Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Update

The start of our winter has not been ideal.
We do not have much snow cover; if any in some areas.
We had several warm-ups that have cause some ice accumulations on the putting greens. Most of the ice is very porous but some is solid and black; the kind that does present problems. Ice becomes a duration issue meaning the longer it is on your putting surface, the worse the winter kill becomes. This ice formed in mid-December, we have a long winter to go, not a favorable situation.
Our best springs come after we get a thick blanket of snow early that stays all winter.
Some may say: why not just go out and remove the ice?
We have done this in the past; when ice was thick, solid and black on the entire green surface. If you just have pockets of ice on the surface, removal will cause more mechanical damage to the surface than good. Not to mention I am the only one on staff over the winter months, hard to do with one person.

Friday, December 9, 2011

2011 ReCap

2011 - A challenge

It was another very dry year as June-July-August was the driest on record.
Once again we became so limited with water on the Heritage course that we had to stop irrigating the fairways in-order to save enough water for the Greens-Tees.
(The Orianna Creek provides us around 60,000 gallons a day during dry periods in the summer. That is about half of what we need to irrigate the Greens-Tees in one night. To irrigate all Greens-Tees-Fwys on the Heritage with a full program it takes about 340,000 gallons.)
The new retro-fit controls we had installed in the Heritage pump-station worked very well. The pump-station malfunctions were far fewer than the past; the ones we did have were pump issues that we repaired in-house. Our water tracking is now wonderful, something that is very critical when operating on a limited supply.

A frog climbed between two capacitor terminals on one of our VFD’s in the Greywalls pump-station in May. The frog was nuked, our drive fried and we had to pull the pump out of the wet well to repair melted wire connections (which means we had to pull the roof off the pump-house to lift it out). Our distance from the repair shop and their inability to repair the drive three different times had us operating with only one irrigation pump on Greywalls all summer.
After the drive was installed for the third time (after repairs were made) and still did not work, we received a brand new drive at cost and did not pay any repair charges. By this time it was September and our big irrigation months (June-July-Aug.) were over.

The wind storm in early October added another little surprise for us to deal with. We had about 30 trees that had to be clean-up right away so the course could open and the rest we worked on as time allowed. Some will have to be finished up next year.

- I had seven employees leave early for various reasons. (Some were finished with college and got full time jobs others decided to just leave and go back to school early)
- Garry was out for a month with heart surgery and was limited before and after the operation. He is feeling better now and his health is improving.
- Several employees were on extended leave for personal issues.
- My Assistant Scot Haynes took another job at PGA West. This was a great opportunity for him to further his career so he also left early to move out and start that position.
This was all on top of the fact that we started with staff levels lower than ever. Needless to say this was the most challenging year I have ever had trying to get everything completed because we just did not have the bodies.

One major positive this year was the Lastec 4520 purchase we made to maintain the rough on the Heritage golf course. This unit provided a new level of efficiency while mowing the rough and allowed us to achieve our mowing needs with less labor. This one mower completed in 2.5 days what two of our older mowers did in 4 days. When you factor in the fuel, labor and maintenance savings this unit pays for itself.

The Grounds Blog continues to be a very helpful communication tool. It is loaded with information about the grounds department; from our maintenance standards manual to information on the MTESP program. I also write updates about our activities on the grounds.
If you want to know something about the grounds look on the blog and you might find the answer.

The Bluebird program we started has been a complete success. We had nesting pairs in most of the boxes. In previous years we were happy to see a couple all season while one morning this year I counted 6 pairs flying together. There are still several areas I could add some more boxes and I hope to do so next year.
We also added some additional bird boxes in the interior woods between the courses to provide nesting sites for other birds.
In addition to the bird houses we also made some bat houses. We did not see any bats in them this season but from what I read it can take a couple years.
We made all of these houses out of scrap wood I had at my house left over from home projects.

In addition to the birds the rest of the wildlife around the course continues to be awesome. The albino deer was back this season, we saw a bear on the course, we had a territorial grouse staking claim on Greywalls, we had a bobcat and a fox hanging out on the Heritage and there were even some reports of the cougar again this year.

The new Greywalls non-motorized Trail around the course is spectacular. This trail is part of the Noquemanon red trail and connects the Township trail to the Heartland Forest trails. Everyone I talk to while on the trail says it is the best section on the entire trail and they can’t believe how good it is.

The short course (MGCHSC) we created on the Heritage was utilized by many younger families during the evening hours. I hope it becomes an even more popular option next year.

