Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Putting: The Set Up

GBCC Director of Instruction Lucas Hana offers video tips to help you improve your game. You can watch all his videos at the link below: 

>>>Golf Academy Video Library

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Matter of Course: Will No Snow Cover and Cold Temperatures Lead to Turf Damage?

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

During last month’s conditions, we discussed the benefits of having snow cover and its insulating properties; this month’s conditions are quite the opposite.  The course is currently exposed with little to no snow cover.  The 14-day forecast does not predict any high amounts of accumulation of snow, but we will experience subzero temperatures.

Will no snow cover and extremely cold temperatures lead to turf damage/kill?  USGA states, “Winter injury is a very complex event because it is controlled by many variables that are not completely understood.”

During these windy sub-zero temperatures, two winter injuries can occur: low temperature kill and desiccation.  As of now, because of our high population of low temperature tolerant turf species, along with the amount of precipitation we have accumulated this winter, low temperature kill and desiccation are unlikely.

During these winter periods of extremely low temperatures and no snow cover can have their benefits for the upcoming golf season.  As a matter of fact, once temperatures plummet, we would prefer there to be little to no snow all winter.  The reason being is snow acts as an insulator which would not allow as deep of a freeze.  A deep freeze is beneficial because the soil profile to undergo a “natural aerification.”  This is made possible by having moist or saturated soil which will then freeze and expand.  During the course of expansion, the ice will create underground fissures which results in the break-up of the soil profile creating air flow and gas exchange to assist next spring’s root growth and overall plant health.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How to Hit the Ball Longer

By Lucas Hana, PGA Director of Instruction

I frequently get asked the question, “How do I hit the ball longer?” from a number of my students and the answer is in the numbers. As you can see in the picture below, this player hit a drive 242 yards with 133 mph ball speed.

This ball speed is average for most male members here at GBCC, however the 242 yard drive is much above average because of how this individual struck the ball.

Here are 3 keys to getting more distance without more speed:

1. Strike the ball in the center of the club face. To get the most distance, you need to hit the ball in the center of the club face. We have impact stickers by the Golf Simulator to help you see where you strike the ball on the club and they are free for you to use at anytime.

2. By swinging up and to the right of your target (for a right handed golfer) you create the optimal launch angle and backspin. As you can see in the picture, this individual had a nice high launch angle of 13.7* and backspin of only 1603rpm. That’s a recipe for maximum distance.

3. To get a good amount of roll on your drive, you need to have LEFT sidespin by striking the ball with a closed clubface. A sidespin of 306 L is perfect for lots of roll.

As you can see, great distance comes from good numbers! Make a tee time on Foretees for the golf simulator and we will help you understand how you can create good numbers for more distance and a lot more fun in your game!

Friday, January 5, 2018

A Matter of Course: What is the Impact of Sub Zero Temps?

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Are these sustained sub-zero temperatures harming or injuring the golf course??? The USGA states, “Winter injury is a very complex event because it is controlled by many variables that are not completely understood.”

During these windy sub-zero temperatures, two winter injuries can occur: low temperature kill and desiccation.

Low Temperature Kill
As of now, low temperature kill is not a concern because of our high population of bentgrass on our playing surfaces. Bentgrass has a very high tolerance for low temperatures and can withstand this type of weather pattern. As an added benefit, the average 6” of snow is insulating and protecting the bentgrass.

Desiccation is the drying of the plant due to the exposure of low temperatures, high winds and no added precipitation. This past fall, just prior to the low temperatures and snow, we executed a couple of a preventative practices for desiccation.

 First, we sprayed an anti-desiccant on all high exposed areas (i.e. #6 green, putting green and etc.). An anti-desiccant is coating that helps protect and lock in moisture on the bentgrass leaf blades and crown. Second, we did a heavy topdressing application on all greens and tees (seen below). By doing this, the sand acts as an insulator from the low temperatures and cool high winds.

