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





Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mr. Ace


Tom Laatsch aced Hole #4 on Thursday, August 16th for his second Ace in less than a month. He used a 7 iron from 115 yards and played the green tees. Congrats Tom- also known as Mr. Ace!! 

Check out a flyover of #4 below:



Friday, August 10, 2018

A Matter of Course: Cart Path Additions & Guidelines

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Recently, the Grounds Crew repaired all potholes and repainted all the yardages found on the cart paths. In addition to repainting the yardages, we have added a 150 and 200 yardage to the #17 cart path. These yardages were painted for all the slicers (or hookers for you lefties) from #16’s tee, that happen to find yourselves hitting their second shot in #17’s fairway.  By having these yardages, this will help speed up play and give a better representation of yards to the center of the #16 green. Notice in the picture below, that the numbers face the direction of play; so not to be confused with a distance indication for #17.

Speaking of cart paths, now that rain has become more frequent, the low areas adjacent to the carts paths have become very soft.  Please avoid merging on and off the path around any areas that are muddy or wet; otherwise, damage will occur, similar to what is pictured below.  Also, when on the cart path, always drive in the middle with four tires on it at all times.

Lastly, when playing your next shot or putting on the green, please keep your cigars and drinks in your cart.  Pictured below, are examples of how a spilled alcoholic drink (left) and a cigar burn (right) can kill bentgrass.



All cooperation is appreciated. Thanks!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

A Perfect Season of PGA Jr League Play for GBCC!



GBCC defeated Oneida and Thornberry Creek on July 23rd to cap off a perfect season! 

Four GBCC Juniors will now be on the Green Bay All-Star team which plays on Sunday, August 19th at Mascoutin in Berlin, WI to try and advance to the WI Finals at University Ridge on August 26th.

Congrats to Team GBCC! In the four year history of PGA Junior League play, GBCC  now has three undefeated seasons!


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Grace Durkin Dominates WPGA Jr Tour



Grace Durkin, a golfer in our Youth Golf Academy program, has had a fun week playing in WPGA Jr Tour events.

On Monday, Grace shot an 86 to win the 12-13 year old division and finish 2nd overall in an event at Brown County Golf Course. Last week, Grace finished 2nd at Rolling Meadows in Fond du lac with a score of 89 and lost only in a playoff for first. Grace also recorded 2nd place finishes at Grand View and Horseshoe Bay GC in WPGA events in the past 2 weeks. 


Grace won the WPGA Futures Tour event on July 24th at Thornberry Creek shooting a 42. She is tied for 7th in Player of the Year points for the Futures Tour. 

Congratulations Grace on an outstanding couple of weeks of tournament play! 

Hole in One!


Congratulations Tom Laatsch! Tom hit a hole in one on July 19th at Hole 8, from 127 yards, using a hybrid. 

Way to go!

Check out a flyover of #8 below:

Friday, July 20, 2018

A Matter of Course: The Sink Hole at the Intersection of #6 & #7

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Many of you have driven past the sink hole (pictured below), located at the intersection at #6 tee and #7, wondering where it came from.


Upon further investigation the Grounds Department discovered that it was caused by a clogged drain line, on the west side of the cart path. The clog started with the adjacent cottonwood roots penetrating and growing inside the pipe (pictured below).  


From there, the water would slowly drain through the root mass leaving behind silt and minerals causing hard deposits inside the pipes (seen below). 


Once flow was completely halted from continuous deposits, the water had no choice but to back up and push through the ground, causing the sink hole.  This past week, the Grounds Crew replaced approximately 100 ft. of drainage pipe to rectify the clogged drain line.


Now, all neighboring drain lines will be ready to drain for our next heavy rainstorm…..whenever that will be.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hole in One!








Congratulations Jake Schmahl! Jake hit a hole in one on Friday 7-13 on Hole 8, 140 yards, using a gap wedge during the Hawk Member Guest Tournament!


Friday, June 29, 2018

A Matter of Course: Cultural Practices to Beat the Heat

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen 

The weather this past weekend was hot and humid; and is forecasted to continue all this week.  What will this long stretch of heat do to the turf………?  In general, turf goes through two different processes, photosynthesis and photorespiration.  Photosynthesis (energy production) is beneficial to the turf and its optimal production ranges from 68 °F to 77 °F.  Photorespiration occurs during hot weather (especially temperatures > 87 °F) and has a negative impact on the turf because it has trouble capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce energy.  Furthermore, when photorespiration occurs instead of photosynthesis, the plant will use stored energy instead of making new energy.  Once that stored energy is depleted, the turf will not grow (roots or shoots); which can lead to a decline in turf quality.  On a positive note, this past week the Grounds Crew performed some preventative cultural practices for turf decline.  The healthier the turf is going into the heat, the better it will survive and recover.