Myself and the entire grounds staff would like to thank Pete Belpedio for giving us a monetary donation this summer so we could have a party. We used the money to get pizzas from the clubhouse, party trays and beverages from Econo then had our fun afternoon at the Greywalls shop. Thanks Pete!

It amazes me how every year I seem to learn much more about ‘how to do things better’ or just ‘different’. Without problems to force oneself into an unknown situation, little would ever change. It is the challenges and changes in this job that creates situation for us to become better and more efficient at what we do.
I am really looking forward to next season and the challenges it brings.

Craig Moore
Marquette Golf Club Superintendent

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November is now behind us and the course still does not have that nice blanket of snow. Several minor snow events came, but they just melted off with-in a week. A snow dusting last night did not provide much. Still waiting for that first major snow to cover the course.

For the winter months ahead I will be on snow removal duty, cleaning/organizing both shops and finalizing all of the record keeping and paperwork done during the season. I will then move onto mechanical work, reel grinding and complete the painting/sealing of our course supplies and signs.
Along the way, I also hope to make some improvements to the blog this winter.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It is official, snow is falling at MGC! All of the odds and ends will be finished up this week then it will be off to deer camp for the crew :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scot Haynes, my Assistant for the last two season running the day-to-day on the Heritage course, has taken a new job in California at PGA West.
Scot started the long drive out to his new position today. This is a great opportunity for Scot to furter his career as it will fit very well with his personality and work ethic.
Good Luck Scot!
The Heritage course is now closed for the season.
The next two weeks we will prepare these turf surfaces for the Winter ahead.
I hope everyone enjoyed the Heritage course this past dry summer!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Supplies are now being hauled off the course on Greywalls and then the turf will be prepared for winter and that irrigation system will be winterized. I hope everyone enjoyed the 2011 season on Greywalls.

The Heritage will be open until the 31st, then we will have to prepare those surfaces for the winter month.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Heritage Irrigation winterization/blowout is now going into day three. It is taking us a little longer this year because we had to use a 185cfm compressor this year; the 375cfm we have been using was out on a long term rental.
To complete the Greywalls system winterization/blowout, we have to use an 825cfm compressor in order to have enough volume to get up to and back to the front nine from the hook up port at our pumphouse.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What a great week of weather!! Upper 70's during the first week of October is fantastic!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

With the poor weather last week we were forced to move Tee aerification on Greywalls to this week.
We completed the Back nine tees today and will do the Front nine tees tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a back nine start on the Greywalls course so we can complete the process.

Our first snowmold fungicide application on the Greens occured yesterday on Greywalls and will happen tomorrow on the Heritage course. This application will keep them clean of disease until we make our final application after we close for the season.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

wind storm

The great wind storm we had last Thurs. night took out 25 trees (uprooted many of them) and left us with no power for 3 days at the club. It was interesting.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NGLGCSA crew players

Our crew participants (minus Bill Kiple who had to leave a little early)
Top Row:Bruce Lofland, Ryan Thill, Myself, Ryan Daust, Andy McCormick, Dennis Kargela
Bottom Row:Scott Hudson, Scot Haynes, Clay Lamere

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


It is Official, team MGC #1 just defended our home turf and won the NGLGCSA crew tournament!!!!!!

Myself, Dennis Kargela, Andy McCormick and Ryan Daust played lights out golf to shoot a (-13)58 in the heavy fog where visibility was about 50 to 70 yards.

When we started I thought a 6 under round might win the event with our given climatic conditions but we made every makeable putt today. Congrats guys, a job well done!!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grounds Fall Schedule

Fall Maintenance Schedule of events

Sept. 27th - NGLGCSA Crew outing on Greywalls
Sept. 28th - Aerify back nine Tees Greywalls
Sept. 29th - Aerify Front nine Tees Greywalls
Oct. 3rd until done - Fescue mow down on Greywalls
Oct. 10th, 11th, 12th - Heritage Irrigation winterization/Blowout
Oct. 16th - Last Day Greywalls is Open
Oct. 17th until done - Put Greywalls course to bed for the winter
Oct. 24th, 25th - Greywalls Irrigation winterization/Blowout
Oct. 31st - Last Day Heritage is Open
Nov. 1st until done - Put Heritage to bed for the winter

Monday, September 19, 2011

Aerification of the Heritage Tees was completed today along with Vertical mowing of the Greens.
The cores left on the tees will be cleaned off tomorrow by vertical mowing (to break them up) and blowers to remove the debris.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Our first Big Frost of the Fall this morning. More are sure to follow.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cooler weather and a little bit of rain, our turf is happier now!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Many of you I am sure have notice the bird houses Scot and I built this winter and put out around the course. I donated the wood and my time for this project because I really wanted to help the Bluebird population in our area. Open fields make a golf course an ideal habitat for these birds. The program was a complete success as our blue bird population exploded!!