The most important and natural element to minimizing and/or eliminating low temperature kill and desiccation is snow. Snow is the best insulator for the golf course; it protects from high winds, locks in warmth for the plant to survive and keeps the plants hydrated. As of today, with current conditions, we are setup for the course to over winter nicely.

Winter Projects
On a positive note, we have been able to complete some projects during the deep freeze. Below are just some of the projects the Grounds Department has completed:

Repaired and re-routed irrigation lines around #13 tee

Installed a new Simulator screen

Re-leveled the Simulator floor

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Winterization Process Well Underway at Green Bay Country Club

The weather these past 2 months have been out of ordinary. Pictured above, October’s high temperatures in the beginning of the month have been unseasonably warm; only to have the start of November’s temperatures plummet, cutting the golf season slightly shorter than average. But the most unusual part of the graph is the October high temperatures are lower than the November high temperatures towards the end of both months.

Golf Course Closure
2010                       11/22
2011                       11/29
2012                       11/23
2013                       11/22
2014                       11/9
2015                       11/21                        
2016                       11/22
2017                       11/9

The reason for the golf course closure is the low temperatures reached the teens two nights in a row; which developed an impenetrable frost layer on all playing surfaces. With that being said, the long-range forecast, thereafter, didn’t reach above freezing; only to have deepened the frost layer. Not only is the frozen soil not conducive for playing but also affects the winterization of the golf course. Dependent upon workable weather, the Grounds Department needs approximately 2 weeks to prepare the golf course for winter. Listed below are just some of the tasks needed to complete before the snow and sub-freezing temperatures.

  • Spray dormant fungicide and herbicide 
  • Dormant fertilizer applications 
  • Remove and trim all drains 
  • Remove all course furniture 
  • Blowout irrigation system 
  • Fill ALL Divots 
  • Heavy topdressing all tees and greens for winter protection
Projects that we have completed these past two months:
  • Repaired #18 Beach Bunker

  • Re-seed Bare Areas 
  • Spray & Mow Fescue 
  • Spray & Remove Phragmite 
  • Verticut Fairways 
  • Aerify Fairways 
  • Fertilize Rough 
  • Renovate Entrance & Exit Drive Landscape Beds
Projects that we will be working on over the winter include:
  • Snow removals 
  • Reconditioning all golf course maintenance equipment for the 2018 season 
  • Refurbishing all golf course supplies, including: rakes, ball washers, benches and tee markers
  • Attending regional and national seminars and trade shows 
  • Pruning trees and shrubs on the golf course and club grounds 
  • Re-organizing numerous documents and data records from the 2017 season 
  • Removing dead/dying trees 
  • Removing brush 
  • Repairing/Renovating/Replacing areas around the Clubhouse and Sport Center

Thursday, November 16, 2017

New Pastry Assistant Wows GBCC Members

Have you savored a dessert at Green Bay Country Club recently? Fresh, club-made desserts are served at GBCC thanks to our new Pastry Assistant, Franciane Hencke.

Franci joined GBCC in September on a part-time/as needed basis and is happy to be a part of this team. 

Her path to pastry artisan has been a circuitous one. Prior to working in food service, Franci had a banking career for over a decade. She graduated with high honors from Fox Valley Technical College for Culinary Arts as well as Baking and Pastries. While at Fox Valley Tech, Franci earned silver medals in state and regional cooking competitions sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation. She also competed as a student in a professional pastry category and earned a gold medal.

Franci is certified by the ACF and is currently pursuing the next level of pastry certification in January 2018. Prior to working at GBCC, Franci was the pastry chef at Mahoney's in Oshkosh.

When not working, Franci enjoys spending time with her husband, studying and creating recipes, and traveling.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Lucas Hana Named Top Ten Instructor

Director of Instruction Lucas Hana was named a top ten instructor in the State of Wisconsin by Golf Digest.  The teachers were ranked by their peers. Congratulations, Lucas!