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.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Coyote Precaution

Urban Coyote Attacks On The Rise, Alarming Residents
I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that coyote presence in urban areas in increasing.  Just this week, at her Bible study, Lorrie had a lady tell her about coyotes attacking her dog in her back yard.  The woman ran out,  saved her dog by kicking the coyote and then ran back inside.  The coyote then tried to break a window to get in the house to get the dog.  Another friend has told us of her small dog also being attacked in her back yard.  On numerous occasions we had to protect Polly, our goose dog here at NCC,  when a group of coyotes would approach the turf vehicle Polly was sitting in.  They would come within a few yards of the cart, my staff member and Polly.   Please watch your pets and don't let them outside alone unless are in a safe fenced area. 

Below are just a few recommendations concerning coyotes,content=2689

Steps for keeping pets safe include:

     1.  Don't feed wild animals such as deer or raccoons.  This encourage coyote presence 
   2.  Keep cats indoors at all times.
   3.  Don't leave cats or dogs outside.
   4.  Don't let pets outside out at night unless accompanied by a person
   5.  Secure garbage so coyotes cannot access it
   6.  Keep dogs on a leash when walking them


Deliberately feeding coyotes is a mistake. You may enjoy hand-feeding animals, but this is a surefire way to get them accustomed to people and will ultimately lead to their demise. Here are some other general rules about feeding:
  • Avoid feeding pets outside. If you must, feed them only for a set time during the day (for no more than one hour) and remove the food bowl as soon as your pet has finished her meal.
  • In dry conditions, water can be as alluring as food, so remove water bowls set outside for pets and make watering cans unavailable.
  • If you compost, use enclosed bins and never compost meat or fish scraps.
  • Good housekeeping, such as regularly raking areas around bird feeders, can also help discourage coyote activity near residences.
  • Remove fallen fruit from the ground.
  • Keep trash in high-quality containers with tight-fitting lids. Only place the cans curbside the morning of collection. If you leave them out overnight, they are more likely to be tipped and broken into.
  • Bag especially attractive food wastes such as meat scraps or leftover pet food. If it is several days before garbage will be picked up, freeze temporarily or take to a dumpster or other secure storage container.


Coyotes are secretive animals, and studies have shown they can live for a long time in close proximity to dense human settlements without ever being noticed. Such coyotes are “abiding by the rules” and should be left alone.
In the spring, when coyotes give birth and begin to raise young, they concentrate their activities around dens or burrows in which their young are sheltered. At these times, the parents may become highly defensive and territorial, and challenge any other coyote or dog that comes close to the pups. People walking their dogs in parks and wooded areas may run in to these coyotes and even be challenged by them to back off.
Rarely, fights occur, probably most often when a dog is off its leash and chases a coyote. It’s important to recognize such incidents for what they are: defense of space and young, not random attacks. If you encounter a coyote when walking your pet, do not run away; scare off the coyote with the techniques described in our coyote hazing guidelines.

Free-roaming pets

Free-roaming pets, especially cats and sometimes small dogs, may attract coyotes into certain neighborhoods. The best way to minimize risk to your pets is to not leave them outside unattended.
Other domestic animals kept outside, such as chickens and rabbits, may also be viewed as prey by coyotes. Protect poultry or other outdoor animals from coyotes (and other predators) with protective fencing (both structural and electric) and by ensuring that they are confined in sturdy cages or pens each evening.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weather Influences

For many golfers the memories of the record setting drought and temperatures of the summer of 2012 are behind them.  Golfers will be excitingly anticipating a new 2013 spring golfing season and ready to pick up right where they left off at the end of last summer.

However, the weather influences of last summer, or any season for that matter, have a significant impact on the health and condition of the golf course during the upcoming 6 to 12 months.  For example, at NCC we are still approximately 8 to 10 inches deficient in rainfall and moisture from normal annual rainfall and snow amounts.  This means that the turf and trees entered fall and winter season in a dry and somewhat stressed condition and will therefore enter the spring in that same stressed condition. 

Managing a golf course is very different from managing any indoor operation.  Indoor operations can be controlled.  Outdoor weather conditions which significantly and totally influence the management of a golf course are uncontrollable.  Therefore the golf course will play different everyday. 

The photos below from late last summer and into the fall exhibit just a few of the stressed conditions in some of the areas of high golf cart traffic in the fairways and the extremely dry conditions in the roughs last summer as a result of record setting heat and drought.

The 2700 trees on the course uptake hundreds of gallons of water from the soil subsurface.
Quote from Dr. Derek Settle  - CDGA Turfgrass Pathologist
"Presently the lack of snowfall for Chicago does not bode well (my professional opinion). We have not seen winter desiccation of turf (sand-based systems particularly vulnerable) for several years. This might be one... we shall see. Or in layman's terms if you prefer: "No Snow = Uh Oh for Chicago's Fine Golf Turf."

The lack of winter snow can leave the turf vulnerable to low temperature kill and winter dessication.  We could use a few inches of good snow cover.  

The high winds last night tore the covers off the two new red nine greens.  Assistant Superintendent John Morris braves the 10 degree weather  Sunday morning to replace the green's covers.  The covers are utilized to protect the young turf from winter ice and wind damage.

Snow Finally on January 24th  Much Needed for moisture and turf protection


Friday, January 4, 2013


Many of you knew that Polly's health had been declining over the past year. Over the past two weeks her condition worsened to a point where the vet suggested that it was now time to let her go.  She was the most well trained and behaved dog that I have ever been around. She came us us as a two year old goose dog in 2003 and left us today as a loved one and friend. One could not spend 8 to 12 hours a day with a magnificent animal like Polly without gaining a tremendous admiration for her personality, work ethic, loyalty and willingness to please.

Our sadness today is the price we pay for the closeness we developed during the days and years of having and enjoying Polly being part of our team. Today our staff lost a member, a valued companion and loyal friend.  We will get another Border Collie to help keep the geese away but we will always have our memories of Polly.  She will never be replaced.  She has a permanent place in my heart.