As you see in the picture above, it becomes difficult for birds to nest in these boxes when they are vandalized. Please help us and our wonderful ecosystem by just enjoying the beauty of these birds with their bug eating habits. Actions like these are counter productive and disheartening.

Topdressing date change

We were scheduled to topdress the Heritage golf course on Monday but that date has been moved to monday Sept. 19th. This change was due to an equipment failure on our topdressing vehicle this past monday when topdressing Greywalls. We are still waiting on the repair part and should be able to have it fixed next week after it arrives.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We Topdressed the Greywalls greens yesterday and it went very well.

I followed up the Topdressing process with a spray application to eliminate the fairy ring growing on the greens. I have been watching the fairy ring progress on the greens for the last three months. The rings and localized dry spots have been a battle and we were masking the effects with wetting agent applications and solid tine aerification. The fungal growth was to the point of mushroom growth through the turf canopy last week and a curative application was needed.

We also started the Native/fescue mow down yesterday on the Heritage golf course. I wanted to get to these areas a few weeks early this year so we can blow leaves into or through them when they begin to fall. We may even be able to mulch up these areas again in late fall.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Winerization of the courses

This time of year I always get many questions about when the course will close for the season. So I figured I would sum things up a little for everyone.

We close the Greywalls course first so we can get it all winterized for our long snowy season and then we move the process over to the Heritage and do the same.
This usually takes place the first to third week of October on Greywalls and the end of October/early November on the Heritage.
BUT it all depends on the weather forecast.
The last thing we want to do is risk running out of time and not getting everything done before the snow falls. If it snows before we finish, there is nothing we can do and conditions the following spring and early summer will not be good. We must play it safe or we will all be sorry!
During this time we winterize the irrigation systems, spray preventative fungicides on the turf, haul in all course supplies, snow fence off wind blown areas, spread organic milorganite on the greens, detail clean and winterize all of our equipment, topdress the greens with a very heavy rate of sand for plant crown protection and rope off all of the greens to prevent damage from human winter activities.
After all of these tasks are complete, the staff is laid off for the winter and my shop work begins. I start the winter long process of grinding all of the reels and rebuilding what needs to be rebuilt. I also get the plow on the work truck to plow the course lots and driveways everytime it snows. I prepare for the next season by setting up supply delivery dates, attend educational seminars and I get all of the paper work prepared for the upcoming season. The most enjoyable part of my winter work schedule is strapping on the snow shoes a couple times a week to monitor winter conditions; so we know what to expect in the spring.

Enjoy the rest of the season as September is the best month for golf in the UP!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


We are once again up and running with two pumps on the Greywalls irrigation system and the Heritage pumps are working well now after re-packing the end shafts.
So you know what was going to happen at that point......rain of course. We received .35" of rain yesterday evening and it was the best rain in 3 month (not mist but actual rain!)
Your Crew is happy now :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Friday we got .2" of rain that was much needed and we will take it. We were really praying for more but once again the bulk of the rain went to our south. We are building up our water supply in the Heritage pond now, so we can start to irrigate again this week.

The Greywalls irrigation pump drive should be installed this week and we will be back to full pump ability, this after going all summer with only one pump (it has not been an easy year).
We lost some turf on our Greywalls approaches, in the areas that have bentgrass encroachment from seed spill/contamination during the construction process. This turf loss was due to drought and excessive thatch; which does not allow water movement down to the roots. We already solid tine aerified the approaches and we will be doing some over seeding in those areas in the coming weeks. The long term solution to this propblem is more vertical mowing of the approaches; which is very difficult to do with our equipment limitations, amount of heavy play and staff level.

