This site is intended to share information relating to the management of the golf course conditioning and quality of Northmoor Country Club and the art, the science, and the factors that influence those conditions. Please visit as often as possible.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Rainfall 2019

Weather dominates and impacts everything relating to golf course maintenance.  Excessive rainfall limits our ability to have the course in peak condition.  Wet-overcast or hot-humid conditions are ideal catalysts for 10-15 different diseases to attack the turf. 

Our goal is to keep the course as dry as possible.  Drier turf is much healthier than a lush-damp turf.  However, we have to deal with what Mother Nature throws at us.   Golf is an outside sport and rarely are two days the same with the weather.  Every agronomic practice that we implement is geared towards delivering firm playing surfaces.  But the weather does not always cooperate. 

We are in the middle of another cool-wet-rainy spring here on the North Shore of Chicago.  With the cooler temperatures, the lack of sunlight and rainfall every other day, the course cannot dry out. 

April Rain & Snow Days
When weather conditions limit the opportunity for the course to dry then the course will be softer for days after the last rainfall.  The standing water and cart tracks exhibit this fact.

May rainfall dates

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Bunkers Working As Advertised

Following over an inch of rain, the new bunkers on #1 Red are functioning properly.   There is no erosion around the edges and there is no standing water. 

Below is a photo of how the old bunker looked previously after a heavy rainfall.
It was heavily eroded and mud in the bottom of the bunker
Below is how the same bunker looked today in the middle of a rain.  No erosion, no muddy contamination and no standing water. 
 Notice the standing water in the green but none in the floor of the bunker.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

New Bunkers

The bunker renovation on the red and blue courses is complete.  I think you will like the way they play.  The bunkers will be drier and present more consistent playing conditions.

Red #1 bunker following a heavy rainfall
Red # 1 greenside bunker before the renovation
Red # 1 greenside bunker after the renovation
Blue # 6 bunker view before the renovation
Blue # 6 bunker view after the renovation
Red # 9 bunker before the renovation
Red # 9 bunker after the renovation

Friday, April 19, 2019

Aerification - The Whole Story

Why is it necessary to aerify greens, tees and fairways?  Please view the video.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Augusta National -

Each April, golfers across the country view the awe inspiring Augusta National Golf Club as it hosts The Masters.  There is nothing like it. If you haven't actually walked the course, it is impossible to grasp the changing elevations from tee to green.  The shapes and slopes of the greens are tremendously challenging.  A 10 foot putt can easily be 4 putted or putted completely off the green.  Take a look at the photos below.

These beautiful and near perfect conditions do not occur by accident. 
There is no limit to the operating budget at Augusta National.

The greens are SEVERELY slope.
Some putts can have as much as a 30 foot break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some holes have as much as a 30-50 foot elevation change.
This is why you see balls roll so far on holes like 10, 13, 15, etc.
There is unlimited machinery available for manicuring the golf course.
There are 13-14 fairway mowers on this hole.
Most 18-hole courses have only 3-4 fairway mowers in inventory.

Greens are mowed and rolled as many as 4-5 times a day to achieve the desired speeds.
Greens can be mowed prior and post play.
There are hundreds of volunteers preparing the course during tournament week.

Below shows 9 people deciding on the daily cupping location.
Most courses have 4-5 men that prepare the bunkers for daily play.
There are 22 volunteers preparing the bunkers on this one hole at Augusta National.

7 volunteers check for ball marks on this one green at Augusta National

This is the size volunteer staff for a major event like The Masters.
It is not uncommon to have several hundred volunteers for major events.
Many 18 hole courses have a staff of 18-25 employees.
Imagine having the budget and labor force to have 12-15 employees painting curbs.

Augusta National is closed from May - September every year.
That doesn't happen at other courses in the South.

As you can see, there is no comparison of Augusta National to even the best of private facilities.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Spring Aerification

While many of our members are still at their warmer winter homes out of state, our NCC Golf Course Operations staff is preparing the course for the coming season.  Despite 27 degree temperatures, our staff was beginning the first scheduled seasonal topdressing and aerification procedures.  

These men work in every type of weather conditions to serve our membership.  Much of these necessary practices are scheduled and undertaken at times in order to be less visible and impacting to member play.
           The greens are being aerified.
Greens are topdressed following aerification
Greens are rolled for smoothing the surface
The fairways are being topdressed
Fairway topdressing
This photo below is only 10% of what we will apply each time to the fairways
Fairway aerification is following the fairway topdressing.   This places the sand into the soil profile.
Leaves and winter debris must be cleaned for course preparation.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Course Opening

We are still shooting for shooting for an April 1st course opening, weather permitting.  The course is open for play from the temporary greens and tees each day once the frost has melted. 
We had 55 inches of snowfall this winter which is about 15 inches more than normal.   Combined with numerous rain days, this resulted in the course being very wet to enter the spring.  This is not unusual for courses on the North Shore. 

You can check the condition line each day or my twitter site   @TommyDWitt for course updates
and information.

See you on the course.

Snow cover this winter   55 inches of snowfall