Sunday, December 25, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

50 degrees, Sorry No Golf Today Wednesday December 21st

Sorry folks, warm up but too much frozen stuff on greens. Will be cleaned off by end of the day today and give you a chance over the next few days to come out.

2 green

6 green

7 green has snow, plus 8 tee and 10 green

9 green

11 green

Monday, December 12, 2016

Speaking at Local Supt Association Shop Tour

Presentation about social media that I use in my job for our local super/asst vendor peeps. So if your darn smart phone isn't acting too smart(might be operator error) and does not work during your presentation, you can send the pic to your email and make the post on your desktop. There is also an app for Blogger which I had stopped using a few months ago due to shortage of memory. The works a little better than the version I tried. I have to get it back loaded on my phone!

Education all day today at Bellerive CC shop tour for Mississippi Valley Golf Course Superintendent's Association

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Irrigation Shutdown 2016

The staff and myself, (yep big dog helped the boys) spent the afternoon shutting down the irrigation system Monday for the winter. The process starts with of course turning off the power to the pumps. There are 4 2" pipes that lead into our 4 lakes that are used to help self-drain some of the areas of the irrigation system. The less water the machine has to blow out, the less time it takes to do the job. We open our wash station valve since from up above the lakes flows toward the creek along 1-2 and we will remove a head or two in a couple more of the lowest areas on the course.

As you see from the video I'll post below, we use a large compressor that is regulated to 50psi so we do not place excesssive pressure into our system. Its places a large volume of water in the pipes quickly pushing the water through the pipes. Air with high pressure can be very destructive to the system if the pressure is set too high creating cracks in the system that will show up with our opening next season and or over the next few years. We turn on stations in each box, a couple at a time. We will usually do about 4 boxes at a time. Sometimes, the head blows out air right away and other times it might takes minutes depending upon the area and how water feeds to that section. Its about a 3-4 hour job.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you are where you want to be on Thanksgiving. Appreciate our members and guests who support our efforts. Friends and family we cannot do this without you. Last but not least our staff who while I type have been there since 4 AM preparing today's meal along with the wait staff who are beginning to arrive. Special thanks to Rob Stewart and the housekeeping staff getting the house in order for our day's festivities!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day 2016

Stopped in at Hendel's Market on the way home to meet Beth for an evening nightcap. A trio of singers were playing some excellent music, 2 men and a woman. One of the men served all of us in Iraq on two occassions. We were speaking to him after they were wrapping up and he was talking about how he loves the USO and what they have done for him. He spoke of coming home after a tour of duty in Iraq and arriving in Bangor Maine at the far end of the terminal at 3 a.m. He said it was lonely and quite until they arrived near the main USO area and over 100 people were waiting there in line to shake his and the other soldiers hands. He said it made a profound impact on him. Arrived later the next day in California where people were polite and applauded them as they walked through the terminal. He said all he could think about was our Vietnam Vets and what they went through when they arrived back home, many told to arrive in civilian clothes so they would not be disrespected. This chance meeting plus seeing the Calvalryman in our club tonight walking in with his full dress uniform and hat on gave me chills.

Thanks again to all of our members who served and your family members and thanks to my relations and friends who served for us. We are forever indebted to you!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Weather, Aeration and Frost Delays

Multi-message post.

After a slow start on Monday with aeration, the staff slammed the rest out on Tuesday. Greens were not under regulation since we were a week late and the heavy rains Wednesday night have led to great recovery. Should be back to regular mowing in the next couple of days.

We've had very light frost on a few occasions in tall grass(out of the way areas) but our first real frost of the season is predicted for Friday night and Saturday night. Tee times are set back for the rest of the winter until 9AM just for this purpose. Please keep in mind the practice green is off limits until the staff gives the okay to proceed. It does have a tendency to clear a few minutes before #1



                    Observed      Normal            Depart from Norm      Last Year
High                 75.3           68.5                          6.8                       70.9
Low                  55.8           49                             6.8                       51.3
Avg                   65.5           58.7                          6.8                       61.1

Rainfall            3.15"         3.33"                       -.18"                       .98"



Monthly Records









Thursday, October 27, 2016

Grass Range Tees Close Sunday, October 30

It's that time of the season to close the grass range tees until next spring. They will close on Sunday October 30th and will reopen sometime in April would be our hope or early May at the latest.
The Zoysia grass can no longer repair itself from damage so time to protect it from  potential serious injury which could delay opening next spring. The mats will be available for your use during this time.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall Aeration Delayed