We will be doing some solid tine aerification to the Heritage Fairways this week.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Heritage water crisis

We officially reached our 'no more pumping level' while trying to irrigate the Heritage course Sunday night. The Heritage irrigation pond level was around 110" this spring and is now below 60".
The pond level is now so low the pumps will not come on until it rises, which means we need rain BAD and lots of it to fill up our pond. It has been 2.5 months since we have recieved a rainfall that creates enough runoff to fill the retention area. Isolated showers this time of year always seem to miss us.
The Orianna retention area (our lower pond) is only providing us with about 60,000 gallon a day, not even enough to run a full green and tee program.
Vertical mowing and Topdressing the greens went smooth on Greywalls yesterday, considering we only have five staff members and still have to maintain other parts of the course.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Well another night of '80% chance of rain' has come and gone with no rain at MGC. The micro-climate over this place is brutal.

The UPGA Championship went very well and I would like to thank my staff for doing a great job.

I solid tine aerified #8 green on Greywalls this morning and overseeded the thinner areas on that green, which have once again fallen victim to traffic wear and compaction.
We will be verti-cutting and Topdressing the Greywalls course on Monday.

Friday, August 12, 2011

PGA Championship

Reading about the 'Mower mishap' at the PGA Championship I came across a few comments that Phil Mickelson had to say about the resent overhaul of AAC by the "Open Doctor" Rees Jones............

Phil Mickelson, no fan of course designer Rees Jones, took a roundabout way of criticizing the Highlands layout that Jones rejiggered for the tournament.
Mickelson gave it a thumbs-up for the pros but said its difficulty deters Atlanta Athletic Club members from taking it on.
“When you put water in front and bunkers in the back, you give the players no vehicle for running a shot up,” Mickelson said. “That’s why participation on this golf course is down 25 percent. The guy who did this one, you know, it’s great for the championship but it’s not great for the membership.”
Phil Mickelson left the Atlanta Athletic Club Course with few good things to say about it after his first-round 71. “It was a fun course,” Mickelson said, referring to it before major renovations. “Now it’s just a long, hard course. It’s not fun, it’s not great, it’s just long and hard.”

Great points made by one of our countries great Golfers. These monster courses the Pros play are no good for regular golfers, yet for some reason what people see on TV is what they desire at their own home course. The length is to much for 99% of us who play the game and the strategy of golf is taken away during most of these renovation. The green speeds are so fast it makes any green with contours and interest become unplayable.
What golf needs in a course is variety and variety comes in the form of options on a golf course. No one plays the same game or hits shots with the same trajectory thus different ways of attacking a pin should always be present on the majority of your golf holes. If this is done golf will be more interesting and playable to the masses and many more will enjoy the game.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Another attack from an angry golfer. In fact we had two yesterday, one on the Heritage and one on Greywalls. We are up to 21 divots taken out of our putting surfaces this year.

I will never understand.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Good luck to all of our members playing in the UP's this week. I hope one of you can defend your home course and capture the crown.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Divots on Greens

We are really having an issue with Divots taken out of our putting surfaces this year.

I wish people would take more pride in this place.

We have more work than our small crew can handle with just the basic maintenance, we don't need more.

Topdressing on Heritage

We verticut and topdressed the Heritage Greens yesterday. The process went very well as we were able to finish ahead of schedule and open up for play an hour early.

A much needed moisture front is working its way over us right now, we need it in the worst of ways because it has been very hot and dry. An all day soaker would be wonderful for both golf courses.

We had to repair the intake pipe for the Heritage pond fill pump yesterday because a coupling came loose. Today we will be taking one of the Heritage main pump intakes out because something is restricting the flow, which causes the pump to over heat and shut down.

We still only have one main pump on Greywalls as the VFD is still getting repaired. Our distance from the repair shops really makes this a long process, plus our service company has a lot of territory to cover making scheduling a trip up North difficult at times.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A message from the R&A website

I just came across this on the R&A website and I think it is fantastic. It is all about playability of a playing surface for a game.

Playing Performance
"A high-level of playing performance offers challenge and enjoyment through natural variability of weather and season." - R&A Director of Golf Course Management, Steve Isaac.
Firm, dry and healthy surfaces produce the most consistent playing conditions for a fair and desirable, yet challenging, test of golf on greens and fairways, regardless of the visual appearance of the turf. Smoothness and trueness are key qualities of consistent and reliable putting surfaces.
Excessive expenditure on irrigation and fertilisers will produce soft, wet and unhealthy turf, which is prone to climatic stress and susceptible to attack by diseases and pests. This kind of high-input approach will prove both very labour-intensive and costly. It also results in the rapid accumulation of organic matter; the management of which is disruptive to play and stressful for turf.
The optimum conditions for playing performance are most easily established during the design and construction phase of a golf course. For existing courses that wish to improve their levels of playing performance, an effective ongoing turf management plan, based on best practice, will deliver the desired result.
Achieving and maintaining high levels of playing performance will meet the expectations of your members and customers, while also ensuring that the course is open for play for as much of the year as possible. To assess performance, your business will benefit from keeping records such as number of rounds played, days of green and course closure, and dominant grass types to greens and fairways.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Heat is on!

