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’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.


Great Weekend Weather

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