Our fall aeration will be delayed until October 31st due to repairs needed to our aerating tractor. This will give you at least another week of non-aerated greens. The rain yesterday was very much needed for the course. We were getting pretty dry which made for a very fast course but was beginning to get a little worrisome for me with dormancy of our warm season grass beginning. Enjoy your week of slick greens!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Men's Closing Day

In honor of our Champions this season, District Champion. Club Champion and Runner Up in MAGA Amateur Darren Stoffel and Drew Pranger who won his MAGA Amateur Championship at Glen Echo, thanks for participating in this season's events Men

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Weather Stats for August

Weather stats for August. A little delay but here they are. Nothing overly 
signficant but the average night time temperatures are 3 times the 
difference from the daytime. That is why it felt so bad when we went 
out in the mornings and why I was somewhat concerned through the month 
of August. Cooler evenings lead to better recovery from the daytime heat!

Temperatures     Observed          Avg  Difference Last Year

AVG. MAXIMUM     88.9              87.9     1.0      86.7
AVG. MINIMUM     72.5              69.4     3.1      68.8
MEAN             80.7              78.6     2.1      77.8

                 5.77              2.99     2.78     6.67

12 days over 90 which is average

Monthly Records




Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Job Change, How WIll The Golf Course Operate

As announced on 8/23, I will be serving a joint role as General Manager and Superintendent at
Glen Echo CC. I'm grateful for all the support you have given me after the announcement. It means that the sacrifices made over the last 8 years were recognized by our members and guests.

I wanted to give you a little idea of what will take place during the transition from the Superintendent to the combination position of General Manager/Superintendent. I think we have the golf course positioned for a spectacular end of the summer and fall. We are currently running two staff members below our summer level and a third working at about 50%, from an injury plus you include the time I'm not here working, yikes I'm beginning to get nervous. The guys know there roles and we do what it takes to keep the place tight!

35 year employee/Assistant Skip will be manning the daily operational part of the team. I will still be doing some early morning shifts during the busiest times, Wednesdays, Friday, Saturday to make sure we have enough people to keep our positive momentum going.

I've promoted Tom Lewis, to 2nd Assistant to give Skip a hand with the weekend responsibilities and daily work that takes place at the club. We've also moved a couple guys up in positions which has either given them more days working and or increases in pay. These things have all been managed with the same budget.

We will probably hire at least one additional seasonal person next year to help with my full departure from the operating part of the operation. I still intend to manage the business side, make the major cultural practice decisions including but not limited to fertilization/chemical treatments, mowing, topdressing, irrigation, aeration and other programs. I'll be usually arriving a little later than the 5:45 am. arrival time but will still be there earlier enough to lend a hand as necessary. I will walk and or drive the course to check our conditioning practices and support the staff anyway I can.

I know we have some challenges in the big house along with improving the business side of our club.
Don't lose faith in us. We will get things turned around quickly and give you a club in all aspects that you deserve. The hard work by our team along with the praise and support from our members and guests has pushed us to levels that some might have not thought possible.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Lady Open September 11th

Going to be a tearful day for me without my girl there, but can I tell you a secret. she liked the attention but wasn't real keen on all the competition! 

Come out and have a fun day in her honor. Chef and his staff will have a great menu and what a way to close the pool down the right way with our fury friends. Remember, you don't have to play golf, you can come out for the fun activities at the pool for dinner and cocktails only! Check out the website to sign up.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Italian Wine Dinner 2016

As we transition between the golf course superintendent duties and my General Manager work, I thought I would throw in a video from the sold out Friday night Italian Wine Dinner. The event included some great wines from Bommarito wines with food preperation demonstrations from Chef Brian. To top it off, we had our very own Anthony Bommarito from Bommarito Wines pouring and working the room. What a treat to have the best Restauranteur ever in St. Louis as a member of our club and being at the dinner.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

To the Future and Beyond!

Thanks to all of you who showed your support for me being named GM/Supt at Glen Echo CC.
I put together a video (said I wanted to speak for a minute, edited to 14 minutes) that talks about where I came from and where I hope to go with this organization until I retire sometime down the road. Attached is the video.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sun Room Roof

Using the course blog to mention what is happening to sun room roof. A number of repairs were made that have failed and the roof must be replaced. Over the last couple of days, the grounds team has built a temporary lean too structure and covering over the roof. Yes, it's covered in a blue tarp. This will hopefully keep the water away until the roof is replaced and the sun room can continue to be used for activities. We appreciate your patience while we wait for the repairs.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Weather Stats for July

Well, it never rains in July!(Inside joke) Yes it rained in July on a pretty regular basis worrying the heck out of this superintendent but kept most of our turf lush and green. Difficult for green ball roll out and firmness plus plant health but..... I'll leave that open ended statement for September to see how we've made it the next few weeks. Always the nervous ninny, yep, pretty much!