Animal conspiracy theory- the animals are fighting back…….
We have a very aggressive grouse that feels Greywalls is its home and no one else should be out there. It attacked several people on # 4 last Friday and has now taken a dislike to your grounds staff. We had a run in with it yesterday on # 7 tee and again this morning behind # 8 green. If you encounter this irritated bird, I recommend backing down first but by all means defend yourself if it flies at you. We will continue to seek out and humanly deal with this bird in the mornings.

Scot and the crew have been repairing the cart path on #6 Heritage through the gully this week. Over the last few years it has really started to erode and was becoming a concern. The Heritage course is looking great and I thank the guys for doing some fine work during this warm spell we are under.

Many of you might have noticed that we have been doing some aerification and vertical mowing on Greywalls, with our limited pumping capacity (because we still only have one operational pump) we are developing some pretty good localized dry spots (LDS). These areas of soil become hydrophobic and are not easy to re-wet after drying out. The best cultural/mechanical solution is to do some solid tine aerification and/or vertical mowing, this allows water to penetrate the surface and get down to the roots where we need it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh Summer

Summer is indeed here with high temperatures and humidity providing the proof.
We finally received some much needed rain this week and it could not have come at a better time; we were almost out of water on the Heritage and only one operational pump at Greywalls was leaving us on the drier than our normal dry side.

Summer is indeed our most stressful time on the golf course, not only are the environmental stresses very high but it is also when the factory is roaring at full throttle and golf carts cover the playing field. While golf carts are needed to help many golfers play the game they also create additional stresses to our turfgrass most notably being compaction.

In an effort to lesson the stress on our golf course I ask everyone to please use common sense and follow some simple rules while operating a golf carts around the course…

-During dry times avoid brown areas of grass and drive on green grass only. I know some of our browner areas are hard to avoid this time of year but please do your best. I am sure you have all noticed the thousands of burned tire tracks through these areas. This happens when the unknowing drive through these areas during an afternoon round of golf; when the surface has dried out and the plants are at their wilting point.

-During wet times avoid saturated areas. Driving through these areas will compact the soil immensely and can even cause tire ruts.

-Follow all ropes and directional stakes as they are there to spread out the wear or eliminate wear in areas of high priority or stress.

-Brake easy and turn easy, this one is self evident.

One other side note.... to the individual who obviously has a putting issue and finds it necessary to rip divots out of the putting surface (as if it’s the grasses fault)….. Our wonderful teaching pros Marc or Mike are available for lessons, please give them a call.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heat wave

Over the weekend it was hot, humid and the air was filled with rain/thunder storms yet we only got a few drops out of the deal at the course. It is amazing how the lake creates a bubble around us in the summer.
We had the Greywalls irrigation pump pulled out yesterday. We discovered water inside the wires; so the repair looks like it might be quicker and cheaper than we thought. My fingers are crossed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer golf

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer that just arrived!! Both golf courses are playing great right now as they have dried out and the ball is rolling well for added enjoyment.

The bad Greywalls irrigation pump is being pulled out on Monday to be evaluated and repaired. We are still looking at another 2-3 weeks before we are irrigating at full capacity again. Until then we will try to keep up by hand watering areas or running some extra cycles in the morning, which is very time consuming for myself and my very small staff.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Celebrity Classic

We hosted the Celebrity Classic on Thurs. and it was a great success. Over $100K was raised for the Beacon House.
I would like to thank my grounds staff for the wonderful job they did all week. We had to step it up a knotch in order to get 5 days worth of tasks done in 3.5 days. Joey Ballgame and Super Dave from the Heritage staff came over to Greywalls on Thurs. morning to lend the GW crew a helping hand. It was the single best daily performance I have ever had from any crew and equipment; as we had no mechanical failures and everyone stayed focused on grooming the course by 10 am.
I would also like to say thank you to the clubhouse and proshop staff. Both of those departments also did a wonderful job. Everyone I talked to during and after the event said it was the best run operation they had seen.
We should all be very proud, MGC represented well as we impressed everyone.