Verticutting and topdressing have their playability benefits providing true and firm putting surfaces; but they have turf health benefits as well.  Verticutting (seen below) not only removes thatch but it also cuts any laying down or “grainy” turf, resulting in the leaf blades standing up.  We want the leaf blades to stand up because it creates denser and healthier turf.


Light topdressing (seen below) provides protection from summer stresses by covering the turf’s crown (mainly from the sun and traffic), and promoting topical drainage (prevents the turf from burning in surface water).


Verticutting and topdressing are ongoing practices that are performed throughout the golf season, but the most important practice we completed is venting/aerifying.  Venting and aerifying are basically the same thing but the difference is in the size of the tine.  We vented the greens with a small ¼” tine (seen below) that is visibly gone after a couple days.


Venting is performed every 4-6 weeks, dependent on the weather.  This practice was necessary for four main reasons:
  • Rooting
  • Oxygen Exchange
  • Soil Temperature Cooling
  • Water Percolation

We aerified our fairways with a 5/8” tine (seen below) which may take a little longer to heal but leaves the fairways playable after one mowing.  We chose to aerify fairways for the same reasons listed above; plus we have not aerified the fairways, yet, this year.



Other practices the Grounds Crew will be doing during this hot temperature stretch:
  • Light irrigation waterings on wilted turf – overwatering will cook the turf and/or promote disease inoculation
  • Monitor frequency of mowing and rolling – not wanting to injure the turf past the point of recovery
  • Spray phosphites – fertilizer that strengthens turf and prevents diseases


Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Matter of Course: When It Rains, It Pours

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Prior to last week’s rain storms, GBCC had only received 1.2” of rain over the past month. After the rain ceased on Tuesday, June 19th, GBCC had received 4.6” of rain over 5 days; not to mention, 2.75” came Monday morning, causing the course to flood and become unplayable.

Notice how the bridge on the left-side washed away and was hung up on the bridge on the right-side.

This past week, the Grounds Crew spent most of the week cleaning up debris, restoring the course and catching up on mowing. Below is a before and after of #3 and #17 showing the terrific job the Grounds Crew did on bringing course conditions back to where they were prior to the storm.




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Message of Introduction from Director of Golf, Scott Pansch



GBCC Members:

As I begin to settle into my new role as Director of Golf, I would like to thank you all for your warm welcome to GBCC. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind, but I am beginning to settle in. Thank you to all who have stopped by the Golf Shop to say hello and I look forward to meeting the rest of you soon. For those of you who winter down south, I wish you safe travels back home to Wisconsin.

Scott Family.jpgMy wife Christina is still in Minnesota working diligently to get our house on the market. Mother Nature is certainly not helping this process! We are hoping for a quick sale and her arrival to Green Bay sometime in May or June. We will then start our search for our new home here. I certainly miss her and our dog Cooper and I am looking forward to starting the next chapter in our lives here in Green Bay.

With the approaching golf season, I would like to take this opportunity to not only introduce myself and my family, but also to outline my core beliefs and what to expect regarding the Golf Operation.

TEAM & PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT
We respect one another while empowering each team member to become successful personally and professionally. We will challenge each other to make the most of each day by continually striving to raise the bar. We will be a personable, accessible and friendly staff that operates with a service-filled heart.

TOURNAMENT OPERATIONS
As a member of our staff, I am committed to administering a first-class tournament program that meets the goals and initiatives of the Golf Committee. My attention to detail and focus on executing the perfect event will provide the club with an unparalleled golf experience that grows relationships in a fun and competitive environment for players of all ability levels.

MERCHANDISING
My involvements in operating merchandising programs have taught me to treat them as an amenity to its membership while being fiscally responsible. Service is the foundation of every shopping experience. I will supply our membership and their guests with personalized and knowledgeable service on all products stocked within the Golf Shop.

INSTRUCTION
My experiences as an instructor have afforded me a wealth of teaching knowledge. I will promote an environment that engages players of all abilities to improve their skills and passion for the game in private and clinic settings.

