Wet Areas on Golf Course

Dear Spring Run Member,

                It has been brought to my attention that there are some concerns with some wet areas in some of the fairways and approaches. I can assure you that we are aware of them and that we are trying to make adjustments to our irrigation system to help fix these areas. I would like to take this opportunity though to explain what is happening with these areas as there are a number of reasons behind these wet spots.

First the soil structures in these areas are much different than the surrounding soil. The soil is very high in organic matter and because of this, it is much more likely to hold water and create these wet areas. The problem for us is that the surrounding areas are being watered by the same irrigation heads and if we make to severe of adjustments to these heads, the surrounding turf will burn up and brown out. We are making adjustments daily to our irrigation system so we water adequately for all turf and reduce the wet areas. Soil structures are constantly changing, though, with everything we do to manage the golf course. Because of this, areas that have not been wet or problematic in the past may become problems in the future. We try to identify these areas as fast as possible and make adjustments to remedy the problems and sometimes the adjustments and fixes are not always easy to come by.  Another factor that leads to these wet areas is that in some areas area we have 5 or 6 heads hitting these areas which applies way too much water. Typically, you only have 3 to 4 heads watering the same area. With the extra 2 heads it is adding more water than we want. We are trying to identify these areas as quickly as we can and make adjustments accordingly. In the short term we are trying to make irrigation adjustments as best we can to eliminate these wet areas. The long-term fix will require aggressive summer aerifications and top dressing for some areas. For other areas we will have to remove sod add drainage and replace soil. There will also have to be some irrigation movement to fix spacing issues. All of these fixes are very time consuming and costly. I want to assure everyone though that we are constantly watching for these areas and that when we see them, we try to make adjustments as fast as possible to remedy the issue. If you see a wet spot that we may have missed, please bring it my attention or one of my supervisors. Thank you for your understanding and patience while we try to fix these issues as we continue to strive to make Spring Run Golf Club the Best Bundled Golf Community in Southwest Florida.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Spring Run Golf Club

Superintendent

Summer Projects Update

Dear Spring Run Member,

As season draws near, I want to give a few updates on everything that has happened this past summer. There have been a lot of nice upgrades and additions to our golf course that have improved our club both aesthetically and operationally. We started off this summer, in June, with the addition of the timber walls along #1 and all then beautiful landscaping that coincided. These additions have drastically improved the aesthetic value of hole #1. We also continued the removal of the coquina paths and additions of concrete paths on holes #10 and #16 and installed some curbing and drains to help reduce the erosion issues in a few areas.


#16 Curbing and Drain Install by Tees

 Finally, the addition of the Spring Run Clock at the Driving range and the shrinking of the cart path on hole #15 completed our major summer projects. Overall, everything went great this summer and all the projects came out looking phenomenal and hope that they will enhance and increase your enjoyment of Spring Run Golf Club all season long and for many seasons to come.

Spring Run Clock at the Driving Range
Hole #15 shrunk to an 8 ft wide path

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Superintendent

Friendly Reminders

Dear Spring Run Members,

Season is upon us once again and I would like to take a moment of your time to go over a few changes and reminders regarding cart etiquette and guidelines during season. My staff and I are going to make a focused effort this season to reduce the amount of ropes and stakes being used on the golf course. The ropes and stakes do become unsightly and are sometimes more a hassle then a benefit to everyone. With this in mind, we want to try and get rid of the ropes all together, but to do so we need everyone’s help to reduce the wear patterns in the turf. We can accomplish by utilizing the 90-degree rule as much as possible. This means that rather than entering the turf at the white capped stake, that you drive down the path as far as possible before you turn to enter the turf and go to your golf ball. This will spread out the wear patterns in the turf and will reduce the need for stakes and rope, and increase the turf health as well. At the bare minimum though, we ask that you do not enter the turf until you pass the white capped stake.

Another change we have made this season is removing the white balls off the course, which previously indicated where to exit the turf and return to the path. We have replaced them with a much more aesthetically appealing yellow capped stake.

This will now be your marker for exiting the turf and returning to the path. However, to help reduce wear patterns in the turf and the need for ropes and stakes, we ask that all golfers return to the path as soon as possible after hitting their golf balls and avoid driving in the same locations as everyone else. The idea behind this is to spread out the cart traffic and relieve stress on the turf. If we all follow these guidelines, the turf will be much healthier, our golf course will be much more aesthetically appealing, and the need for ropes and stakes will be greatly reduced. We thank you in advance for helping us and look forward to another great season here at Spring Run Golf Club.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Superintendent

Golf Maintenance Project Phase 2

Dear Spring Run Member,

            I am pleased and excited to announce that phase 2 of the golf maintenance building renovation has begun. We are currently in the demolition phase of the process and it is moving right along smoothly. We are all very excited to see all the changes taking place and can’t wait for the project to be completed. With any luck, Suncoast Builders expects to be done within 4 to 6 months. Even though the renovation has begun, we are still operating with business as usual. Which means there are a lot of moving parts and equipment around the maintenance facility.

Because of this, we are asking that all members refrain from coming to maintenance facility for any reason. I realize that many of our members are starting to return for the winter months and there will be some donations and things to be given away. We ask that all members go through the correct chains of communication to give the donations away. Please give Rhonda Valente all pertinent information for donation and we will make sure that whomever wins the donation, will contact you about appropriate times for us to pick it up. Please do not come to the maintenance facility and drop off any donations. We want to make sure that all our members and staff are as safe as possible at all times. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding. Also keep an eye out for more postings and updates during this renovation process.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Spring Run Golf Club

Superintendent

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

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