Monday, June 27, 2011

GW Irrigation

The good news is we got our VFD (pump drive) back from the repair shop and installed again. A frog somehow got into the case and shorted out the terminals. He not only caused the breakdown of our VFD but also caused his own quick death.
The bad news is when we hooked up the VFD and tested it, we found out the pump will only run to about 50% before it shuts down. So now I need to get a well driller in to pull the 50hp pump out of our wet well to address it.
Oh what a frog can do!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wet Grounds

After this week I feel we live in the rain forest.
We received another 2.5 inches yesterday and the courses are very wet. Damage will occur to the golf course when excessive cart traffic follows saturated conditions; as compaction of the soil is high and rutting of the turf can happen if care is not given while driving around.
Most importantly driving on wet turf becomes a very dangerous situation especially on our Greywalls course. Once a cart lets loose and starts to slide on those hills it won't stop until the bottom or worse yet it can tip over. So a reminder to everyone, please drive with care and keep your cart off hills, on the path or in the rough as much as you can.
70 and sunny starting this weekend.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rough on the Heritage

Our new Lastec rough mower will be here on Friday. We are very excited to get this unit because it will reduce our fuel consumption in half on days we mow rough, but the big plus is in it's mowing efficiency. It is so maneuverable and quick that we should be able to mow the rough in 2-3 days; leaving us time to do other tasks or mow it twice a week if it continues to grow at its rapid pace. This single mower will replace our two older mowers that spent as much time in the shop as they did out in the field.
This new Lastec rough unit will greatly improve the playability of our primary rough on the Heritage golf course.

Monday, June 13, 2011

T.D. Greywalls

Topdressing the Greywalls greens went very well today. The sand dried out quickly after sunrise and drug-in very well.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Our resident turkey came out to help my Dad and I putt out on #16 Weds. night.

This one is far from shy as it likes to watch us work in the mornings.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pump failure

The Greywall Irrigation pumpstaion crashed over the weekend. I was able to get the jockey pump up and going, but that only allows us to turn on two heads at a time or hand water plus it overloads and shuts down after 30 or so minutes of continuous running.
Our Reinders pumpstaion repair man came yesterday and we were able to get one of the 50hp larger pumps working again. The other pump will be down for some time because we had to remove the pump drive or VFD; as it blew up and sprayed oil all over. The VFD is on its way down to Milwaukee to be assessed and hopfully repaired.
What does this mean?.....Running one pump instead of two drops our max. pumping rate to 400 gpm so it will take us twice as long to irrigate the golf course. Our previous watering window of 6 to 7 hours is now 12 to 14 hours. We will have to do some irrigating during the day if needed.
I am glad mother nature helped us out last night and this morning, covering the MGC property with a nice blanket of moisture.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

TD the H

Topdressing the Heritage greens on Monday went very well. It was nice to have a warm summer like day while working on that task.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer might be here

The temps increased over the weekend as it looks like summer is here to stay. Our turf should really start to grow now.

The bird houses we built and put up are now alive with activity and I would say they were a complete success. Our feathery little bug eaters are nesting away.

I watched a falcon fly by last week with a chimpmunk in its claws, the wildlife on MGC is spectacular.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another cool week

Looks like another cool week ahead. TWC is calling for frost the next two mornings. Wondering if summer will ever arrive!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Short Course

A short course has been set up on the Heritage. Marquette Golf Club Heritage Short Course (MGCHSC) is something I have wanted to do for several years now; finally I found some time to set it up. Scot got the plates placed in the ground today and it is ready to enjoy. This will be a great loop for young families to enjoy as the holes average around 150 yard in length. Grab your kids and your short irons to enjoy a fun little round with them! Score cards with locations of the Tee plates will be located in the Proshop.

Finished aerification

Heritage greens aerification is complete, other than morning frost delays it went smooth as silk.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Heritage Irrigation

We were able to get the Heritage irrigation system up and going last week. We ended up with 15 broken heads; due to the ground frost this winter, freezing water left in the bottom foot valve of the heads after our winterization of the system. Those new heads are on order and should be repaired as soon as we get them in.

