Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Ball Mark Repair

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen 

The heavy and frequent amount of rain this season has caused the greens to soften.  Whenever you have softened greens, you will end up with: more ball marks, that are easier to produce, and are larger in size.

Repairing ball marks is a key practice that aids in keeping the putting surface smooth and true for fellow golfers.  In fact, if a fresh ball mark is repaired within minutes, it will heal in 24 hours. Conversely, if a ball mark is delayed in repair or goes without, it may take 2-3 weeks for it to heal.

However, for those golfers who do repair their ball marks, but do it improperly, may cause more damage than leaving it unrepaired.  Below are the steps to properly repair a ball mark.

Begin by inserting the ball mark repair tool at a 45 degree angle and gently pulling towards the center of the ball mark.

Do NOT pry away from the center of the indentation, causing the turf to lift.

Then continue working around the ball mark, gently stretching the surrounding turf toward the center until the indentation is filled.  Less is generally more when it comes to ball mark repair, so this should be done just three or four times; anything more generally adds injury to the already damaged turf

Lastly, gently tamp the repaired ball mark with either your putter or foot. 

If there are any ball marks left without repair the next morning, the Grounds Department will be doing their part to help keep the greens smooth and true.  Pictured above is our new ball mark repair tool.  One simple push and the 4 teeth (located on the bottom) will simultaneously grab and pull the ball mark, leaving the surface smooth and true.

Each greens mower will be equipped with a repair tool, so all greens will be scouted for unrepaired ball marks.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Where Everybody Knows Your Name..."

By Beverage Manager Lacey Zietlow

Do we all remember the show Cheers, with Norm, Carla and Sam? The characters all had their quirks and qualities …But wasn’t it nice that at the end of the day, they all had a place where everyone knew their names? Much like the good old GBCC.

One of the many benefits of a private membership at the Green Bay Country Club is the relationships that are fostered. We have many longtime staff members that are sometimes reason alone to stop out!  Come visit us, we’ll treat you like family.  We will get to know you, your kids, your personal preferences and especially what you like to drink!

At Green Bay Country Club, we handcraft all our cocktails. From Muddled Old Fashions, Mojitos made with our garden grown mint to the specialty drinks named after members that have invented them.
We also have a wine selection that is sure to please most everyone. Browse our wine book or ask our bartenders for recommendations. They’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.  Are you in the mood for a higher end wine but don’t want to commit to the bottle? Browse our Coravin menu. The Coravin is a device that allows us to pour wine from a bottle without compromising the integrity of the wine after it’s been uncorked.

New this year, we have an expanded our selection of tap beers. We’re aiming to primarily feature local craft selections from Wisconsin or just outside the state. Additionally, we are offering a Member’s Choice option whereby for a nominal fee, any member may choose a keg to be served on our lines and will receive ½ off their choice beer.

So, come on out and visit us in the pub for drinks of any kind whether it be before or after dinner, post golf game or special occasion celebratory drinks. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Summer/Spring Grounds Update

This past spring, the average low temperature for the months of April and May have been 38 and 45 degrees; while the average high temperatures have been 58 degrees and 65 degrees.  Comparing this year’s temperature averages with the historical average for the month of April and May, we are slightly cooler.  However, the big difference between this year’s spring with the historical average is the amount of precipitation.  This past April and May we totaled 7.45”, while the average total for April and May is 5.31”.
90-Degree Rule
Due to the wet spring and the possibility of the trend continuing, we are implementing a new cart system amongst members.  On marginally wet days during peak season, there will be a third cart option, the 90-degree rule.  Before, the only options were cart path only and no restrictions.  The 90-degree rule will limit damage to the course while speeding up pace of play.  The map of #12 (seen below) displays the proper practice of the 90-degree rule.
The white line signifies the shot path from tee to green.
The yellow line is the proper driving path taken to your second shot and thereafter.
Keep the cart on the path until the you are directly across from the ball.  Once you are directly across from your ball, proceed off the path towards your second shot.  After your shot has been taken, make a gentle turn back towards the cart path and then continue down the path until you reach your next shot.

Spring, Seeds and Flowers
The soil temperatures have been around 54 degrees in the morning and 66 degrees in the afternoon.  In spring, when soil temperatures are within the 50-65 degree range; plants (specifically turf) begin producing seedheads, flowers and fruits.