Why report these weather records? It reminds all of us of how the weather effects our turf both in a positive way and negative. In most cases, the worst type of weather, heavy rain and or above average temperatures especially at night has the most severe impact on our greens which are the most important piece of 2.3 acres at Glen Echo. The warm season fairways and rough usually love the moisture and some temperature.

The first stat in the records at the bottom is the most telling for us in July. When the temperatures do not get into the 60's at night, our greens suffer the most because the soil temperatures continue to climb and surfaces usually will then stay a little softer. Humidity of course allows less moisture to escape which then traps heat, which then helps to build up other negative effects in our soil. Gas build up, rising temperature, and bad microbes looking for a susceptible plant to attach itself to are the main issues.

When you walk out in the morning and you feel that wall of humidity, imagine that battle that is going on for survival on our 1/8" bentgrass/poa surfaces!

                      OBSERVED        AVERAGE   DIFF FROM AVG    LAST YEAR

HIGH                  90.0                      89.1                      .9                           88.9
LOW                   73.1                      71.0                     2.1                          72.2
AVG                     81.5                      80                       1.5                           80.5

                            8.37"                   4.11"                  4.26"                         4.13"

Days over 90 degrees 18 average is 13.9 We've had 37 days over 90 since May. Average is 23.5 days accumulated so far this season

Glen Echo weather station reported 5.10" of rain. We missed some of the big rainfall storms that hit the airport that skirted by our property "So we got that going for us, which is nice"!


2nd most consecutive day of average minimum temperature of at least 70 degrees(28 days)
4th wettest Jul on record 8.37"
Tied for 3rd most occurrences of at least half inch of rainfall 7 days

Record low maximum temp of 72 degrees on 7/3 Tied 1924

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


The last of the videos regarding our Olympic history. Working on some DJI Phanton 3 videos but need a lot of work, fine tuneing and some time to fly which is very short right now. Hope you enjoy the following video of our history and our future!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Article in Golf Course Management Magazine About Glen Echo

Click on the highlighted GLEN ECHO to read an interesting article in the Golf Course Superintendent's Association of America(which I'm a member) trade magazine.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Drew Pranger, 2016 MAGA Amateur Champion

Video I quickly(relatively speaking a few hours) put together for Drew's victory. Sorry staff, not much action shots. We were all in too much action. A lot of beauty shots though of your work!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fairway Bermuda Eradication #10

Video below discusses our ongoing Bermuda eradication work within our fairway and intermediate. I could not be more pleased with the results we are having but we must continue to reduce the Bermudas ability to spread by pounding it with our chemical treatments before fall sets in and it goes dormant. Hopefully mother nature will give us some help this winter and freeze more of it out!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Here We Go, Invitational 2016

Well, The Invitational 2016 will be here in the morning. Would not be right if I did not show last year's dog walk up the hill to begin Day 2.  Not much to it except watching an old dog work hard getting up a big hill. My girl Ladybug loved a party and this is one big party she was not going to miss. Thought 2014 was going to be her last one but she fought through to last summer and into this spring and almost made it to another one. I sure do miss her! The cover picture on the blog I believe was from last year.

'Get Ready' Invitational 2016

Well, its here. Invitational 2016. Not many issues from the storms yesterday except a bunch of small debris. For those of you who go back a few years. A little musical interlude as you prepare for today's festivities!

Get Ready (UNCUT) - Rare Earth - HQ by KerrieMetzger

Friday, July 8, 2016

Weather Stats for June, A Mess Of A Month

Whether you understand or not, weather plays a major role in how our course plays on a minute by hourly by daily basis. Being in the business for almost 26 years, I have a difficult time understanding all that is happening and this is my life's work.

When you have extremes like we did in June, consistency is the last thing you will have when it comes to a living breathing thing that you walk on and play on that's cut at 1/8".

The ugly weather stats for June. At least average is good but with no rainfall it was a little rough on our course and staff.  The record occurrences at the bottom tell the story.


                 Actual               Normal     Depart from Norm         Last Year

High            91                      85.1                  5.9                              85.6
Low            71.6                   66.8                   4.8                              69.9
Mean          81.3                   75.9                   5.4                              77.6


                    1.29                  4.28                   -2.99                         13.14

18 days over 90 Average is 9.6






Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bermuda Eradication Update Hole 5

Video updating Bermuda eradication work.  We did lose a few pieces of sod from our earlier replacement and will be removing in next couple of days. Other than that, work is going as good as can be expected. Next spray will be after  MAGA Amateur in early August. Can't stop, won't stop till its gone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

World Premier, 'We Tear It Down To Build It Back Up'

World Premier 'We Tear It Down To build It Back Up'. The countdown clock is ticking to 'The Invitational'.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Video Preview For Upcoming Invitational, A Year In the LIfe Of A Golf Course

I've posted a quick preveiw to an upcoming video I am preparing as we build up to the 2016 Invitational Member/Guest Tournament.

