Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Island

This picture was taken in 1989 before the "new holes" were completed and you can see that the original island planting was rather unimpressive yet composed of plant species endemic to the area.
 Then at some point the planting was redone and in this picture it's hard to tell what exactly was planted but it looks pretty much like a mixture of several ornamental, non native type plants.
Most recently the planting on the island was again non native plants and this is one of the reasons that we just recently started to revamp the island again.  Another reason was the weeping willows, which are native to China, had gotten so large that they were interfering with golf.  They were blocking the views of both the 13th and 15th tees which created a safety concern and from the 15th tee, the view of the left side of the target green was being obstructed.  Rather than just cutting down the willows, it was decided to completely replant the island and attempt to make it look more natural by using plant material which is native looking.
 First we just wiped out everything which was rather challenging considering you can't just take a backhoe over there and dig the stuff out.  The crew dug out everything by hand and shuttled the stuff over piece by piece using the row boat.
 Then we rented a large construction fork lift and moved all the new plant material over.  This picture makes it look like it was an easy job but trust me, the fork lift could barely reach the island  so we had to push the limits of the machine.
 We also took over a pallet of soil amendment to aid in establishment of the new plants.  Jeremy and Gabe worked really hard on this project, and I mean really hard physically.  It was a tough job and took a lot of teamwork.
 So here we are today.  Almost finished and I think it is looking great all things considered.  It really is hard to make the island look natural.......mainly because of the island itself.  It is rather unnatural to have a perfectly round island in such a small body of water.  We have tried to come up with other schemes to maybe rebuild the island or just simply remove it but right now the Committee would rather focus dollars elsewhere.  So for now at least, the new evergreen island planting is in place and we will see how it looks once completed and grown in.  This picture was taken from the new black tee on 13 so you can see now that there is good visibility of the target fairway, and the 15th tee.
 This week we also finished grading the surrounds of the the 13th green.  We're going to finish this up this week and I can't wait to see grass on this new wrap of fairway turf.
One last picture.  Check out the new sunshine on the 15th green.  You can see my shadow and the stump in the foreground.  A couple weeks ago that green would have been smothered in shade at this time of the day.

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