I'm not sure if the snow will leave us by Sunday afternoon.  If the snow will leave the greens, we will open it up Sunday but I think if I was a betting man and I am not, I'd give it a 20% chance we will get open.  Light snow showers possibly overnight which could add to our dusting from the other day.  After that, another deep freeze enters the property. Enough, enough, yes this is enough!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Last Call for "Shutdown Friday's" at the clubhouse!

Have you reserved your spot for the last "Shutdown Friday" evening at the club?  If you have, thanks, if you have not, why not?  Chef Terry has a great entree menu lined up with Beef, Fish, Pork and Chicken selections all covered.  Bring some friends, call another member or two and come out and see us but please call or go online and place a reservation to help us serve you better.  See some old friends, meet someone new and support the club during the club shutdown.

Remember, the club reopens on Friday, February 14 Valentines Evening with a special dinner event for you and your significant other. Reservations are necessary with Entree choice between Center cut Filet and Alaskan Halibut.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Invitational Lottery Dates and Information

In an effort to insure that members see this very important "Invitational" Member-Guest Lottery information, I've copied Barrett's letter to the blog to help with notification.  There are deadlines setup to insure you are in the drawing for this great event June 12-14.  Please check your email inbox or checkout the information below.

Monday, January 20, 2014                  
Dear Member Name

Happy New Year! We hope that you have had a great start to 2014 despite all of the winter weather! It is time to start thinking about the 2014 "Invitational" Member-Guest. At this time we will be accepting lottery entrants for the drawing to be held on Saturday, February 15th. Below you will find a lottery entry form that needs to be filled out and returned to the golf staff by Tuesday, February 11th. In addition to the link below, each primary member will be mailed a hard copy of the same attachment.

                                                                   2014 Invitational Lottery Form

As a reminder, the dates for this year's event will be June 12-14, 2014. Also, all guests will be required to have a verifiable handicap from the USGA or another accredited golf association. Also, the Invitational is reserved only for the primary member should you have multiple people on your membership. Spouses are not eligible at this time.

Should you have any questions please let us know.

Thank you,

Friday, January 17, 2014

Make Your Reservation for "Shutdown Fridays"

We had a great crowd at last week's "Shutdown Friday" opening evening.  Looks like this evening's reservations already has the makings of another great turnout at Glen Echo.  Chef Terry and Sous Chef Jeff have put together a great menu for this evening with

  •  Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut  
  •  Smoked Pork Tenderloin 
  •  Duo of roasted Beef Tenderloin and Shrimp Newburg 
A few other main choices will be available along with some great starters.  Come on out and have a cocktail or two, bottle of wine, a nice craft beer and some specially prepared food.  It is very helpful to make a reservation for this one day a week event during the shutdown.

If you can't come this evening, or better yet come this evening and plan for next Friday January 24th's event as well.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Golf Channel Taping at Glen Echo

Earlier in the golf season, producers from the Golf Channel had been at Glen Echo filming the course and interviewing staff.  Today they returned to finish shooting for " In Play with Jimmy Roberts" which will broadcast a segment on the Golf Channel the day after the close of The Winter Olympics.

  The program will discuss the Gold Medal Match Play Championship of the 1904 Olympics hosted at Glen Echo.  General Manager Rob Stewart discussed the club and the competition in today's interview.  Also on hand for an interview was Ross Wigle, great-grandson to champion George Lyon.  Ross is a member of The Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ontario.  Needless to say, a proud member of the Lyon family and of his Great-Grandfather.

Rob at the end of his interview.

 Ross preparing for his time on camera.

Course Opening

If we stay moisture free over the next day or two, course should open by Friday or Saturday.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Course Update

The warm weather of the weekend has given us substantial snow melt but we still have a ways to go before we can open the golf course.

Some of my peers to the far north are involved in struggle with ice potentially building up from  freezing and thawing cycles. They attempt to clear greens with equipment to try to get their ice layer melted before the next round of weather could  come in and cover them up with snow again  for the rest of the winter. Snow cover is wanted to insulate the greens from severe cold but usually ice layers occur from melting snow during warm cycles, freezing rain covered by snow and or rain over already snow covered surfaces.  The ice layer traps carbon dioxide which kills the plants.

For additional information on this struggle with ice build up on greens, check out the link below.