Windows Moview Maker I use to prepare the video.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Visit From Lady, One of Her Pet Peeves, Where Carts Should Be Entering Fairways!

Time for Lady to make an appearance again. Hello my beautiful girl!  We continue to have carts using walk paths as goat paths from the tee areas to the start of fairways instead of entering the fairway from the side. A video from 3 years ago and current picture of what we are asking are below. This is a pretty simple request that will improve our turf, reduce watering and wear and tear in these areas. 

Carts should enter fairways from the sides as the top 2 arrows demonstrate. Entering from the bottom looks terrible at the least plus look at the wear and tear and weaker turf conditions.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Its Been Interesting, Exhausting, and Just a Wee Bit Frightening

As Asst. Skip reminds us from time to time, don't be scared. Well, the month of June has been interesting but pardon my French, it has scared me just a wee bit with regular member play and the upcoming schedule of events taking place from mid-July and into August. Right now we are in the top five of warmest Junes' on record but it appears there is a break coming by the middle of next week. With predicted highs over the next few days we will have 18 days over 90, our average is 10.

Well, why am I loading up with weather stats? Its not a new month.

June is usually one of the best summer months for ball roll out. I think we were doing pretty well early in the month but then came this blistering weather and things have changed a bit. We needle tined a few weeks ago to open up our greens and allow them to breath a bit. Good thing we did because they sure needed it. Well, we did it again the last couple of days and we have been having to put some serious moisture to our greens in the last 5-6 days. High temperatures, wind and lack of rainfall, .14" in the last 20 days has created some serious challenges for us. Our biggest challenge has been the occurance of Localized Dry Spots(LDS) These are areas of the greens where the sand in non-wettable or hydrophobic(repels water) I won't bore you with more detail but if you want it click the link highlighted above.

We use wetting agents of various types to offset these conditions. They might not completely eliminate the issue but they assist us with getting moisture to the areas as needed. The product I was using this season was not doing the trick so I went out last Monday evening after an outing and sprayed a new combination of products on the greens. This spray required the products to be watered in heavily which we did and we have continued to do with hoses to play catch up with the moisture levels of our greens and get the number of dry spots reduced. Now we slowly have to back the water off and let the greens begin to dry again as we appear to have rounded the corner slightly.

Excellent ball roll out conditions occur usually with drier greens, lower humidty, little rain and plant growth regulation. Smaller leaves creating less friction, the heavier or moisture laiden the air slows roll, lack of rain which keeps flushes of growth from occurring and regulation which also slows growth during the day all contribute to roll out. As you noticed at the US Open on Friday, greens conditions were much different than what they were early in the week than right after the rainfall and improved considerably over the weekend with drying wind and some increase in mowing and rolling activity on the greens to increase speed. I will not sacrifice plant health early in the summer with excessive rolling or double/triple cutting. For regular play and activities, it is not good practice with the lack of infrastucture and age of our greens. As mentioned in the past, I prefer to work at this time in my life than not.

Okay,  you've taken 3-4 paragraphs, what's your point? The point is I'm sure some of you are wondering what's happened to ball roll out in the last 10 days or so. Well, ball roll out went out with the bath water as we had to adjust our practices to meet this early summer stress of heat and no rainfall challenge. Future predictions of a hotter than normal summer also come into play here. We've had to reduce our sand topdressing program for a couple of weeks which improves ball roll because of the high heat Even though we have needle tined the greens and there is not major disruption to the surfaces, it does slow ball roll out. Of course the heat has caused us to modify some of our mowing schedules and we have given the greens a couple of days off last week from mowing and once this week.

My main focus is to get through the full year without turf loss. Can that be done in some difficult circumstances, sure but it will require a gentle hand to our greens from time to time and we are going through a gentle time right now. I would expect a change in the weather next week to more average temperatures will help us improve the quality of the surfaces and ball roll out. The expectation and challenge I place on myself and staff is pretty high. I very much understand the significance of our place in history, our yearly Invitational and the Metropolitan Amateur in which only comes around every 15-20 years. I look over to the right column and see the countdown clocks ticking for a couple big events so yes I get geeked up to with these events.

