November 24, 2000
This week’s brisk weather failed to chill the enthusiasm that Cape Region golf course superintendents have for the late fall and winter.
Now is the time that the greenskeepers renovate and refurbish their courses for next spring. With only intermittent mowing, and far fewer players on the courses, grounds staff can tackle some necessary jobs that can’t easily be done from April through October.
Ed Brown, the course superintendent for Rehoboth Beach Country Club, has the most ambitious plans for the next six months.
“We’ve just started installation of a brand new irrigation system for the Club,” Brown noted. “The project started about two weeks ago, and we hope to be finished by April.”
The new system replaces the original watering system installed when the course was first built a few decades ago. As far as Brown is concerned, this part of the club’s renovation is part of his operating philosophy: “If you’re not planning for the future, you’re falling behind.”
Brown is working with Brian Vinchesi of Irrigation Consulting, Inc. of Massachusetts on the overall design. Eagle Irrigation of Pittsburgh is the contractor for the installation work.
Earlier this week Vinchesi and Brown followed behind four club employees walking in a shifting rectangle several yards apart. Vinchesi periodically directed the four men to stop and place small rods with different colored flags. Each color dictates a particular spray head location that will throw water in a set pattern.
The system controls will run off Brown’s computer, assisted with hand-held radios for pinpoint control out on the course. The design also includes an on-site weather station to calculate daily evaporation rates, and a variable flow drive for the pumps to control the gallons per minute flowing through the system.
In addition, work continues on the renovations of the 13th green, part of the club’s long-running total renovation.
Scot Anderson, the superintendent at Sussex Pines Country Club near Georgetown, has a major tournament in mind for his fall and winter work schedule.
“We’re hosting the Delaware Amateur Championship next summer, so the course has to be in tip-top shape, as with any big tournament,” Anderson said.
“We’ll be doing some serious cleanup. My guys will be doing a lot of clearing of the wooded areas, removing all canopy materials up to 8 feet in height. We’ll also be edging the bunkers, something we do every two years or so,” Anderson continued.
Anderson was not pleased with how last year’s reconstruction of the club’s driving range turned out, so his staff will be re-disking and re-planting the range turf over the winter. “Right now it looks like some land mines went off in that area,” he said.
Robert Collins, CGCS, the superintendent at Cripple Creek Country Club near Ocean View, said this winter’s plans are primarily “housekeeping stuff.”
“Right now, my guys are painting the maintenance buildings. Then we’ll put up new split rail fencing along part of the property, and spend a fair amount of time doing cart path edgework repairs to the turf. We’ll also be doing some landscaping of our brush pile area, to shield it from view. And, of course, we’ll be doing the usual equipment reconditioning that all of us do over the winter,” Collins explained.
Steve Zeveney, the superintendent at Shawnee Country Club, is in the middle of rebuilding a new practice bunker and chipping green. “We took out the old nursery green and bunker. That green had a lot of turf problems, and we wanted to use part of that same area to extend our driving range. I hope we’ll be able to make some other improvements to the range in the next few months.”
Geez. All this talk about work is making me tired.