Hilldale GC will open tomorrow-Friday 2/17

February 16, 2012
I was very skeptical earlier this morning as several greens still had snow and surface water present.  However, a good breeze and abundant sunshine warmed things up this afternoon and did a fairly good job of drying off the putting surfaces…so we’ll see you on the course tomorrow.  Carts will be restricted to paths as we’re getting close enough to the start of another season (3-4 weeks?) that it’s imperative to keep heavy traffic off of primary turf areas.  Thanks for your cooperation and business.


Hilldale will be open for play on Thursday (2/2/12)

February 1, 2012

We’re going to open the course at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday.  Course conditions are still wet and will definitely benefit from another 24 hours of drying time.  Please call the ProShop at 847-310-1100 ex.27  to reserve a tee-time.  I hate to look more than one or two days in advance this time of year, but if the forecast holds true the golf course should remain open right through the weekend.  Carts must remain on cartpaths at all times, please.  Thanks for playing Hilldale and enjoy the weather.

Let’s Play 18 Holes Today?…On January 6th…In Chicago!

January 6, 2012

The first tee on January 6, 2012

No, I haven’t lost my mind…and you’re not seeing things.  Hilldale is open for play and  the temperature is above 50 degrees.  I can’t remember many winters like this one.  Hope you’re all enjoying the golf course during this wonderful winter weather.  And it looks like the nice weather will continue for another 4 or 5 days…albeit not this warm, temps are supposed to be in the low 40’s through next Tuesday(1/10/12).

Fernando cleaning up after the Canadian Geese...10th hole at Hilldale GC

Indian Summer–Light

November 3, 2011

Thank goodness the weather sounds good for Friday thru Monday (11/4-11/7)…because today (Thursday) can pretty much be labeled miserable…drizzle with 30-40 mph winds.  Well, let’s hope the forecast holds true and good golfing weather arrives just in time for the weekend.

Just a few notes about the goings-on at Hilldale:

*The second half of greens 1-5-6 have been aerified and therefore the cup location/flagstick will now be located on the half that was aerified 2 weeks ago.  If all goes as planned, we will aerify the second half of greens 4 and 8 on Monday 11/7.  That will most likely conclude greens aerification for 2011.  Obviously in a perfect world all greens would be aerified and fully healed at this late date…that’s not the case at Hilldale because we decided several weeks ago to delay aerification this year for business purposes.  In order to minimize the threat of winter damage (dessication), putting surfaces will be covered with a heavy layer of sand prior to the ground freezing…especially those greens where aerification holes haven’t fully healed over.  

*Leaf cleanup work is going well and moving toward the final stages this season.  It’s looking like the next few days will be extremely busy as the oak, maple, and locust trees are currently dropping their leaves…about 7-10 days after ash and cottonwood trees went bare.

*Anyone who’s played at Hilldale recently can speak (curse) to the many Canadian Geese taking refuge on the golf course.  The grounds crew has a daily routine to deal with the droppings (presents) left behind by our fine friends…we use heavy drag ropes followed by large and small blowers to clean up the mess..hopefully to your satisfaction.

*The Hilldale Men’s Club had their dinner banquet last Friday evening and enjoyed a good turnout…thanks to all for the very nice comments and it was fun working with you for another year.

*Bill Salzman (General Manager) retired effective Oct. 31, 2011.  Bill, thanks for giving me the opportunity almost nine years ago (wow, time really does fly!) to manage this fine golf course…it was great working for/with you..here’s to a long, happy retirement.

Thanks for coming out and enjoy the light version of Indian Summer this weekend.

Shaping Up To Be A Great Weekend

August 25, 2011

All cart restrictions lifted; 80 degrees and sunny with a light breeze; quick greens and very receptive.  Hope you can all make it out to Hilldale.  Below is the maintenance schedule for Fri.-Sun.:

Greens-Double-cut and double-roll all three days.  Depending on stimpmeter readings, greens could also be mowed on Sat. evening.  Goal is to be at 11.5 ft. in the morning, which normally would indicate about a 10-10.5 ft. speed in early afternoon.  I know many players would like to see speeds in the 12 ft. range, but past experience has shown the amount of time for an 18 hole round increases significantly when greens are rolling that quick.

Tees & Fairways-Mow on Friday and Sunday.  Both areas have firmed up nicely and with no rain in the forecast, should play to your liking throughout the weekend.

Rough-All rough areas will be cut at a 2″ height on Thursday and Friday, with the primary rough (20-30 ft. around greens and fairways) mowed one additional time over the weekend.

Bunkers-Will be raked with a mechanical rake on Friday and Sunday, and hand raked on Saturday.  As I’ve written in earlier posts, the unusual number of heavy rain events over the last 4-6 weeks have caused an excessive amount of washouts in the sandtraps.  Because of this, we’re using the cultivation tool on our mechanical rake to “loosen” the sand and attempt to minimize the number of “hard lies” in Hilldale’s bunkers.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and good luck to all those playing in the Hilldale Men’s Club event on Saturday and Sunday.


Monday morning update (8/22/11)

August 22, 2011
2nd hole at Hilldale-5 p.m.-8/22

Low areas on the front side are still too wet for carts, but the back nine is ok to use ninety-degree rule.  Hopefully, the whole course will be “cart ready” by lunchtime.  Thanks very much.

Sunday morning update

August 21, 2011

Forgive my poor weather forecasting skills…we did receive another .25″ of rain overnight.  Today will definitely be a soggy day on the golf course, albeit a nice sunny day.  I’m hopeful that by tomorrow (8/22) we’ll be able to lift the cart restrictions and go back to our ninety-degree rule, but until we can reevaluate conditions later…please follow the cartpath only rule with no exceptions today.  Thanks very much.

Just When You Think…..

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