Friday, December 14, 2018

A Matter of Course: November-December State of the Golf Course

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Over the past month, 26 out of 30 days have been below average (seen below), resulting in an early November course closing.  Thankfully before the snow, we were able to apply all our necessary chemical applications to protect the golf course from snow mold and desiccation.  However, with the below average temperatures and persistent snow immediately following those applications, we were unable to apply our final topdressing and fertilizers on greens.  Even though, there will be no negative effects to the golf course by forgoing the topdressing or fertilizing; it is a missed opportunity heading into 2019.

However, with big snow storms and frigid temperatures holding off, we have been able to take advantage of these mild winter-like conditions with projects throughout the course.  Below are just some examples of what the Grounds Department have accomplished over the past month.

#5 Tee Descent – 90% Complete including Cleanup

Front of Gold/White Tee

Front of Blue/Black Tee

#8 Green Creek Silt Removal
                                    Before                                                                        After

Thursday, October 18, 2018

#9 Tee Bank & Fescue Area

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Many of you have noticed the area around #9 gold, white/green, and red tee is under construction. This project will be one of many in the efforts to bring back our fescue areas.  Before seeding the area, we took care of a few structural issues, to promote a longer lifespan. First, we improved the drainage adjacent to the #8 green cart path by installing a new drain line in the newly seeded fescue. 

Also, adjacent to #9 tee’s pond, we uncovered a buried catch basin and built up the pond bank.  By raising the pond bank, the pond will be able to hold more water and prevent an overflow onto the cart path.  

Lastly, we seeded the whole area with fescue.  Although the temperatures have been below average, we have been able to germinate much of the seed.   

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Rain and Bunkers

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Over the past 2 months, precipitation has been way above average (14.89”); which has resulted in a few flooding events.  When the rain comes down in that amount, in that short of time, you are bound to experience bunker washouts (seen below).

Washouts occur when the rain either comes down at a high rate, or a steady stream of surface water drains into the bunker, causing the sand to fall towards the middle of the bunker and exposing the clay bases.  Every time the washouts happen and expose the clay bottoms, the washed sand will mix with the clay base, causing contamination.  

The darker sand is contaminated, meaning it is mixed with some clay.  The contamination resulted from surface drainage from the fairway flowing into the bunker.

Over time, many storms alike will affect the performance of the sand (i.e hard bottoms, layering, poor drainage (seen below), etc).

The common misconception amongst golfers is when we receive frequent heavy rains, that the contaminated bunkers have no sand.  The playability may seem to indicate there is no sand, but in actuality, the bunkers all have plenty of sand. (See below.)

Left-side pic: The dark spot is a wedge shot bouncing off a contaminated layer
Right-side pic: Sand dug in that same spot with 6” of sand underneath
The long-term corrective mode of action is to remove the contaminated sand and replace with new sand.  In fact, according to the American Society of Golf Course Architects, bunker sand should be replaced every 5-7 years, depending on location, design, weather, and care.  The last time GBCC’s green-side bunker sand was replaced was 2012 and fairway sand 1995.
The Grounds crew have identified a handful of bunkers with the contamination issues and will perform the proper care in Spring of 2019.

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Rising Stars Defeat the Savvy Veterans to Win the 2018 Captain’s Cup

The Rising Stars defeated the Savvy Veterans to win the 2018 Captain’s Cup for the second straight year. Captained by Alex Santos and Matt Keesey, the youthful stars beat the experienced vets in comeback fashion during Saturday’s round. After day one, the Savvy Veterans were in the lead six to four but the rising stars dominated Saturday's round, winning the cup with a winning score of 14 1/2 to 10 1/2. Congrats to the Rising Stars on their victory!

The Captain’s Cup featured four different nine-hole matches played over two days. The first nine holes, the game was Alternate Shot, the second nine was One Best Ball of Two, the third nine was Scramble, and the fourth nine was Individual Match Play.

The Rising Stars, posing with their trophy.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

GBCC Youth Golfer Competes at Whistling Straits

GBCC youth golfer Grant competed in the Regional Qualifier for the Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship at Whistling Straits on Saturday, September 8th. He narrowly missed advancing to the National Championship at Augusta National Golf Club in April finishing 3rd in the Boy’s 7-9 year old division. Grant finished 1st in Chipping and 3rd overall. On behalf of all of us at GBCC, CONGRATS Grant on a great run! We are excited to follow you in the many golf championships ahead in your future! Way to go Grant!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Drought to Flood

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

The timing of the rain could not have been better.  Displayed below, you can see, that before the rain, Green Bay made the US Drought Monitor Map. 

However, the amount of rain, along with the spacing between storms, was not ideal. Between August 27th and August 29th, we received 5.7” of rain. That amount of rain surpassed our total amount, 4.47”, received over the last two months. 

Notice, we received more rain in those three days than the last two months.

When we receive that much rain over a short period, not all 5.7” of rain will absorb into the ground.  In fact, the majority of last week’s rain resulted in runoff into our drainage system, ponds, and creeks. Overall, the course took in the moisture well and will allow us to put down the hoses and focus on projects after Labor Day.  

Interesting Fact

To put the amount of rain received into perspective, the 5.7” of rain received over the playable/irrigated areas (greens, tees, fairway, rough, range, some fescue areas, etc.) around the golf course equated to 18,263,780 gallons of water.  Now, the amount of irrigation water we use each YEAR is between 18,000,000-20,000,000 gallons. So, the amount of rain from August 27th-August 29th equates to one year’s usage of irrigation water…WOW! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

2018 PGA All-Stars Sectional Qualifier

The Green Bay PGA Junior League All-Star Team competed at Mascoutin Golf Course in Berlin, WI on Sunday, August 19th and just missed advancing to the Section Championship. The Green Bay team shot a score of 106 while the Madison North team won their division shooting a score of 95. 

Team Green Bay was led by Green Bay Country Club members Grace Durkin and Mason Haupt who shot an amazing nine-hole scramble score of 5 under par 31. Mason Haupt hit the shot of the day holing out for eagle on hole 9 (a par 4) from 130 yards with a 7-iron. Captain Lucas Hana witnessed the amazing shot which brought a huge smile to his face!

Also, GBCC Members Drew Siudzinski and Bennett Madson along with Oneida G&CC member Tommy Hall shot a solid nine-hole score of 1 over par 37 for the second best score on the team. Congrats to everyone on the PGA Junior League team at GBCC for a fantastic season!

GBCC All-Star Team Members
Grace Durkin
Mason Haupt
Bennett Madson
Drew Siudzinski

GBCC PGA Junior League Team Participants
William Vincent
Aiden Piencikowski 
Drew Siudzinski 
Charles May
Henry Weber
Bennett Madson
Mason Haupt
Grace Durkin
Danielle Dow
Evelyn Cloud
Claire Sonnenburg
Carter Broten
Sophia Sonnenburg
Owen Hein
Nolan VanMiller
Sam Behrend