Heritage aerification update

Aerification on the Front 9 Heritage Greens went well on monday. We were delayed a bit because of frost but got rolling soon after it lifted. We are delayed again today because of frost and hope to start the process on the back 9 in an hour or so.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5/11/2011 update

Aerification of the back nine Greywalls Greens went smooth on Tues. We hope to have the Heritage irrigation system up and operational by friday so we can aerify those greens next week.
Our process involves aerification with 1/4 inch mini tines on quad tine blocks followed by a deep vertical mowing using 2mm carbide tip blades to remove massive amounts of organic matter. That is followed by a mowing and topdressing resulting in a surface that looks almost untouched and still putts very well.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Darius Oliver visit

The talk and visit from Australian golf writter Darius Oliver was fantastic. I think he had a great time visiting our facility and it was a joy listening to him talk about his life
We will have 20 signed copies of his books for sale in the proshop. (10 Planet Golf and 10 Planet Golf USA) Stop by and see Marc if you would like a copy, they are a wonderful read, filled with great photos of the most interesting places he has played. (Hint Hint...They would make a perfect fathers day gift)

Small signs on Heritage posts

A few people have asked me what the LM1-LM9 signs represent on the Heritage course; I am glad people are starting to notice. Over the last few years as we have had more and more golf history and quality golf enthusiasts visit our facility. Most of them seem to have a spark of interest, when they hear we have 9 golf holes from 1926 designed by William Langford and his partner T. Moreau. After explaining the old hole numbers and where they mix into the current route over and over, I figured it would be easier and more formal to designate the originals with a sign. With that said, I made the signs this winter with the L=Langford and M=Moreau.

Aerification update

Aerification went very well today on the Front 9 of Greywalls. After punching holes and vertical mowing we had perfect conditions for our sand to dry and drag into the canopy. We will complete the back 9 and putting green tomorrow.

Friday, May 6, 2011

100% open

All 36 holes are now open for play. Get out enjoy the great outdoors and play a round of golf.
Reminders to everyone.....
Please respect your fellow golfers and your golf course by replacing your divots, fixing your ballmarks properly and raking your bunker tracks. Also please drive your carts with care following the directional posts/arrows and keep them out of the native/fescue areas.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Demo Day

It was Demo Day all around at MGC. While golfers did golf club demo's on the driving range we completed a daily demo on two new rough mowing models; a Lastec 3300 and 4520. I am thrilled with the results. The 4520 will take one person only 2.5 days to mow the rough using about 18 gallons on fuel. This will replace one person on the gang for two days using 20 gallons of fuel and one person on the ransome for four days using 28 gallons of fuel. This will not only save us fuel and reduce the amount of labor needed to mow the rough but it will also provide a better quality cut and drastically improve our reliability over our two older units.
The drainage repair on #4 Greywalls fairway was completed on Saturday, prep work on an opening day is still in progress. The cold weather has really slowed our spring efforts as turf growth and recovery is not going our way.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Well the weather has has not been kind, we have one tease day then back to wet and cold. The courses are very wet now. Carts may be unable to travel the grounds of the Heritage for the next few days, we will see what we can do for those who have a hard time walking around with their bags.

Work on Greywalls continues, we really need some warmer twmperatures to start our seasonal turf growth. We will be working on some darinage issues on number 4 tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Opening Heritage

Spring finally came on Easter Sunday and hung around today (looks like it might leave again). It was long enough for us to open up The Heritage course for walking only; while we finished roping off wet areas and setting out our directional arrows. The 'Cart Jockey's' will be happy as carts will be allowed out starting tomorrow. Please watch where you drive as the course continues to dry up this spring and as always keep carts in the rough and use the 90 degree rule. Enjoy the course, it survived winter very well this year!!

Work is now full speed ahead on Greywalls to get it ready for an opening day. I will continue to post updates as work continues.

Friday, April 22, 2011

spring coming?

Waiting for all of the snow to melt and some warmer weather to arrive is taking much longer than a year ago. Once we get a change in weather our turf can dry out a bit and starts its seasonal growth. We hope to open the Heritage as soon as the rest of the snow melts and we can rope off all of the wet areas.
We started the Greywalls irrigation system today (22 days behind last years start date) so we can start all of our annual spring checks and adjustments. So far we have had only one leak; a broken pipe next to #17 green. We will be starting the Heritage irrigation system late next week or the following week depending on the weather.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Darius Oliver

Darius Oliver, the author and publisher of the highly acclaimed books, Planet Golf and Planet Golf USA is coming to Marquette Michigan all the way from Austrailia!!

He is coming to see your Greywalls course and will be talking and doing a book signing at the Peter White Library on Sunday May 8th at 4:00 pm.

I am sure the games best-traveled and most authoritative voice on golf course design and architecture will have many great stories to share with all of us!!

