What a wild ride this golf season has turned out to be. We have been put to the test for the past 90 days. The golf calendar for the month of May could not have turned out any better for the Agronomy team. We received just over 2" of rain for the entire month.
We successfully hosted the NCAA Men's Regional, then followed that up with one of the best Member Member tournaments that I have been a part of in my 10 seasons at the club. My staff has been on their A game since we opened the course and I couldn't be prouder of the team assembled for the 2015 season. Many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped us make the Regional a smashing success!!!!
The feedback from players, coaches, and spectators was very over whelming. There were many praises for the layout of the course, course conditions, and some players quoted as saying "the best greens they have ever putted on." I had the pleasure of meeting Davis Love III, who's son plays for Alabama. Davis complemented that they were some of the best greens he has ever putted on as he tried them out himself on the putting green.
The month of May has become a distant memory now that we have already arrived to August. The 60 day stretch from June 1-July 1 was the ultimate test for the entire Agronomy team. The course received over 19" of rain during this stretch. It seemed as every time we were able to restore bunkers from a severe storm, we turned around and started the process all over again. The crew worked extremely hard throughout the process and once again, I couldn't be prouder of where we stand today!
One of the biggest projects that has taken place on the course this year has been the bunker project on #12 greenside. The reason behind this renovation was to run a trial to see if this is the route we would like to take moving forward. It's no secret that our bunkers do not withstand mother nature throughout the numerous washout events. The Capillary Concrete is our biggest step taken to eliminate the washouts and present a consistent bunker on a daily basis. The process was as follows:
1. Remove the sand, liner, and sod staples from the bunker.
2. Pull out existing drainage lines, along with the pea gravel.
3. Clean existing pipe, flush drainage line, and install new pea gravel.
4. Added 3 new lateral drainage lines to ensure proper drainage.
Once the bunker was prepped and ready the next stage involved the installation of Capillary Concrete. A brief introduction about Capillary Concrete. .It is a porous concrete that eliminates the need for a bunker liner. The installation process involved blending CC's ADMIX to the aggregate at our local IMI plant. The large pores in the concrete drains water quickly and micropores feed a slight amount of moisture back to the sand during dry conditions. The Capillary Concrete can move moisture in two directions. When moisture is moved up into the sand a force of adhesion is created. The installation is shown below in the photos.
Once the Capillary Concrete was installed and covered with plastic, we allowed the Concrete to cure for a day then the covers were pulled. The loose fragments were then blown out of the bunker and the sand install followed right behind. Next, we plate compacted the sand followed with a heavy blast of water to help settle the sand into the bunker. The finished product could not have turned out any better. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from the playability of the bunker!!! The last picture shows the contrast between new and old bunker after a heavy rainfall. We will be doing more green side bunkers this fall. We are currently in the process of measuring out select bunkers to make a final decision on how many bunkers will be done and on which holes.
Last but not least, Ted Fist from CC, came down from Chicago and helped us throughout the
entire process. Ted worked with IMI to make sure the aggregate and water
content of the mixture was to spec and I can't thank him enough for all
of his assistance through the project!!!!
Let's hope mother nature cooperates for the rest of the 2015 golf season and we can make up for lost time from the heavy rainfall's earlier this summer. Thanks again.