The misconception when seedheads are present is the rough seems too long or its growing too fast, but the effect is not a matter of length, but a matter of density.  During the seeding time frame, the turf produces seed stalks that are thicker and longer than the turf.  To offset this “thickening” of rough in the spring, we: mow more frequently and delay fertilizing until after seeding is complete.  The seedhead germination persists until soil temperatures reach 70 degrees and above which typically is around mid-June.  

Recently, you may have noticed the tan color amongst our roughs (seen below), which is not from the turf drying out but from seed stalks and seed ready to fall.    

Notice that there is plenty of green turf but the tan color is from the stalks and seedheads.
Although this naturally occurring phenomenon has a negative effect on the playability, it allows the course to seed itself with the same species of bluegrass; which in turn creates consistency overall.  Not to mention by seeding itself, it will aid in the growth of the weak spots throughout the rough.

Projects that we have completed in April & May include:
  • Completed the new Outdoor Sport Center Bar – Capital Project

  • Cleaned, planted and mulched landscape beds
  • Repaired RR ties
  • Added stone to cart path curves
  • Added red cart path stone to walk-ups on….
    • #16 Green
  • Cleaned and Scrubbed….
    • Tennis Courts
    • Pool Deck
  • Aerified, Topdressed, Fertilized, Brushed and Rolled Greens
  • Aerified, Topdressed, Fertilized & Brushed Tees
  • #14 Fairway Drainage
  • Sprayed All Playable Fescue
  • Sodded
    • #17 Creek Bank
    • Clubhouse Parking Lot
  • Verticut & Fertilized Fairways
  • Prepared Tennis Courts
  • Prepared Pool
  • Installed New Landscape Beds 
    • #14 Turnabout
    • #8 Triangle
    • Clubhouse Flag Pole
    • Kitchen’s Vegetable Garden
    • Sport Center Gate Entrance
    • Sport Center Kitchen Entrance
    • 19th Hole Patio
    • Planted Annual Flowers

Projects that we will be working on this month include:
  • #17 Renovation (out-of-play areas)
  • Aerifying Fairways
  • Eliminate Phragmite and Re-seed
  • Fertilize Rough
  • Detail the Golf Course

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

GBCC Gardens Receive a Facelift

By GBCC Gardener, Mary Lemens

There have been lots of changes to our entrance to the Sports Center. Last fall we added boulders and different elevations at the gates. We loaded the area with compost and then had to call it a season. This spring I installed some shrubs, weeping larches and an assortment of brightly colored perennials. I'm excited to watch it bloom out this year and see how it comes together!

A second face lift at the Main Clubhouse is still in progress. The sod was removed from the flag area in the front of the clubhouse and boulders placed. Truckloads of compost were tilled in and a Korean pine (a personal favorite of mine) was planted as well as some carpet roses and barberry. More shrubs and flowers will be planted as soon as the path through is complete. 

Our superintendent pitched in to help us get the curve in the path just right. Ben is a hands-on boss and is very involved in making sure everything is just right in all of the club's outdoor areas.

I hope you enjoy watching the progress unfold in all the gardens this year!

Gardener out

Thursday, May 4, 2017

GBCC Menus and Seasonality

By Executive Chef Robert Rupp

As most of you have probably noticed over the past year, our dining menus have changed more frequently than in years past. I will continue to change the Clubhouse menu as the seasons change here in Green Bay, even though this year it feels like we have had one season…winter! There are a few reasons why I feel it is important for us to do this at GBCC:

  1.  Produce quality deteriorates while the price tends to increase. Over the past few weeks lettuce quality, along with some vegetables, was terrible due to the amount of rain the south was receiving. I am starting to see the products improve and the pricing fall more into. Lettuce is a staple on our menu for salads and sandwiches. While we are not going to take lettuce/salads off the menu, it does make things a bit more tricky due to quality issues and vendor shortages. During the winter months we rely heavily on the south for our produce. Over the next few weeks you will start to see us work on the GBCC garden. In addition to last year’s herbs and edible flowers, we are expanding the garden to include tomatoes, green beans, an assortment of peppers, snap peas, etc. We are also tripling our fleet of basil based on last year’s pesto use!
  2. To keep things fresh and exciting for members that frequently use their Club. Our goal is to keep all the favorites/best sellers on the menu, while being seasonally innovative. Our summer menu began on Tuesday, May 2nd. If the Roasted Brussels Sprouts an Fig salad was a fall favorite on the menu, I think you will enjoy the summer version of this salad that includes feta cheese and fresh blackberries. We have also added an Ahi Tuna as an appetizer, as an entrĂ©e and, you are also able to add pan seared or blackened Ahi Tuna to any salad! The new menu also includes all natural black angus Ribeyes and Tenderloin for your dining pleasure. 
I ask you to always keep in mind that if there is something you are in the mood for, if you enjoyed Friday’s feature, or last week’s featured salad dressing; it never hurts to ask your server! If my team and I have the ingredients and the time, we are more than happy to accommodate! Mentioning special requests when making your reservation is always appreciated.

I hope to see you for our summer kick off on Friday, May 19th. We will be featuring an (optional) Seafood Buffet that evening to accompany complimentary live music in the Pub. The tuna, swordfish and opah are being flown directly to GBCC from Hawaii for this buffet. This is something that you can look forward to seeing more of on the menu throughout the summer.

Friday, April 21, 2017

What is the purpose of the USGA Handicap System?

The purpose of the USGA Handicap System is to make the game of golf more enjoyable by enabling players of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis. The System provides a fair Course Handicap for each player, regardless of ability, and adjusts a player's Handicap Index up or down as the player's game changes. At the same time, the System disregards high scores that bear little relation to the player's potential ability and promotes continuity by making a Handicap Index continuous from one playing season or year to the next. A Handicap Index is useful for all forms of play, and is issued only to individuals who are members of a licensed golf club.

Two basic premises underlie the USGA Handicap System, namely that each player will try to make the best score at every hole in every round, regardless of where the round is played, and that the player will post every acceptable round for peer review. The player and the player's Handicap Committee have joint responsibility for adhering to these premises.

New score posting procedures for 2017:

1) Hole-By-Hole Score Posting – all member home scores will be posted using the hole-by-hole method. This will help the Handicap Committee in several ways. Included is the ability to examine actual score data and potentially change the handicap ranking of each hole.

2) Who will post scores? The golf staff will post all home scores. This will eliminate standing in line waiting for the Kiosk to become available. It will also help the Handicap Committee ensure that all acceptable rounds are posted in a timely fashion, in a standardized way and can be made available for peer review.

3) Where should I turn in my scorecard? Please turn in your scorecard to the Golf Shop or Player Services Staff at the completion of your round (including nine hole or partial rounds). If you prefer to keep your scorecard, please ask the staff to make a copy of your scorecard. The copy will be submitted for score posting. Please clearly identify player names and tee played. Lastly, please inform the staff if you played a format that cannot be posted (Scramble, Alternate Shot).

Friday, April 14, 2017

Congratulations Golf Staff!

This time of year the NCAA college golf teams are holding their conference championships.  Please see the links below to follow the action of our GBCC staff competing in 2017.

Avery Steen – Green Bay Phoenix
April 23 – April 25
For live scoring of this event please go to the link below:
Avery Steen

David Spengler – Northern Iowa University
April 24 – April 25
For live scoring of this event please go to the link below:
David Spengler

Ben Bobinski – St. Norbert College
May 4 – May 6
We do not have live scoring for this event, but for results please go to this link and click on MWC Golf Championship:

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Golf Course is Open for the Season!

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

The golf course has overwintered in terrific condition and is primed for another great season. This weekend’s forecasted warmer days will lift the soil temperatures just enough for our putting greens to break dormancy allowing for some recuperative potential from mowing, rolling, and foot traffic. As a result, the golf course, quarry course and putt-putt course will officially open today at 9 am.

 Our Grounds Department staff has been prioritizing our clean-up efforts to the more playable areas of the course: Greens, Tees, Fairways, Bunkers and Cart Paths. Also, most of the golf course accessories (ballwashers, tee markers, garbage cans, and water coolers) have been set on the course, and the remaining will ready by next week.