We are also very much concerned about everyday play here at the club. We have dedicated members still coming out regularly in 95-100 degree heat and challenge this beast of a course with her unlevel lies at every turn. We want the conditions as good as they can be under the existing circumstances.  I appreciate your understanding as we hopefully round the corner next week and become a little more seasonable with our weather and course conditions.

One of our spring and summer touches with nature each season at our urban club is the birth and growth of our yearly Red-tailed Hawklet. She/he had one of our gray squirrels in its clutches.Did not realize it until after I stopped the video and it flew into a tree with its prey.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day out there to all the dads. I hope you have the kind of day that you want and deserve.

If your pop is still here, give him a call, a hug, a kiss on the cheek, a high five, a low five, some knuckles, a noogie, or a hand shake!

I was lucky enough to have my dad for 34 years. He provided me with everything and more! If I'm half the man he was then I have surely accomplished a great deal in my life.
Happy Father's Day Dad! We miss you everyday!!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Excellent Read Regarding Oakmont and Superintendent John Zimmers Jr

Article in this months Golf Course Superintendent Magazine regarding the man who has been in charge of the property over the last 17 years John Zimmers Jr.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Company Truck For Sale

Looking to move the 2005 Company F150.Ad on Craiglist.

Parked next to cart building.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hydraulic Leaks Around 5 Green on the Surround and in Rough on 6

Our green surround mower had a fitting come loose on the wheel drive around 5 green. The operator went 2 full laps around the rough part of the green when he spotted the leak. In his haste to get back to the shop, he drove across the rough in front of 6 green which will cause further damage. We went out and wiped down the area from any excess fluid.

I would spray it down but a majority of the area is hilly and would become a slippery mess and issue for anyone playing that hole. The area is pretty obvious so just be aware and refrain from stepping on the areas if at all possible. Hopefully, it appears a majority of the oil was up in the leaf layer of the plant and did not come into contact with the crown near the ground. We will have some yellow areas appear in the next couple of days and no doubt some of the turf will die. We will evaluate any turf loss and replace what we need to replace as soon as possible. In the mean time, please watch your step in the left walk off area of the green and around the back and right side as well. I will go out and circle this area as ground under repair. Please take a drop away from the damaged area so we do not transfer any excess oil to the putting green. We wiped the lines down to remove the excess oil but some of the leaves are still very saturated.  I apologize for this inconvenience. We will discuss with the staff regarding what to do when there is another leak which we hope is a long time from now.

Back of 5 green. The arrows are pointing at the oil line. 3-4" wide or so.

Walk off area to the left side of 5 green. Area is a little wider at the bottom. The mower pulled up and backed up doubling the size of the area. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Well, There He Goes Again, Fairway Bermuda Eradication Time Again!

I know, does'nt have a darn thing to do with Bermuda grass. Lady at Invitational 2013 or 2014
Yes, I am going again President Reagan! Time for the 2nd app to the fairways of our Bermuda eradication program. Sprayed 10 acres today through Hole 10. I will spray the remaining fairways on Monday. I did not apply in some weaker areas and intermediates where the Bermuda is too heavy. As you've seen in other posts and other forms of social media, the staff have been laying a great deal of sod in many places to improve our zoysia coverage. We have  a little more to do but for the most part that will end but we will continue to add some sod where we have some especially thin turf areas from our nursery over the next few weeks.

Some might question why spray again? Our fairways are a little weaker than other places in the district.  We have spent a great deal of time, sweat and money in sodding and treating our fairways with chemicals to reduce this weed's competitive edge. It's important to continue the program or the gains we've made will have been wasted.

I would expect the turf to begin to show its effects from the chemical early in the week and the Bermuda will begin to be effected more severely within the next 10-14 days. In about 2 weeks, the Zoysia should begin to change from a lighter green to its normal
green color. We will also be fertilizing our fairways early next week which will encourage the Bermuda to take in the chemical and help the Zoysia return to normal.

We will discontinue spraying because of our busy July schedule and will commence again after the first week of August and the Metropolitan Amateur Championship.

10th Fairway with indicator foam to mark the passes to insure overlap does not occur.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Venting, Needle tine Greens

Our last aeration was at the end of March so its time again to get some oxygen into our greens.  We use our Verti-drain 7316 with an 8 mm solid pencil tine to do this work. We are venting greens more than aeration. There is a small hole but within a couple of days you barely know anything happened but the greens, they are so appreciated of this work.

