Round 2: August Course Closure Preview and Projects Update

Dear Spring Run Member,

            As many of you know, we have had a lot of exciting changes and improvements made on the course this summer. The dredge sox erosion remediation on #1 lake bank is complete and it looks phenomenal. Along with the dredge sox, the Timber walls were installed and all the plantings are in the ground. Thank you to Mrs. Gullotti and Mrs. Casale for overseeing and spearheading this portion of the project.

Timber Wall install #1 Tee Box
Backfill Stage #1 Tee Box
Sod work #1 Tee Box
1 Tee Timber Wall Finished Product
1 Tee Timber Wall Finished Product

Click HERE to view Before and After Photos from the Hole 1 project.


Coming up next week, we will enter the second closure for the summer. We will do all the same aerification and cultural practices we did during the first renovation. However, some will be less aggressive than during the first closure because we want to make sure any stressed turf from the summer has ample time to heal up and get ready for season. Along with all the regular cultural practices we will be doing, we will also have a couple major projects going on as well. We will be narrowing the coquina area on hole #15, from the second set of blue stakes to the cart path by the green, down to an 8-foot-wide cart path using sod. This will create more playing surface as well a widen the fairway slightly. Along with the project on #15 we will also be addressing the irrigation issues and drainage issues on the driving range. We will be doing an irrigation renovation and replacing the current system that is up there, with something that will better suit the water needs of the driving range and will also install some drain line that will hopefully improve the drainage on the tee so after rain events we may not have to use the mats as often. The last project that happen during the August closure is the Spring Run Clock will be installed at the driving range. Suncoast builders will be on site to perform that work. As you can see we have had a lot of exciting changes and additions to Spring Run Golf Club this summer and still have some more to come before season starts. Thank you again for all your support.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Superintendent

Course Closure Update by Benjamin Hanshew – Superintendent

Dear Spring Run Member,

As we reopen after the closure, I would like to give and update and overview of everything that went on for the past 10 days, which has been full of a long hours and hard work. My staff and I had a very successful closure and got just about everything done culturally we needed to complete. The greens were double aerified, verticut, and top dressed. The tees and collars/approaches were aerified, verticut, and top dressed as well. All the fairways and roughs were double aerified and terra raked. We were able to remove a lot of thatch and organic matter from the soil and the course is responding beautifully.

Terra Raking Fairways  
Double Aerification on Fairways & Rough
Fairway After Terra Raked                 
Close Look at Thatch removal from Terra Rake

Thankfully the rain stayed away the first week and allowed us to complete all the cultural practices so we could start grooming and healing the golf course. While it is still a little rough in spots, overall we are in great shape. The greens are currently about 95% healed and appear to be very smooth. The green speeds are slow right now, and that is to be expected after a closure. The reason they are slow is that we have to raise the mowing height on the greens during aerification, because we cannot mow them daily during this process. The first time we are able to mow the greens is about 5 to 6 days after the process begins and the grass is much longer than normal. To avoid scalping and hurting the turf we raise the mowing height and then slowly work the height back down to normal mowing height over a couple weeks. We will continue to groom the greens and work the mowing heights back down to normal in a couple weeks. You may also notice that there is a heavy amount of sand on the Driving Range. Due to the consistently wet and unevenness of the driving range, we have top dressed it heavily, and are rolling it to dry, smooth, and level it out. We are letting the grass grow up and through the sand, which will provide a much nicer hitting surface in the future.

My staff and I would like to thank all the members for their patience and understanding and we look forward to getting our course healed up and playing conditions back to normal as soon as possible.

Sincerely

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Spring Run Golf Club

Superintendent

Summer Closure Projects

When things slow down in June, projects and intensive course maintenance ramp up! Here is an overview of activity taking place over the next couple weeks:

Mon, June 10     

The Erosion Project along #1 lake bank commences. One timber wall bulkhead is being installed across from the tee boxes, and another one will be going behind the green. The palm trees that are in the water will be relocated up onto the rear of the green. Running the length of the hole will be a relatively new product known as Dredge Sox. This system will be employed to hold the dredged lake bottom materials in a biodegradable “sock” to form a new lake bank. Turf will be planted on top of it, and the roots will grow down into the sox material solidifying the new bank. Irrigation heads and lines that are now out in the water will be lifted back up to their original positions. The project will be finished by the time we open back up on June 20, although we may still be working on some sodding and littoral plantings on Friday.

The maintenance staff will be aerifying the entire golf course all week, and using the terra rake on the fairways. This tool is very effective for removing thatch buildup, but may leave some marks until it grows back in, so please be aware.

Also on Monday, the concrete contractors will be replacing soft cart paths on #10 and #16. Please note that our maintenance staff will be eliminating the waste bunker on #15 during the August closure, reducing the coquina back to normal cart path size. Cue the fanfare!

Tues, June 11

Ajax Paving will begin milling Creek Branch Lane, Stonyriver Place, and SRB from Willow Creek/Sandycreek intersection to Streamside pool. This should take two days. Paving will be on Thursday and Friday, then striping immediately afterward. Also, the clubhouse parking lot will be powerwashed and restriped Friday afternoon. We will cordon off the entrance Friday so we can complete this work.  If you need to come to the club, please park on the grass past the entrance.

Finally, on Saturday, the painters will begin to repaint the Dining Room. Unfortunately, there is a longer lead time on the chandeliers and sconces, but on Wednesdays over the next month, we will be installing them as they are delivered.

That’s just some of what we have going on over the next couple weeks. Please reply with any questions, and have a wonderful summer!