This foursome officially kicked off the 2017 Outdoor Golf Season.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sports Center Outdoor/Indoor Bar Project

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen
As of April 4th, GBCC has been state approved to construct an outdoor/indoor bar at the Sport Center.  The lifeguard office, located off of the pool deck, will be transformed into the bar; which will provide service to the outside during the summer and inside during fall, spring and winter.

In addition to the new bar, we are converting the dining room into a swimsuit friendly area to relax and eat.  This area will allow members and guest to be by the pool but out of the elements from outside.

The completion of this project is scheduled before May 26th, Opening Day.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The State of the Course: March, 2017

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

After inspecting the course I’m happy to report that, currently, there is no evidence of significant turf loss; not to mention that the course is thawing and breaking out of dormancy nicely. Last fall, the use of heavy topdressing sand coupled with our annual plant protectants insulated the turf’s crown and aided in its winter survival from: low temperature kill, ice damage, desiccation and snow mold. However, before opening the golf course, we must now be patient to allow two naturally occurring events to transpire; thawing of the soil and turf recovery growth.

The first event is we must wait for the soil profile to thaw. Although the deep frost has been lifted; there are still several areas where the frost layer remains between 2-6 inches deep. Frost at shallow depths can cause serious damage and can set the whole golfing season back, if traffic is allowed prematurely. Maintenance equipment and/or golfer traffic on frozen playable areas, or areas in the current freeze-thaw cycle, can create a "shearing" effect on root systems. What happens is the top, or thawed, layer moves and the frozen layer underneath does not; which can have your 9” roots turn into 2” roots (imagine popping off a muffin top). Pictured below exhibits how much damage could be done, even within one foursome.

Another outcome from shallow frost is poorly drained soils. Because the soil is frozen, it will not allow water to drain downward, so all water is being held and saturating the top 2-6 inches. Once a golf ball lands or golfer steps in one of the mentioned areas, the ground will not have any cushion and will cause the surface to spread and lift the sides, much like a ballmark.

 (Left) Off-site example of cart traffic damage
Range ball plugged in our range fairway after a shot

The second event is we must wait for some turf growth. Before the golf course can sustain traffic, it must be able to recover. When temperatures fall below the ranges considered optimal for turfgrass growth, there is a change in the response of turfgrasses to the stresses from golf and course maintenance activities. Therefore, golf traffic during periods of reduced turfgrass growth can result in increased amounts of worn and thin turf, thus affecting the golf season.
Leaf tissue that has been setback by overwinter snowshoe traffic.

Along with everything mentioned above, the current conditions and long-range forecast are not conducive for a March opening. Furthermore, there is no set date for opening the golf course but check your email for updates on the opening of the range and Quarry course. On a positive note, the forecasted temperatures and rains next week will help speed up the thawing process and will then allow us to vent, brush, roll and mow the greens before opening.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The State of the Course

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

This winter we have experienced average temperatures and snow accumulation; however, on January 10th 2017, we accumulated 1” of rain.  Rains this time of year are unfavorable because the turf is dormant and the ground is frozen, resulting in an impermeable surface; so any water drainage is purely surface drainage into either a drain or creek.  That being said, the temperatures during the rain storm dropped from 38 degrees to 15 degrees resulting in an ice storm.  Since the time between the rainfall and the deep freeze was so quick, the majority of the rain was unable to drain and remained on the surface to then freeze.  Overall the course has an average depth of 1” of ice and 4” of snow covering all greens, tees and fairways.

The picture above was taken January 18th, 2017

Since the picture above was taken, there has been considerable amount of melt throughout the course but much of the course (mainly low lying and shaded areas) remains under ice.

#5 Green Before 1/18/2017
#5 Green Before 1/18/2017

#5 Green After 1/24/2017
#5 Green After 1/24/2017
#5 Fairway Before 1/18/2017
#5 Fairway Before 1/18/2017
#5 Fairway After 1/24/2017
#5 Fairway After 1/24/2017

The good news is the majority of the golf course (about 90%) is bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass; which are both highly winter tolerable grasses.  In fact, bentgrass can survive under ice around 90 days.  The Grounds Department has started a log, tracking when the ice formed and what date(s) to check for turf damage.  If we are near the turf damage date(s), we will take measures to remove the ice.  Currently the ice is a benefit, providing protection from other forms of winterkill (crown hydration, low temperature kill and desiccation).