Thursday, June 28, 2018

Superintendent's Revenge

The maintenance team is very excited about the Superintendent's Revenge tournament coming up in a couple weeks. Golfers can expect everything from goofy putters to unreasonable pin locations. This event should be a lot of fun and we are excited to see how it goes. I will caution you, i doubt anyone is going to come out and shoot 3 under par.... not if I have anything to say about it. 

There is a sample putter in the proshop of what you can expect to find out on the course for the revenge tournament.

The PLINKO board, also in the clubhouse will select your club for you on one of the tee boxes during the tournament. Drop your ball and cross your fingers because I don't think you are getting there with a Pitching Wedge!
So sign up for your tee time now if you are up to the challenge! I look forward to seeing everyone out there, and your can rest assured I will make my presence known.

Monday, June 11, 2018

New Tee on #9

As many of you have noticed, we are installing a new tee on hole nine on the River Course. There are many things that go into creating a new tee including leveling the ground, establishing healthy turf, running new irrigation, clearing trees, and mowing down new rough areas. We are getting very close to having the tee ready to play, but it remain closed until it is completed. At that point we will be renovating the original back tee in order to have alternate tees available.
Here is the view from what will soon be the new tee on #9.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bunker Renovation is Done

As everyone has seen, HOA underwent a bunker removal and renovation project this off season. After months of work moving, filling, and rebuilding bunkers, the project is complete. The results look great and play-ability is better than its ever been. A couple holes look completely different than before and will play differently as well.

Hole number 3 has a new fairway/rough line and only one greenside bunker now. The rough juts in significantly from the right side and the bunker is bigger and more protecting of the front of the green.

Hole number 7 underwent the biggest transformation. The original bunker is gone and has been converted to rough and a new greenside bunker has been created to add a risk/reward factor to the approach. The new rough line cuts in significantly from the right now and requires shorter hitters to lay up in the fairway on the left. The hole is reachable in 2, but trouble awaits an errant shot. 
The next installment will be a much more in depth look at the renovation and transformation of these bunkers. Also, keep your eye out for a new tee that will be opened on number 9 in the near future.

Monday, March 26, 2018

2018 goals for HOA

The 2018 golf season is getting underway at HOA and we have high hopes for the future of our facility. We have a list of things that we would like to finish up as well as a few new plans for improving the greens and the overall play-ability of the course.

First and foremost we are going to implement a a couple new cultural practices for the greens to improve both speed, and consistency of our putting surfaces. In addition to our usual verticutting and top dressing, we will be using the verticut reels to very lightly stand the grass up on the greens. This will allow for better cut quality from our primary mowers. It will also reduce the amount of thatch build up throughout the year leading to firmer more consistent playing surfaces.

Here is an example of verticut reels and what they do to the green. A good verticut program can greatly improve green firmness and speed.
Next we plan to use the greens roller on a more consistent basis. Rolling has many positive benefits including smoothing out and firming up the surface of the greens. Rolling can also help reduce our disease pressure in the summer months.

If you have been around the river course in the last two weeks you may have seen the new sod we have put down in the bottom of number 5 fairway. As most of you know the fairway was completely covered is silt that killed most of the grass in that area. the new sod will spread throughout the year and hopefully we will have a full fairway once again.

Looking forward to the 2018 season, we will see you out there.   

Friday, March 9, 2018

HOA Maintenance Update

I want to take a moment to update everyone on the ongoing projects at Heart of America. As I'm sure anyone who has played the course over the last few weeks will have noticed, the bunker project is well under way. Many of the bunkers that are in the flood plane will be removed and the bunkers that will remain have been lined and rebuilt with new angular sand.
This state of the art liner is as good as it gets and will make bunker maintenance much more manageable for our small crew. 

This is where #7 bunker used to be, as well as where it has been moved green-side. The shaper we have had out on the course the last couple weeks has done a great job reshaping and filling bunkers around the course.

The River #3 will be reduced to just one bunker and the other to are being contoured and filled.

During those cold, frosty mornings, Sam and I have also made some new signage and targets for the driving range. 

We built this sign and installed it by the front gate so that right when you pull into the course you can see which areas of our facility are open for play that day. This will be useful when we are performing weekly maintenance on the driving range or if one of the 9 hole courses is closed due to flooding or other conditions. 

The new targets we built with metal frames should hold up much better to golf balls and the elements. We should have these in place on the range shortly. 
The weather is getting much better and prime golfing season is right around the corner. We look forward to seeing everyone out at Heart of America Golf Course this year.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Still Busy in the Winter

Many people ask me what we do all winter long when its way too cold for mowing and there is no golf being played. I'd love to tell you that we take a couple months off and just relax, but that's far from the truth. The winter is a perfect time for us to get many things done we just don't have to for during the season. Everything from equipment maintenance to painting and tree work.

This year we lost many signs due to the flooding so we decided to make new signs from scratch.

These will be our new enter and exit signs for cart traffic on the river course
We will also be building a small sign that lets everyone know which portions of Heart of America are open that day. 
Each portion of this sign will be reversible so we can close areas that may be flooded or closed for maintenance 
While we had the wood and equipment out we decided to make all new tee markers for the River Course as well. These will be solid cedar blocks that we feel will give the place a little nicer feel. 

Each one of these tee markers was hand burned by Sam Marlin the assistant superintendent so when you see him let him know how great of a job he did. We think they turned out great. 

These are just some examples of the projects we complete in the winter as well as all the other mechanical, arboricultural, and horticultural duties. 

Looking forward to a great 2018 at Heart of America! 
**Stay tuned for all new bunkers this season!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Winter Golf

Although you probably wouldn't know it by the weather, winter is basically here. You will likely notice on the course that we have converted to our setup to reflect the season. Here are a few things that have changed for the next few months:

No Tee Markers. In order to help spread the play out on the tee boxes while the Zoysia is dormant and susceptible to overuse and winter damage, we have removed the tee markers. Winter golfers are asked to simply chose the best teeing ground to hit from. We have done this in the past and it works well for us to preserve the turf.

Winter Pins. Due to the fact that the greens will freeze and we are then unable to cut cups, we put winter pins on each green. This means pin locations will be random and each green will have two locations that we will select from each day. This just gives us a second option on each green to reduce wear on one area over a long period of time.

Cart Path Only. Everyone's favorite rule, I'm sure. We do this because the dormant turf cannot handle the traffic of golf carts and we would have significant damage if we allowed carts off paths through winter months. We have removed all directional rope and stakes for refurbishing so we just ask golfers to respect the Cart Path Only rules and keep the carts off the turf. Even when parking the cart, we prefer you leave it on the path completely. The majority of lost turf due to golf carts is actually from just slightly leaving the path or parking just into the grass.

Irrigation. If you have noticed in the last couple weeks there has been water running off and on throughout the days, it is because of this unseasonably dry weather. Our goal is to hydrate the turf so that we can blow out irrigation for the winter. The problem we are running into is that mother nature doesn't seem to want to play ball. Please bare with us while we run water during the day (our only time without the risk of freezing) and we should have it blown out and put to bed for the winter soon.

We will still have some great weather I'm sure for golf this year, so I look forward to seeing you out at Heart of America Golf Course.