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.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Spring Weather 2018

Weather has a significant impact on any golf course operation.   The North Shore of Chicago has a particular micro-climate that is influenced by the closeness and temperatures of the lake.  Our temperatures are generally cooler than many of the Chicagoland areas resulting in slower drying opportunities.  The following headlines are just a few of the many & daily spring 2018 weather reports.   I thought you would find them interesting as they have dramatically impacted our golf course this spring.

Northmoor Spring Rains & Flooding

This photo says it all about this spring.  Plenty of standing water for the ducks.

Roughs are saturated

        Rain days in May & June



Through Friday evening the Chicago area has officially logged 15.05 inches of rain since May 1; 8.21 inches in May and 6.84 inches so far in June. If no additional rain fell the rest of the month, the 2018 May-June tandem would rank as the second wettest in recorded history.

More spring snow in Chicago, and forecasters call April's start among coldest in 130 years

Some 1-2 inches of snow were expected to fall by early Thursday, adding to the 2.7 inches already recorded at O’Hare International Airport in April.  It is rare. … Getting anything an inch-plus is definitely rare this time of year,” Mott said.

The average temperature for April is 46.6 degrees, but this month is registering more than 10 degrees lower — at 36.2 degrees, the weather service said.

Illinois May Have Set Its All-Time April Record Low as Temperatures Plunge Below Zero in the Midwest

Chicago experiencing one of the coldest Aprils on record

Flood warning issued for the far north suburbs.

Posted 6:19 PM, June 18, 2018, by Paul Merzlock



Saturday, June 2, 2018

Flower Time

It is that time of year again.  Lorrie and her staff are planting thousands of flowers.  Lorrie is also doing her annual container arrangements.    Thanks to Sergio, Vincente and Trevino for their fine work with the flower planting and landscaping care.

   Sergio, Trevino & Vincente

Lorrie is preparing the flower containers again this season.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Aerification Process

After postponing our green's aerification for a week  due to ice and snow last week, we began aerifying the greens today.  The cooler weather will have a slowing affect on the recovery of the greens but these processes are necessary so that the surfaces will be healthy during the season.
Green speeds are generally slower for 3-4 days following aerification and topdressings because the sand significantly dulls the mower blades. Eventually the sand works its way off of the turf surface. 
Below are the processes that we use during the aerification process. 

Sand is spread over the green's surface 

The green is aerified.  Sand is injected into the upper end of the soil profile
The surface is mechanically brushed to spread sand into the open holes
Hand brushes are used to make sure the holes are filled level with the turf
 Excess sand laying on the surface of the green is removed using blowers

The greens are  rolled to help level and firm the surfaces.  Aerification generally softens the surface for an initial period until the holes heal and the surface firms.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Former NCC Intern Excels

Curtis Keller, former NCC Intern, is the host Superintendent at this week's PGA Senior Tour Legends event at Buffalo Ridge GC in Missouri.  It's always grand to see a former team member rise to the top of our profession.   Congrats Curtis.  Well done.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Augusta National - The Great Comparison

It's early April and many golf courses around the country are just coming out of winter.  Some are not even open yet.  But at Augusta National GC, it is Masters Week.  All golfing eyes are on the perfect golfing conditions at The National.  It is the place most golfers  envy, wish to play just one time or even visit just once.  John Morris,our Assistant Superintendent here at NCC was an Assistant Superintendent at Augusta  National for four years and played a key role in being in charge of the back nine for his four Masters.  I have  been to  7-8  Masters and there is nothing like it.   I will share a few interesting things about Augusta National that differ from virtually every private club.

John  Morris - Northmoor Assistant Golf Course Superintendent   -  4  Time Masters Team Member
My most interesting event at The Masters - I was offered $10,000 for my weekly clubhouse pass.

The Augusta National course is closed shortly after the Masters and doesn't reopen until October.
Below is a photo of a summer view of Augusta National.
Augusta National is known for their lightening fast and concrete hard greens.  Withholding water results in the wilting brown  spots you see  in the photo below.  Actually the greens are significantly more off-color and browner than you see on TV due to the television filters.  The course closes for the summer so if there is some discolored or damaged green's surface it is of no concern.  The greens may be  mowed  and rolled 6-8 times a day to get the desired conditions.  Unless it rains during the tournament, the greens are on life support by Sunday afternoon.

 Unable for the TV viewer to  see, some holes have 60-80 foot elevation changes.   This view of the  18th hole exhibits a steep uphill slope.  There is a 170 foot in elevation change from#1 tee to #13 at  Rays Creek.
  13 fairway mowers!!!!!  Most 18 hole courses have 2 to  4 of these.   The operating and capital budgets for Augusta National are not made public.  I can tell  you their budget is multi-millions of dollars beyond even the highest budgeted private club courses.  
Even with the best construction and highest quality sand in the industry, fried egg lies still happen.  Sergio Garcia's ball on the 12th hole on Friday's round this year.  
 The size of the bunkers are massive and some of the bunkers are 8-10 feet deep. Ricky Fowler #2
Each green is mowed and rolled a different number of times so it will play as it was designed based on its size, slope, contours and cupping location for the day
During the closed months of summer,  the greens often have green house type shade clothes placed on elevated poles above the greens to help shade the greens 
A number of the greens are rebuilt each year are built back to exact dimensions via use of GPS
The difficulty of the Augusta greens is staggering.  Imagine the best players in the world 3 putting from inside 4-5 feet 
Many approach shots cannot remain on the green unless the player is able to place their approach shot within a 10-12 foot circle on the green 
Lloyds of London actually does the security work for The Masters event.  If  any current ticket holder is caught selling their tickets, then that person loses their entry privileges for life.                          Tuna,  ham and pimento cheese sandwiches still cost only $1 at the concession stands

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Putting Greens Have Speed Limits Too

       U.S. Open | Washington State Golf Association           
Putting Greens Have Speed Limits Too
Putting green speeds have long been a hot topic. While there are many opinions on the subject, one thing is for certain – faster doesn't necessarily mean better. Every putting green has an architectural speed limit. When putting greens get too fast, hole locations intended by the original design can become unplayable. Here are a few things to consider the next time you think about green speed.

It will take a minute to  upload the video but please take a look.