Its one of the least disruptive processes we do to our greens but very beneficial for the following reasons:

  • It allows oxygen into the rooting area and carbon dioxide which can build up in the green out.
  • The holes are small but can allow excess moisture which has built up over the month of May to evaporate. The opposite takes place in areas that dry quicker. Water can penetrate these areas and become more available for roots.
  • A small channel is created below the surface which can allow roots to become healthier and fill these small areas.
  • This improved environment helps all the good microbes in the green profile that are so important in providing nutrients for the rootsand help to fight off bad microbes such as fungus and other not so great organisms.
  • Along with the needle tine, we top dressed the greens with sand which helps to smooth the surfaces and protects the crowns of the plants which is where new leaves start as well as roots. 
I'm completing this blog in the middle of a breakdown so hopefully we will be back up and running soon. All greens completed except 9-10, 13-14, 16.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Disappointed, Cart Etiquette or Lack Thereof

I was having a great morning mowing fairways this morning until I came upon Hole 3 and saw the remnants of a cart driver with poor cart etiquette and lack of concern regarding the rules for the day.
A majority of people who play at this club follow the rules and do what is asked in regards to the etiquette golfers should use in playing the course. I'm very lenient and prefer to side on the let's play normal than forcing cart path issues all the time but when we have rain for a couple of days straight the expectation should be that we will be on paths. I'll let the video explain it all. By the way, I left this video with a comedy label. I had a few other choice words I could use but I will leave that up to your imagination!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Holes 8 & 17 Fairway Intermediate Sod Work/Bermuda Eradication Program

As the staff was cleaning up the course yesterday from weekend play and prepping for a tournament, eight more pallets of zoysia grass rolled in waiting to be laid today. Praying for no rain as I mowed fairways this morning at 230 a.m(no that's not normal)  clouds hung around but the rain stayed away. Had the crew split between three main jobs, course prep for The Lorette Medart Tourney, tree work on 3 and sod work on 8 approach and then the start of 17. The guys busted their butts today. Placed about 325 yards between 8 and 17. Still have another 75 yards for 8 on Wed. Of course not forgetting about two other hard working people. Becky is in the middle of planting her near mature babies she's nurtured since mid-March. Of course she having to dodge some smart and excited hummingbirds who flirt in and out looking for some great nectar. Dave is hard at work keeping our aged fleet up and running.

The sod removal process involved:

  • Cutting out the old stuff with a sod cutter and hauling it to the dump
  • Hand raking smooth
  • Applying some fert to get the sod started rooting
  • Laying the sod
  • A little drink of water, finished. 
Hard work plus the added pressure from the boss to leave the area before our ladies groups passed through. These areas were sprayed with our Bermuda Eradication spray. In some cases, just a few hairs of Bermuda trying to creep back in. We will continue to spray these after the Zoysia roots to continue to knock it back.

If you missed the earlier video from youtube regarding our plans on #8, its at the bottom of this group of pictures.

Alphonso and Latrell cutting the new sod in place.

Randy and Jeremiah lifting the old stuff in the top near the bunker. Old sodcutter  resting and waiting for its next task.

I captured this from the blog/video I posted regarding our plans a couple weeks ago.

Finished area looking good. 

Russ, Latrell and Jeremiah. Also had Tom, Jason, Parker and Skip who rammed this work through for me.

Looking good start of #17

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Storm Damage 5/11 Tree Management Plan

Limbs and leaves down everywhere. Spent a significant amount of our day on fallen Red Oak near 4 tee into the cemetery. Details below. Will be working throughout the day on Friday trying to clean up more material. Its pretty wet  so it is going to be difficult for us to clean up leaves and things on Fairways without doing damage so they will stay where they are for now.

Cleaning it up

Threw in the total group except Hort and Mechanic

Getting near the end

Hope there is no damage

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tree Management Plan

Over the weekend, we installed three oak trees on the course and four other trees in a nursery we are establishing behind 17 green.

The first tree was a Chinkapin Oak placed on the right side of #2 about 135 yard from the green. There is a multi stemmed Ash tree at about 160 yards from the green that is showing some structural weakness and could be effected by the Emerald Ash Borer in the future.

You can see the Ash tree in the background as well as a Pin Oak behind it.

The 2nd tree on the course was planted on the lower right side of #10. It is a Swamp White Oak This tree was planted in this location because of a lightning strike and structurally weakened Pin Oak near the 2nd lake on 10 and the right cart path that dead ends at 10 fairway. This tree is already weakened in the crown area and then took a big lightning strike. The new tree will reduce the temptation of those who try to cut the corner too tightly unless you can fly your ball over the top.

The third tree planted was next to the tennis courts along the right side of #18, a Bur White Oak
This tree replaced two hollowed out Silver Maples and a poorly formed Sweet Gum. A great trade off in my mind. I would consider the Bur Oak the King of All Oaks. A formidable specimen tree for members to admire for the next 80 years or so. We need to clean up the stump grindings from the three trees, add soil and sod in the next couple of days.

