August 21, 2011
18th fairway at noon on 08/20/2011
It’s safe to go out and play golf….we get another 2″ (just shy) of rain in barely one hour’s time! Hilldale is open for play, and although there was originally more rain in the forecast for Sat. evening, the updated (5:30 p.m.) future radar looks like Hoffman Estates should be rain free through the night. And of course tomorrow looks to be a glorious day (79 deg., sunny, and less humid. Carts must stay on cartpaths at all times and it’s hard to foresee that changing until Monday (8/22). We did have a chance to dry out some this week after receiving .5″ of rain last Sat. evening (8/13), so at least the ground wasn’t overly saturated prior to today’s moisture.
18th fairway at 4:30 p.m.-8/20/2011
Again, the bunkers took a major beating from the heavy rainfall. So for what seems like the upteenth time this summer, the major focus for the grounds department will be dealing with washed out bunkers. Carlos was a huge help this afternoon as all water has been removed from the front nine bunkers, and tomorrow we’ll deal with water in the back nine traps. As many of you know and have graciously commented on, I’ve been extremely pleased with the condition of Hilldale’s greens this summer. Considering the amount of heat, humidity, and rainfall the past six weeks…it’s hard to imagine the putting surfaces coming through the stress season in any better shape. With cooler nights and hopefully drier weather ahead, I see no reason why greens conditioning practices can’t be very aggressive well into the fall months. Stimpmeter readings were consistently above 11 ft. this morning (prior to the rain of course) after double cutting and rolling. It’s hard to say if the greens will firm up enough overnight to employ the same practices tomorrow, but that is the hope right now. Thanks for coming out to Hilldale.
Hilldale's 18th hole-5 hours after a 2" downpour
August 8, 2011
Well, it only rained from 9:00 until 9:25 a.m……only 1″ in 25 minutes! But all is well that ends well; fortunately we were able to let play resume at 10:00 a.m. Carts were restricted to stay on cartpaths and will remain so through most of the day on Monday (8/8). This is a big inconvenience for some players…I assure you we’ll get back to the 90 degree rule as soon as possible (when fairways can tolerate cart traffic). Thank you!
July 30, 2011
All indications point to a couple of days w/o rain! Now that’s a good thing. There will be cart restrictions in place…at least on Saturday. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the course, and if at some point during the day the fairways are drying to the point where turf damage will be minimal…then obviously we’ll remove the cartpath only restriction.
The excessive amount of rain and humidity has caused a rapid acceleration in turf growth. We’ve double-cut and rolled greens the past two days (normally, something I prefer not to do when putting surfaces are sooo soft), and still have had a hard time getting green speeds above 10 ft. We’ll continue these practices right through the weekend with the hope of achieving not only good speeds…but more importantly, a good/true roll. Fairways will be mowed this morning and hopefully (weather permitting), the next several mornings as growth is at a peak rate due to all the moisture. Bunker maintenance has required an extreme amount of man-hours this week, and this morning we plan to cultivate/rake the sand to minimize compaction (“hardness”). The Hilldale Men’s Club has their two-day member/member event this weekend, so good luck to them and I hope all regular players and guests enjoy the golf course and find conditions to their liking. The picture below is from earlier in the week when the Evanston Firefighters had their annual outing.
First foursome of Evanston Firefighters at the finishing hole
July 29, 2011
10 days ago we were begging for rain, and now, 10.5″ later…please make it stop! We had 1.25″ of rain yesterday, and another .5″ last night…of course with the ground now being very saturated, the water has no place to go. Fortunately, the golf course is open for play and it sounds like we might actually have several dry days in a row coming up. We will require all golf carts to stay on paths today, and if I had to guess…probably tomorrow (7/30) also. Check back here for a weekend update, and thanks as always for playing Hilldale.
July 25, 2011
Well amazingly, we’re pretty much back to normal on all fronts at Hilldale Golf Club…only 48 hours after record (5+ inches) rainfall. There will be no cart restrictions and I think you’ll find the course to your liking…please, just be patient with us regarding green speed and bunker conditions. It’s imperitive that we “baby” the greens for several days (especially with more 90 degree temperatures on the way), and as you can see in the picture above…we’re hard at work putting the bunkers back together after the extreme amount of water and subsequent washouts. A heavy downpour plays havoc with bunker conditions…sand gets contaminated with the underlying soil and therefore causes “hard pan” type lies when playing bunker shots…long story short…bunker consistency becomes an issue. We had 5 or 6 heavy rainstorms in 2010, and as many of you know, bunker consistency was very poor last year. So please bear with us as we correct problems left over from an extreme rain event. Thanks and I’ll see you on the course!
July 23, 2011
- Outing participants on the 17th hole
After receiving 5.25″ of rain overnight, it was great to see our afternoon outing (The Mad Dog Group) playing the golf course today. Thanks for hanging in there with us this morning as to whether the course would be ready on time. But as you can see in the picture above, the outing went off as scheduled and on time.
Carts are restricted to paths and will remain so through the weekend. Sunday play should go off without a hitch…as long as heavy storms don’t hit our area again tonight. See you on the course and thanks for your patronage.