Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fun in the Sun

The sun came up yesterday morning and what a gorgeous site it was.  Look at all the sunlight hitting the driving range tee.  The driving range tee was built in 1989 and ever since it was constructed it never received morning sun due to the mature stand of fir trees to the east. So what's different today?  The difference is today the Club has a Tree Management plan which puts an emphasis on preserving the native oak trees.  That stand of firs east of the practice tee was choking out a beautiful grove of oak trees.  Per the Tree Management Plan, those invasive fir trees have now been removed and the oaks have been released giving them a chance to live maybe another 500 years.
As a bonus we get a lot more sunlight and air flow on the turf surrounding this area.  More sunlight on the driving range tee is critical for divot recovery, but even better will be the added sunlight for the 3rd green.  Here's a couple pictures showing how #3 looked before the project how it looks today.
As you can see there are still plenty of trees behind #3 if your one of those that likes trees as a backdrop.  The project behind #4 was also completed this week and again this was a huge success.  Here's a couple pictures showing before and after on #4.
Now when you're standing on #4, there's a great view up the 5th hole and of course the putting surface now has better air flow and at least an hour more of direct sunlight.  An hour of sunlight might not sound like a lot but it can be the difference between a good putting surface and a great one. 
So we had a great week bringing in more sunlight to the property, but with the presence of some sunny weather we also had the opportunity to make progress on the new 12th tee. 
 The entire teeing ground is now sodded and next week we hope to bring in some rough sod to cover most of the dirt you see around the teeing ground.  
Here's a picture of the project from behind the 11th green.  The whole thing is really coming together.  It will take some time and a lot of sand topdressing to get it smooth but I couldn't be happier with how it's looking.  We should be opening it for play very soon. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Back In Business

The snow melted off, the ground thawed out and we are back in business.  Sod is going down again on #12 teeing ground and it's looking really good.

As of today we are well beyond the halfway mark with sodding the actual teeing surface. 

On the other side near the 11th green, Jeremy is bringing in some big rhododendrons to improve the buffer between the course and it's neighbors.  We still have a lot to do but the whole project is coming together nicely.

Right now the sod for the 12th tee is coming from in front of the new performance center.  A lot of this area will have to be torn up and regraded to fit with the new building so it made sense to go in and save as much of this sod as possible.  By May 1st this area should be regraded and restored if everything goes as planned with the building.  As you can see the performance center has come a long way in the last week.

The back of the pro shop has also progressed quite a bit.  Now that the roof has been built up the building has taken on a whole new look in regard to scale.  It looks really big and it looks really good.  Exciting times for sure.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Train has Arrived

This week we started with snow.........a lot of snow.  There was a good 4 inches on the ground and it stuck around till Friday.  One bit of good news is the snow didn't bring down too many big branches like you see in this picture.  It shouldn't take long to clean up, but it was another week of course closure and unfortunately with the snow we couldn't work on 12 tee.
Speaking of 12 tee.  Here's a pic of the new teeing ground with snow cover.  It's a cool picture because you don't see all the dirt and you can really envision how the hole will look from the new tee.  Look how the trees frame this tee shot.  It's not a very narrow tee shot compared to most holes at Tacoma but as we all know, the landing area is pretty unforgiving.  What's nice is as a player you have a choice.  You can play a fade or a draw off the tee since both oak trees can easily be carried if you're playing from an appropriate tee that fits your game.   
 With the snow cover our options were limited as to what we could do this week on the golf course.  We did take care of removing those small firs on the right of 10 because we could work from the road.  Keep in mind these trees will be replaced with a more appropriate tree that provides better protection for the pedestrians on the road.  
Our attention moved indoors for some projects that were well overdue.  We painted the inside of the maintenance facility and the restrooms on 13 tee.
We also got every piece of equipment outside for a thorough bath. 

Lastly, we all knew this was coming but just so you know the train has arrived.  I clicked this picture Friday and as you can see there is an Amtrack train on the rail.  This is the first time I have ever seen an Amtrack train on that rail.  As announced, the rail is ready for testing and clearly they are testing.  This train was moving slowly and I know that the objective of this test was to just make sure all the road crossings are working properly.  I'm sure that soon we will see them testing at full speed which we're told will be about 80 mph.  The crossing at Thorn Lane on the south end was working and it was loud!!!  For more information on the new trains click HERE.