Here at Glen Echo, we usually get a reasonably quick melting of snow and ice.  Over the years, the longest
period of ice/snow cover I can remember was 1991 when we had at least 6 weeks of snow and ice cover. Usually our periods involve no more than a week or two at the longest.  We like a  natural meltdown in an attempt to reduce traffic from our greens including staff until the moisture has gotten through the profile deep enough to prevent severe imprinting from shoes.

Many of the bunkers are full of snow and a number of tees are completely unplayable. 4, 8 and 12 are still covered in snow and 6, 7 and others are like swamps.  Fairways, roughs and green surrounds are saturated and sloppy in many areas.  Our old course drains well but will need some more time before it is dry enough for play.  Greens 2, 3 and I'm guessing 5 but did not  look at it, 10, 11, 12 still have snow and are very wet. I've not walked on the others because I am sure they are still fairly wet.

I know the weather is going to turn a little bit more seasonal over the next few days.  In the mean time, we will still remain closed.  We appreciate your patience while the course drains to a more firm and safe condition.
10 green on Sunday morning.

10 green at 12:30 today.

Hole #11 Sunday morning.

Hole 11 Sunday morning.  Notice the depth of the snow at least 6-8" on the left of the picture and just barely convering the right side.

11 green with a good amount of snow on it.  Notice the significant shade even in the winter from the oak tree behind the green.

#3 and 12 Sunday morning.

Did not see 3 green in the shot above but this is Monday afternoon.  
#12 green with snow on the back of it and the streams of water moving their way to the front.  The middle of the green is a swamp right now.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Curb Your Enthusiasm

No I'm not speaking of the show on TV, I'm speaking of potential for playing golf at Glen Echo in the near future.  We still have plenty of snow to melt on the course and we then have the usual water drain down of the greens and then other surfaces on the course.  Be patient, we will open as soon as it is safe for our playing surfaces to be played from.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Winter Inside Work

Sometimes we are forced inside with the severe cold or heavy snow days.  These type of conditions allow us to complete some of the work that needs to be done before the spring golf season.

Every couple of years we have to spray paint the tee signs, use hand held pneumatic grinder to expose the lettering and paint.
The signs are all spray painted black.  Hanging to dry in the shop area.

Once dry, we take a air grinder and remove the paint from the letters.

The finished product with a little extra flash.

Even though it is small, our staff break room and restroom needs a coat of paint every couple of years.  A great deal of dust, grime, and splashed dirty water from the sink needs to be cleaned off the walls and beautified with a new paint..

New glossy painted walls of the break room and restroom.  Just large enough for a table of 8 to fit into for lunch.  Air conditioned to get the staff out of the heat at lunch time .

Firewood(SOLD OUT)

We have a couple of promised deliveries of firewood over the next week but at this time, I need to declare that our firewood for the season has been 


We appreciate your support of our wood program and look forward to serving you next season.

Weather Statistics for December

Below are the weather statistics for December.
Night temperatures were below normal, rainfall below but snow 
was above normal.

                Observed          Average Depart   Last year

HIGHEST            71   12/20                         75
LOWEST              7   12/24                         20
AVG. MAXIMUM     42.6              42.5     0.1     49.9
AVG. MINIMUM     24.2              26.9    -2.7     33.5
MEAN             33.4              34.7    -1.3     41.7
TOTALS           1.96              2.84   -0.88     2.00
TOTALS            5.6               4.4     1.2      2.1

Polar Vortex 2014, cold temperatures and our turfgrass

As the snow accumulated and the Polar Vortex of 2014 let loose its cold fury on many of these united States, superintendent 's began to contemplate the fate of their various grasses on the course.  In most cases, a deep layer of snow was already protecting fine turf areas in the middle to northern parts of the country.  We received our layer of protection overnight Saturday and into Sunday which gave me some respite from my anxiety.

Most of the areas of the course were covered in a nice 8" layer of snow.  I mentioned to Beth that some areas of the course looked like the ocean where waves of snow in various depths and drifts laid in wait for the next push of wind to move it further across the course.  There were some areas  that the wind exposed areas of turf where you can see the grass very easily sticking out of the small amount of snow that was trapped by the leaves.  These exposed areas could potentially be subject to cold temperature damage because of this exposure dependent upon the grass species.