WOMEN’S GOLFIn the past, I have had success creating a welcoming environment that promotes participation for players of all ability levels. I will work with our Women’s Golf Committee to uphold a schedule of events that promotes lifelong friendships that grow the game while offering competitive opportunities.

OUTSIDE SERVICES
As one of the most visible aspects of any golf operation, it is arguably the most important. My passion to work with others will help ensure members and guests will be greeted and welcomed by enthusiastic and proactive staff that anticipates and recognizes member preferences through the use of clear and consistent communication.

I am looking forward to seeing you all soon and starting a wonderful golf season.

Fairways & Greens!

Scott Pansch
Director of Golf
Green Bay Country Club


Friday, April 13, 2018

A Matter of Course: Course & Weather Update

Have we skipped spring this year...???  The calendar tells us it’s spring, but the weather says otherwise.
Picture was taken April 4th

This April, the record weather events seem to be surrounding us:
  • Most snow in April in the last 108 years: With the forecasted rain/snow this weekend, we may reach a record of most snow in April. 
  • Second coldest temperature recorded in April at 9 degrees 
  • Latest spring recorded date reaching 9 degrees on April 8th 
  • Accumulated more snow than previous months this past winter: 
    • April (so far) – 12.5”  
    • March – 7” 
    • February – 6.7” 
    • January – 5.1”
    • December – 12”
Photo from WISN Meteorologist, Mark Baden.

With all factors mentioned above, current conditions, and future forecast; there is no set opening date. Once the snow clears, the frost lifts and temperatures stay above freezing; the Grounds Crew will be out working vigorously to open the golf course. Thank you all for your patience and watch your emails for any updates.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Tennis Tip: 'Defensive Lobs' Great for Doubles Play

By GBCC Director of Tennis, Rob LeBuhn

The defensive lob in tennis is one of the most important shots at the club level, especially in doubles. Most players do not have the skill or movement to execute overhead winners with ease and consistency.  World class professionals and strong college players may even struggle to put a good lob away. Master your lob skills and your opponents will be forced to compete at a high level just to stay in the match with you.

Here is a checklist for the defensive lob:

  • Continental grip
  • Prepare to the heights of contact point
  • Head still
  • Short or no backswing
  • Long smooth follow through
  • 45 degree contact point
  • The closer you are to the net the great the angle of contact point
  • Full pivot to execute backhands
  • Smaller pivot to execute forehands. 
  • Balance is a plus

Once you master the defensive lob, your partners will have an easier time competing with you.  You will give them time to recover and help them feel safer as well.  You will also frustrate very good opponents who will have to restart the point. The wind can also be a helper.

Best on the Courts!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Green Bay Country Club Named a Top 100 Club Fitter

Green Bay Country Club was named to Ping's Top 100 Club Fitter List, the only golf facility named to the list in the state of Wisconsin. PING’s Top 100 list recognizes those who demonstrate the highest commitment to custom fitting and promoting its benefits to golfers of all abilities. 

Top 100 honorees were saluted for their expertise in fitting those who’ve been through the process before, and for helping grow the game by fitting players who’ve never been fit, demonstrating what’s possible.

“We have a mountain of empirical evidence from tens of thousands of fittings over the years proving that properly fit PING equipment makes a measurable difference in a golfer’s ability to hit the ball consistently better and post lower scores,” said John K. Solheim, PING President. “Our Fitters of the Year see it every day in the smiles they bring to people’s faces as golfers watch shot after shot sail into the distance with the correct clubs in their hands. A PING fitting, with its unmatched level of detail, unlocks a player’s true potential. The fitter’s objective is simple: to make the game easier so the player has more success and enjoys the game more.”

“We’re delighted that so many PING-authorized custom-fitting facilities, large and small, across the nation, are providing a superior service so golfers can get the most from their game,” Solheim said. “These fitters emphasize to their customers that it’s about hitting quality shot after quality shot during the fitting. A single shot should not be the basis for making a buying decision. The goal of the fitting is to consistently hit shots that are long and straight that have the proper ball flight while achieving the tightest dispersion patterns. Once a player does that, their confidence goes up and their scores come down.”