We also placed four trees in a nursery area behind 17 green. The four trees are a Yellowwood , European Hornbeam ,Kentucky Coffee Tree , Black Gum  These tree will be allowed to grow and will be tree-spaded and moved on the course over the next 6-10 years as needed.
This is the view from the cart path on 2 looking over toward the 16th tee/hole. We have water in this area. The two trees on  the right will be watered regularly from the nursery green sprinklers.  The other two have sprinklers nearby as well if we need to provide some supplemental water.

Miss you Lady girl!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all! Hope you enjoy a great day doing something you love.

 I've been blessed to have one terrific mother. Mom has accomplished a great deal in her life. Four sons and countless other women and men that she has cared for and mentored over the years. Going to college, working, taking care of babies and a husband all at the same time is an amazing accomplishment all in her first 5 years of adult life.Of course we must remember 12 years later she started raising her 4th son which added even more to her great accomplishments.

As I've aged, I continue to watch her evolve as a spirit and human being. I'm just beginning to discover some of the gifts she has given me over the years and I still have some serious work within myself to be 1/2 the person she has become. I'm lucky to have been the first child because that has given me more time to be with her.

We spent the evening together last night. I won't be with you today Mom but know that you are on my mind. I love you MOM!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bermuda Eradication Program, #8 and Other Areas

As you know, we've been installing Zoysia the last couple of weeks as a part of our Bermuda Eradication Program. This week we were able to finish on 10, did the start of the fairway on 15, the intermediate near 16 approach and at the bottom of the approach on 18 green.(still a couple pieces to lay at press time). There has been mention regarding from the main road to 8 green and I did a video discussing what we are doing on this hole. We will be replacing some of the sod on this hole and will be allowing the Bermuda do grow back to fill it back in. We've given the Zoysia a good start in some of these spots and might go back in and reapply product where the Zoysia is strongest.

I will be applying one more application to the fairways before summer arrives helping to knock the Bermuda back that is mixed in with the Zoysia, that will occur in the next couple of weeks. After that, I will be allowing the fairways to grow no matter what the grass so they will be in good shape for the rest of the summer season. I will then go back in again in late summer and hit the fairways again to set up the Bermuda for winter kill.

Not how we normally roll out sod but the guys decided to just roll it out and then were going to make some adjustments. Early season Zoysia in big rolls is not usually the easiest to work.

18 Approach at bottom of the hill in the intermediate

16 intermediate on both sides near the green

Finished up the right side of 10

Greenhouse Plant Sale Tomorrow Saturday May 7th

Greenhouse Plant Sale will be tomorrow, Saturday May 7th from 9-11 at the maintenance building below the first tee box. Becky will be here to help with your selections for this year. All plants can be charged to your account in the usual manner. Some but not all of the plants in the picture will be available based on Becky's needs for the course this season. She is just beginning to plant on property.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tennis Courts Ready For Play Thursday, May 5th

Promised the ladies I would work hard at getting courts open early this year. Should have court one lines down by 9 am Wednesday and will have court 2 finished by the end of the day. Courts will be ready for play on Thursday.

Two videos below. The first demonstrates rather quickly how we roll the tennis courts. Rolling helps to firm the surface and smooth out imperfections. This is completed on a regular basis during the season and especially during the early season.

Laying out the courts is pretty important because of course they need to be square and have the proper dimensions. Video below shows how we use line cables to find the corners of the court.  The cables also help to set the single court lines, center court line, service lines, you get it, it helps to set the line. We then stretch string so we have as straight a line to lay the line tape(tape is made from vinyl) in place. The line must be nailed to the clay surface so it stays in place.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weather Stats for April

Weather Stats for April. A little closer to normal but still above average.

21st Warmest April on record

                            Observed Value  Normal Value   Depart from Normal   Last Year     
High                             70.3                  67.4                      2.9                       70.5
Low                              49.4                  47.2                      2.2                       50.0
Average                        59.9                  57.3                      2.6                       60.3


                                    4.49"                 3.69"                     .80"                      5.42"

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thank You To Food and Beverage Manager Reid

I just wanted to take a moment to recognize long time employee Reid Warren who is leaving Glen Echo to go back home to his roots in Nebraska. Reid is truly one special human being. Kind, gentle, soft spoken and a truly hard working member of our team at Glen Echo. Beth and I have had the privilege of attending many functions at Glen Echo and we have seen first hand his hard work and dedication to this club, its members and guests.