Usually '0' degrees and below is beginning to get into the area of cold temperature where our most susceptible species of turfgrass Bermuda is most susceptible to temperature injury.  The loss of some of the bermuda grass we have on property would probably be a good thing if we could pick and chose the areas of turf that would be lost but we do not have that choice.   Overall, some slowing of the bermuda coming out next spring would be helpful to give the zoysia a little more advantage for the season.  This could also help our close rough areas where we do have cool season turf mixed with bermuda.  Anything that slows the bermuda is helpful but to kill large areas all at once could leave voids in turf cover that we would not want to see and could provide for some very tight lies.

Some additional chemical applications in the rough could suppress the bermuda even more.  We have been attempting to remove the bermuda grass through our bermuda eradication program over the last few years in our fairways to reduce potential wide area winter kill issues.  The cold should significantly enhance the damage to the bermuda that I sprayed this past fall in our fairways.

The dry fall had me concerned as our Meyer Zoysia went into dormancy.  Late fall rain and snow hopefully reduced some of the this stress before the severe freeze set in over the last few days.  Meyer Zoysia has shown the ability to regrow from stolons which survived temperatures to -18 degrees in testing from Dr. John Dunn from University of Missouri.  In my experience over the years in St. Louis, I've only seen limited damage from low temperatures tozoysia such as low wet areas or weakened and thin turf from shade.  Yes, here he goes again talking about the effects of shade!  Once the ground thaws, we will pull a couple of plugs from a few spots and place them in the greenhouse to see if we can get these areas to green up.

We have 7 different species of turfgrass at Glen Echo CC.  Below is a list in order of Low Temperature Hardiness from Dr. James Beard's, Turfgrass: Science and Culture.

      Creeping Bent grass- Green/collar/false front of greens and some tee areas.
       Kentucky Blue grass-Various rough areas and mixed with green surrounds.
       Annual Blue grass- Contaminated in greens, shaded areas of rough and cool tees.
       Tall Fescue- Rough and green surrounds areas
       Zoysia-Fairways and tees
       Perennial rye grass-cool season tees, areas of rough, over seeded long range tee.
       Bermuda grass-contaminated fairways, roughs, tees, in other words everywhere!

Our long range which is covered in Patriot Bermuda could also face some issues this spring.  It is a finer bladed bermuda that has better cold tolerance but could also be very slow coming out this spring due to the below zero temperatures.

In the end, we will be evaluating turf this late winter and early spring to see if any signs of injury are appearing in our turfgrass.  I will keep you updated when I have additional information to share with you regarding our turf.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Clubhouse Open the next 3 Friday Evenings

During our normal first of the year shutdown, GM Rob Stewart thought to change up our program this year and open the clubhouse at Glen Echo  for Food and Beverage service for three Friday's in January.  The club will be open:

January 10
January  17
January  24 

Below is the email sent our from our Food and Beverage Manager Reid Warren regarding this Friday's event.

As we all dig out from this week's storm, don't forget that Glen Echo will be offering Friday night dining over the next three weeks on Jan. 10, 17 and 24. This is something new for us; we're usually closed this time of year but we wanted to give our members a few chances to enjoy the club and see old friends instead of staying home or going somewhere else.

So, over the next three Fridays from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. we'll be serving a limited menu that we hope will offer something for everyone. This week we'll offer a soup, Caesar salad, a few appetizers, a couple of sandwiches and four entrees that will include roast prime rib and a fresh catch of the day, as well as two desserts. Of course full bar service will be available. For this week's full menu and reservations, click here . We'll post menus for the next two Fridays on our website as we get closer to those dates.

Here's hoping everyone had a great holiday season and a fun New Year's Eve, and we wish everyone the best for the upcoming year! We'll see you at the club.


Friday, January 3, 2014

The University of Missouri - St. Louis Tritons Athletic - Men's Golf Holding Fundraising Raffle

Check out the link below to UMSL Men's Golf Team Fundraiser raffle. A number of the young men through the years have worked for us here at Glen Echo and as you know they practice at the club on a regular basis.  Coach Troy's information is listed in the link for contact information.  Help these young men out if you can.  They have had great success over the last few years and expect to have a very good season coming up!

The University of Missouri - St. Louis Tritons Athletic - Men's Golf Holding Fundraising Raffle

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope you and your family have a healthy, safe and prosperous New Year!

"Finish each day & be done with it. U have done what U could, some blunders & absurdities have crept in, forget them as soon as U can. Tomorrow is a new day, U shall begin it serenely & with too high a spirit to be Encumbered with your old nonsense...!!!"

 Ralph Waldo Emerson...!!!