Mike

Cart Etiquette: Traffic Stakes & Rope

Dear Members,

            In light of the recent issues concerning the ropes and stakes on the golf course, I would like to take a moment of your time and discuss the importance of their presence on the golf course. I will acknowledge that they are unsightly and inconvenient at times on the course, but the role they play is vital to the health of the turf, playability of the golf course, and overall aesthetic value. With as much play as Spring Run gets throughout the season and all the cart traffic it receives, the turf at the entry points and exit points at the tee and green get worn down very quickly. The turf won’t grow, and if left uncovered, will turn to dirt and the grass will die.

We, in the maintenance department, make a daily effort to move or add ropes and stakes to cover up these areas and allow them time to heal. Once they heal, we remove the stakes so the area may be used once again. It is very important that during the time these areas are covered up by stakes that all traffic stay off the affected area so the turf can heal faster and we can maintain a much nicer golf course. With that said, I would like to take the time to review our cart traffic rules and guidelines that we ask all our members and guests to adhere to. At the beginning of each par 4 and par 5, there is a big green and white topped stake. This stake marks the entry point for all carts for that day. We ask that you enter at that point to drive to your golf ball.

Please do not drive further down and enter, as it will create other worn turf areas. This will also cause us to have to add more stakes to the course, which we all would like to avoid. We strive to use as few stakes as possible so we keep everything looking nice and clean. Further, two white balls at the approach to the green. These balls mark the area where carts are supposed to exit the fairway and go no further down unless the cart is on the path.

 These balls also get moved routinely to prevent the traffic wear patterns and maintain the health of the turf. You can exit the fairway earlier than the marked areas, but we just ask that all member and guests do not pass these markers and drive any closer the green. Along with the cart entry and cart exit areas we ask that all members and guests keep their eyes open as they play golf and avoid any areas that appear worn down significantly or look like a lot of carts have driven there. We do not want to stress the turf out any more than necessary. We will continue to strive to provide you the best golf course and playing conditions possible at all times. Thank you again for your support and understanding.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Spring Run Golf Club

Cart Path Ropes

Dear Members,

We have recently experienced several instances of cart path ropes being cut, presumably so that a cart can enter the fairway closer up, rather than driving to the end of the staked area. Its bad enough that carts will drive over the stakes and ropes, but cutting them is vandalism. The ropes are being cleanly cut, so it is not an accident. I have spoken to the Greens Committee, and they agree that anyone caught cutting ropes will be subject to a loss of golf privileges.

These stakes are very important for maintaining the health of the turf on the course. Traffic repeatedly wears down the turf, which is already stressed from lack of rain and cooler temperatures. Just take a look at the path along #9 where carts turn on the grass instead of driving to the end and using the turnaround. There’s hardly any grass left there. Staking it gives it a chance to grow back. I think we all agree on the importance of maintaining our golf course to the highest levels, and actions like this to save a few seconds of driving time compromises its condition.

Thank you

Mike

Building Maintenance Project – Phase 1

Dear Spring Run,

            I am pleased to inform you that phase 1 of the Maintenance Building Renovation Project is 100% complete. The added storage space around the outside of the building has allowed us to organize and store our working materials in a much more productive and aesthetically appealing manner.

The added parking spaces and shifting the parking area to the side of the building has given us much needed space for all our staff as well as any vendors that stop in to see us.

The new wash pad has been a huge positive addition as it has allowed us to get more vehicles and equipment cleaned up faster and in a more time efficient manner.

This has allowed us to get employees turned around faster on other jobs on the course which has allowed us to get more done during the work day. All these improvements around the outside of the building have already paid dividends as we have seen an increased productivity with our staff and course conditions. The grounds maintenance staff along with myself would like the thank all of the membership for their patience during phase 1 of this renovation. We would also like to thank the membership for allowing this renovation to happen. By the end of phase 2 next year we will have a fantastic maintenance facility that will be much more state of the art and allow us to operate in a much more effective capacity and will allow us to better serve the membership. It will also allow us to continue to provide a top-quality golf course for our members and their guests and to continue to strive to improve our processes and our golf course even more. My staff and I would again like to thank each and every member for their patience and support during this process.

Sincerely

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Superintendent

Fertilizer Application

I hope all of you are enjoying this weather we have been having since the end of January. The course responded beautifully after that cold spell we experienced in early January. The greens are rolling great and the course is nice, healthy and lush. We are continuing to work diligently to provide you top playing conditions at all times and hope sincerely that each of you are enjoying the conditions we have been able to provide this season. We have been fertilizing the course regularly and have been working with some new vendors on various blends that will give us the response we are looking for as well as saving the club money wherever possible. Through some of these trials we have found products that worked great and others that did not produce the way we had hoped. If you have played golf recently you may have noticed some odd-looking little bleach spots on the tees and fairways.

These spots are from a fertilizer application we made on Monday and Tuesday last week. It is called fertilizer burn. While that term sounds very bad, I can assure you that it is not as bad as it sounds. Fertilizer burn usually happens with sulfate products in fertilizer. Sulfate can burn the turf if the right environmental conditions are present. Usually when iron sulfate or ammonium sulfate, the two most common threats for fertilizer burn, applications are made it requires watering the fertilizer in. While we did water the fertilizer in as required, the dew set back in heavy, unexpectedly and cause a chemical reaction with the fertilizer that caused these little burn spots on the turf. While it is a little unsightly, it will be short lived. The turf should grow out of the issue quickly and the spots should disappear within a week or so. The grass is very healthy and growing very fast right now so we should see a quicker healing of the turf than we normally would this time of year. We have already contacted the vendor and resolved this issue so we can make sure this issue, hopefully with not happen again. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work hard to correct the issue and we hope that all of you continue to enjoy your wonderful golf course.