We have also attended many wine dinners during our time at Glen Echo and Reid has been the main presenter at all of these dinners. He has shared a rich knowledge of wine and made every effort to make these evenings a special event.

When he became food and beverage manager a few years ago, I think there were many days and nights that he might have spent more time on the floor waiting tables and helping staff then he did when he solely waited tables. He had to pull himself off the floor and move to his desk to do the business side of  his job which took a great deal of time as well. I think if you asked him, he enjoyed the service and serving part of his job more than anything.

Reid was a regular player on the course when we did not have Monday outings. He would tool around the course many times on his own and sometimes would hook up with other staff members when they arrived. He really enjoyed the game and your course.

Reid was also given the unenviable task of having to control Lady from time to time. Some folks just might not understand a dog coming and sitting at their table waiting for a handout. He was my point guy at the clubhouse to ask if he had seen her. Yeah, I had to let her out a few minutes ago. It was hard to keep a girl away from a party. I appreciate your patience in dealing with her, if she found one door closed, she would always look for another one that was open.

Beth and I were so excited to come to his party that we came a week early. That's for another time.
But anyway, his party is Friday, April 29th, you should be attending!!

We've had the pleasure of seeing his wife Rhonda at various functions at the club and privately away from Glen Echo. A great lady in her own right.  

Good luck to you, Rhonda and kids on your next adventure Reid. It's been a pleasure working with you. We will miss you here at Glen Echo CC.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bermuda Eradication Program #10 Intermediate Sod Replacement

The past couple of days, the staff have worked on replacing the intermediate along #10 Fairway. We are replacing a little more than 1/2 of it due to Bermuda contamination. We have some spots along the right side that we cut the old sod off but did not have time to remove the old sod and place the new sod. We should have this area completed by next week since conditions are wet and we have an outing for more than 1/2 the day on Friday.

We will circle these areas as ground under repair. We will also circle the new areas and ask that you take a drop from these areas. We have a number of other areas on fairways and intermediate on a number of other holes on the course over the next few weeks as conditions and work schedules allow. #10 will take about 800 yards of sod. A box blade on a tractor and the loader would be more efficient and would help quicken the pace of work but would also create excessive damage because of the weight.

We sprayed these areas with not only our Bermuda Eradication spray but also Round Up last fall in an effort to knock the Bermuda down a bit more. A cold winter would have helped us even more but to no avail.

Most of the area can be driven across with carts without any issue. We used mostly big roll sod which can stand up to more wear and tear. We have a little softer conditions at the circle around the start of the fairway. We will rope off this area and place cut thru areas for walkers. Please follow any signs or ropes to assist us with growing the turf.

Jason using the sod cutter and cutting out the old material. Our intermediates are cut with an 84" mower. The tractor in the background was used to roll out the sod.Sorry no pictures of that operation. Just got too busy and failed to get enough pics.

Randy, Latrell and Alphonso physically removing the cut sod.

The arrows point to the intermdediate that was replaced. We still have to replacement to do up the right side.

The green line shows that we started where the cart path ends on the right side of the fairway after it comes across the lake spillway and went all the way around to the bridge less than 100 yards from 10 green.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Rejuvinated Ornamental Bed Next to Clubhouse Almost Ready For Plants

First, quick announcement. Annual plant sale will be on Saturday May 7th from  9-11 at the maintenance building. We won't have every plant available for sale that is in the greenhouse now but we will have a nice cross section of plants available. Your plants can be charged in the usual manner as you do your other purchases at the club.

Its taken us a couple of weeks to get the bubble bed near ready for planting for Becky but we are close. I like to have slightly raised beds for the following reasons; It provides for better drainage and helps to separate the bed from the surrounding turf area. Our process included the following

  •  Dig up the old plants and spray out some of the creeping plants
  •  Till the existing bed
  •  Dig up the sprinkler heads so they can be raised
  •  Haul in new topsoil to raise the level of the bed
  •  Place a layer of black gold compost over the top
  •  Till it all up again, heads raised, plants removed
  •  All that's left is to smooth it out and install the plants
The old bed planted at what is now ground level

Plants ripped out, dug out

Soil hauled in and you can see hole in foreground from sprinkler head area. Probably hauled in about 10 yards of soil, around one dump truck load. Individual piles at a time which had to be hand spread.

How that make it in there. LadyBug in the early days at Glen Echo when she would get fired up, grab a stick, fling it in the air and run around like a crazy girl
Black gold on top of the bed and raised grad of the bed

Finish tilling in the compost and mixing soil together. Need to clean up the edges, smooth out the soil so that surface water will drain from the building out onto the turf area.