Friday, March 9, 2018

A Matter of Course: March 2018 Update

 Photo taken 3/7/2018 on the Quarry Course
By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Does late-winter snowfall harm or kill the turf?  Much depends upon whether the turf has broken dormancy.  If the turf has broken dormancy, then snow can act as an insulator/microclimate for snow mold development.  If the turf has not broken dormancy, then there is a decreased chance for snow mold but the snow acts as an insulator, which will slow the defrosting process in the soil.  At GBCC, because we have not broken dormancy, we are most likely not in any harm on our playable surfaces for a snow mold outbreak; but could delay the soil defrosting process.

Contrary to the photo above, we have been below the yearly average for snowfall.  Seen below from Green Bay’s NOAA, is a comparison from this year’s winter to the average: temperature, precipitation and snowfall.

The red circles signify our normal weather trends for temperature and rain this winter.  The yellow circle signifies the below normal amount of snow accumulated this winter, 12”.

Prior to last week’s snowfall, when the course was exposed, I am pleased to report that there was no winter turf kill; however, we are not out of the woods, yet. Although the threat of desiccation and low-temperature kill is low, there is still a threat of water crown hydration.

Water crown hydration can happen when temperatures increase, the plant starts to uptake water and breaks dormancy.  From there, the damage occurs when temperatures go below freezing, while the plant is growing, causing cell rupture in the crown, resulting in turf kill.  With the forecast reaching low 40s during the day and mid 20s at night; those are perfect conditions for water crown hydration.  However, because of the predominate population of bentgrass, it takes a longer warming tend to break dormancy.  Plus, bentgrass has a high tolerance of water crown hydration.  In fact, water crown hydration may be a positive; because of poa annua’s high susceptibility to water crown hydration, it could aid in the elimination of our course’s small poa annua population.

Overall, this winter has been ideal for the Grounds Department to complete outside projects when warm and inside projects when cold/snowy.  Below are just some of the winter projects completed:


Refurbishing all golf course supplies, including: rakes,
ball washers, benches and tee markers.

Refurbished Ballwashers

Repaired/Renovated/Replaced areas around the Clubhouse
and Sport Center, such as this wine cooler.


  • Attended regional and national seminars and trade shows 
  • Pruned trees and shrubs on the golf course and club grounds
  • Re-organized numerous documents and data records from the 2017 season; in order to make 2018 better
  • Removed dead/dying trees
  • Removed brush
  • Removed Snow – Hopefully Completed
  • Reconditioned all golf course maintenance equipment for the 2018 season – 90% Completed

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Green Bay Country Club Hires General Manager

-- Addition of the GM Position is a First in the Club’s 23-Year History --

(February 27th, 2018, Green Bay, Wis.) Green Bay Country Club, Green Bay’s only member-owned and operated country club, added the position of general manager to the Club’s management team. Stefan Sperlich was appointed to the position effective February 19th.

This is the first time the Club has had a general manager in their 23 year history. In recent years, the Club has been named a Certified Audubon Golf Course and Top 50 Private Practice Facility in the United States. GBCC leaders indicated that they added the position to build on the success of recent accomplishments.

“We were impressed to hear the vision Stefan has for GBCC,” commented Club President Dr. Paul Summerside, MD. “Stefan plans to enhance the overall membership experience in each area of our operations, as well as enhancing our reputation as a club within the Green Bay and greater Wisconsin community. Further, we believe that he will help us make GBCC a true ‘employer of choice’ as part of his efforts on our behalf.”

Sperlich’s most recent position was the general manager of Edgewood Valley Country Club in LaGrange, IL. He previously served as the GM of Prestwick Country Club in Frankfort, IL. He is a graduate of the well-respected Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University where he received a BS Degree in Business Management, specializing in Private Club Operations. He got his start in club management at The World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida and at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

About Green Bay Country Club 
Green Bay Country Club, established in 1995, is the epitome of what a country club should be: a fun, friendly, comfortable golf and tennis facility where everyone feels special. Our nationally recognized 18-hole course, designed by Dick Nugent, challenges players of every level. It's the kind of course you'll want to play again and again as you strive to master all of its nuances. We offer a full calendar of exclusive events, both on and off the course, creating a congenial atmosphere in which to meet and socialize with fellow club members. Our two full-service clubhouses, with their wide range of amenities, enhance your overall club experience. We are member-owned and operated; all regular members have voting privileges. An elected Board of Directors, composed of members, sets, maintains and enforces our standards of excellence. To learn more, please go to www.greenbaycountryclub.com.



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
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