I hope everyone can get over to hear him talk!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tee Times 4 Turf

The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation (MTF) is holding an online auction of donated rounds of golf on May 1st - May 15th. It is a way to raise funds for continued turf research in order make our golf courses better. Many Golf Courses, Private and Public (including us), have donated rounds of golf to support the MTF. Everyone should check out the website, as you may be able to score a round at a private club or you may be able to get a reduced price on a round you were going to play this season anyhow. The website is......

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Conditions

Our annual spring clean-up is going well, we are in the process of cleaning up any trees, branches, sticks and leaves that came down this winter. We are also trying to put the first cut on our primary playing areas as they dry out enough to do so.

The turf on both courses came out of winter very well. Areas of desiccation seem to be ok with green crowns still in place below the brown tips, SnowMold damage is less than normal on Tees, Approaches and Fairways. All 40 of the putting surfaces look good. The Heritage greens look 100% clean and free of any snowmold and ice damage and the Greywalls greens look around 98% clean of snowmold (#3 and #17 had some activity). Some of the greens on both courses, which were exposed longer, do have some brown tip desiccation. This will grow out quickly once warmer weather arrives. I think the worst of our green damage this winter came from the paws of a fox, which dug up the old cup holes on several of the Greywalls greens.

The golf itch is here, all we need is some warmer weather to go with it!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Melt down continues

The heavy rains and warmer weekend temperature really put a dent in the snow this weekend. Spring clean-up can really start now. On a side note..... While re-sealing and repairing some of our wood course supplies, Scot and I built 37 birdhouses and 7 bat houses; utilizing mostly scrap wood. We will be putting these on the property to help increase nesting sites for our bird population. This is something we will continue to do every season.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weather looking better

The last two nights have been favorable (with temperatures staying above freezing) and the dramatic increase in day time temperatures with ample sun has melted most of our snow away. All that remains are the deeper areas of drift. Once the frost leaves the ground and the soil dries up a bit we will be in action. On Monday two more Heritage staff members Paul and Dennis will start (to help Scot and Clay) plus Mike will start on Greywalls along with Andy and Mario; as spring clean up will begin in the areas we can get to. It won't be long now before we are all hitting that little white ball around again.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Golfweek News

The latest GolfWeek ratings came out last week and with the addition of 10 new courses to the list, many courses moved down or fell off the top 100 mountain.
Greywalls moved up to a 7.00 rating and stayed at # 79!! Another testament to this honor is the fact that only 12 daily fee courses are included in the top 100 list, which is dominated by deep pocket private clubs, and we are number 7 of 12. Everyone at MGC should feel proud of this national recognition.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Winter Conditions Update

The melt down that took place several weeks ago exposed all of the peaks and high areas of the golf course. The windy and dry conditions since then has created an elevated concern of turf desiccation to these areas (defined below). I hope we get some moisture (in the form of snow) this week to cover and shield those areas from any further damage.

Winter Desiccation

Winter desiccation is the death of turfgrass leaves or plants from winter drying. Desiccation occurs most often on open semi-dormant turf exposed to windy low atmospheric humidity conditions. The two major types of winter desiccation are termed atmospheric and soil drought (Beard, 1973).

Atmospheric drought is normally associated with leaf tissue death. Favorable conditions for this type of desiccation are periods of sunny windy conditions combined with low atmospheric humidity. The soil may have adequate soil moisture but is frozen or cold enough to increase the viscosity of the soil water to the point where uptake is severely restricted. Plants with restricted or shallow root systems like Poa annua are sensitive to atmospheric drought. Desiccation symptoms appear similar to drought in that the leaves are brittle dry and have a burned look.

The second type of desiccation occurs under low atmospheric humidity conditions and progressively "droughty" soil conditions due to a lack of rain or snow. Desiccation resulting from soil drought conditions can cause plant death. In cool, arid regions of the world like the western arid regions of the United States, this type of desiccation is common. Given an open turf, low humidity, and breezy or windy conditions, a good predictor for desiccation is temperature. When air temperatures exceed average soil temperatures by more than 20 degrees, conditions are favorable for desiccation.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Walking the course this afternoon, the peaks are now exposed from this meltdown event. Turf looks great right now!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Winter equipment prep is going well and on schedule even if Snow plowing the club out is taking up more of my time than i would like.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Beautiful day! Out snowshoeing the property and repairing our snowfence. It is good to see the sun again!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Work started today at the Heritage pumphouse. A pump control upgrade is underway as the old brains failed for the last time in August.

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