15th Hole

Course Update for June 15, 2018

By | 15th Hole, 18th Hole, Mimico Creek

Course Update: New 18th Hole
I think it’s safe to say that there has been a good level excitement around the new creek design and some of the golf course changes including the forward tee on the 10th and the changes to the 18th. I hope everyone has been able to enjoy the fantastic new vistas from the clubhouse or the patio.

Lately, surrounding the excitement of the new 18th hole, I have been asked when I think the bunkers on the 18th hole, the forward tee on the 10th hole and the new green on the 18th hole will open. I am pleased to announce that both the forward tee on the 10th hole and the bunkers on the 18th hole will be ready and open for play on Tuesday, June 19.

The new green on the 18th hole will require more patience as the growing in of a new green takes several months. Even though the green looks very green and full from afar, it is still quite sparse which is completely normal for this stage.

The process to take a new green from seed to opening takes approximately three and a half months. We seeded the new 18th green in mid May. A great benchmark to use as a comparable is the 15th green. The 15th green was seeded at approximately the same time in May of 2014. The 15th green, after a great summer for turf growth, was opened on September 5, 2014. We anticipate that the new 18th green will have a similar timeline based on favorable weather but at this point it is only speculation. Only time will tell when it is completely ready for opening and we want to ensure that we only open it once it is 100% ready. We will gladly inform everyone on the progress as it occurs throughout the summer.

Here are a few of the key agronomic factors that have to be reached before the green can open for play.

  • Canopy density (full coverage of the green surface with no gaps)
  • ½ inch organic layer (approximately ½ inch of an organic based layer is required for the grass to be resilient to traffic and golf shots, this layer creates a protective buffer for the plant)
  • Minimum 6 inch root depth (bentgrass roots are vital for its survival and a minimum of a 6 inch root mass is required before it can handle stress from play)

Back Nine Starts on Tuesdays
Every Tuesday starting next week until Labour Day weekend, golf will be started off the 10th tee. When the days are long and golf rounds are at their highest, our greens on the front nine get much more wear than the back nine. Shifting the wear to the back nine once a week will help us alleviate some of the extra stress and allow us to provide a more consistent product on all 18 holes.

Have a great weekend,

Andre Aymar, Course Superintendent

15th Hole Grand Opening

By | 15th Hole, Islington Golf Club, Rebuild | No Comments

15th Hole Grand Opening

The 15th hole officially opened today. The rebuild of the 15th started last November with the clearing of trees around the old green complex and the realignment of the creek over the winter months. A late spring delayed the start of the golf construction, but with some long hours by the construction company we were able to finish seeding the green complex at the end of May. The new hole is definitely a dramatic change, and I hope everyone enjoys it. I was joined by Ladies’ Captain Sandy Zajac, Life Member John Tyers, and Vice-Captain George Mitchell for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Watch a video of the ceremony here.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for August 21, 2014

By | 15th Hole, Cart Paths, Rebuild | No Comments

New Hole 15

As the end of August is fast approaching, the 15th hole has matured very well and is getting very close to being ready for play. Nevertheless, the green along with the tees still have a little bit of growing to do before opening so although our projected opening date was Labour Day weekend, the official opening day will be Friday, September 5.

On another good note, the cart paths on #5, 14, and the practice hole were finally able to be paved. That will allow us to seed the tees on 14 and complete the tee complex. On Monday, August 25, the 11th green will be aerified.

The practice area is also coming along very well, with the greens and the fairway completed and growing in nicely.  The posts for the hitting structure are scheduled to be installed in the third week of September.  Once that is completed they can take measurements to create the netting structure and we can begin finishing off the balance of the project.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for June 20, 2014

By | 15th Hole, Greens, Rebuild

It has been a busy couple weeks so I wanted to send out a quick update of the progress we have made on a few areas.

The ongoing recovery on the low lying areas throughout the course is moving forward. We have been seeding roughs and fairways daily with slit seeders and/or aerification with drop seeders followed up with sand topdressing. Each step in healing is done numerous times before a full recovery is made. These areas are very persistent and tough to establish but are beginning to get smaller. This process takes time and doesn’t produce a quick recovery like sod, but with the amount of damage we sustained, I am going to stick with this tactic where traffic and haul roads are not a concern. On some areas we will begin to repair with sod when the construction is finalized in the vicinity, and hopefully by the end of July all these areas will be completed. The final tee on #11 was sodded this week, and all the other tees that were repaired in May are now open for play. Overall, the areas in the roughs and fairways that were devastated by winter damage have been recovering, slowly, but these areas have shown vast improvements from the beginning of May.

15 first cut

Hole 15
The final phases of construction were completed the second week of June. The new 15th hole and 16th tee look great, and the overall improvement to this area of the property is outstanding. The green was seeded May 26, and on June 18 we mowed it for the first time. The green grow-in is on schedule. The tees were seeded June 10 and germinated 5 days later.

Greens Re-build
The contractor began bringing machinery to the site May 27 and started on May 31. It always takes time to get the process in sequence, but with the great weather we have had, the project is moving along quickly. As most of you have seen over the last couple weeks, the project is quite elaborate. The process starts by digging out the green and approving grades (1 day), followed by draining the green and gravel installation (1.5 days), after approvals of the gravel layer the new greens mix is installed and grades approved (1 day), and the final step is grading the area and preparing for seed and sod (1 day). That is the process in a nutshell. It takes a lot of machinery and material hauled throughout the property to get this completed, and as of June 18 the construction company has cored out 8 greens, fully completed 3 greens, and in the final stages of 5 others. The first three greens will be seeded by June 19 and should show signs of germination within 7 days. The project has a lot of moving pieces but, at this point, is on schedule.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for June 6, 2014

By | 15th Hole, Greens, Rebuild

15 Hole

One construction project is coming to an end and another has begun. In December 2013 the start of the new 15th hole began with the widening of the creek, and today it ends with 2.5 tractor trailer loads of sod around the new tees. Even though construction got off to a late start this spring, the overall project has gone very well and the finished product looks great.

With the end of the construction on #15 (see photo above), the start of the greens rebuild is in full gear. By the beginning of next week we will begin seeding the first three greens of the project. The project has gone very well, with three greens approved by the architect, two have been drained ready for gravel and mix, and the fourth green will be approved by the architect on Saturday. The sequence of greens is going well, after #9 we will be moving on to #6, then #1 followed by #5. In the next week the range will close so the company can start to shape the new practice facility. The amount of material that is now stockpiled is from three greens and is enough to get started on shaping the area. This will allow the construction company to start dumping the material in place instead of moving it twice.

Even with all the construction going on I haven’t forgotten about the recovery efforts throughout the remainder of the course. The team began overseeding fairways and roughs again this week. I am using different practices this time on fairways, which includes core aerification, drop seeding followed by topdressing. You will notice on holes #1 and #11 we began slit seeding new varieties of Kentucky bluegrass into the damaged areas of the rough. Repairs to the large areas will be completed when we finish hauling material to each hole for construction purposes. Since we no longer need access to #15, we will begin to repair the roughs around #17, #16, #11 and the fairways on the same holes. Over the next few weeks we will begin finishing repairs to areas throughout the course as construction comes to an end.

As construction continues, the lower parking lot will continue to be used to stockpile materials. This will reduce the number of spaces available for parking. Your understanding and patience is much appreciated.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for May 23, 2014

By | 15th Hole, Greens, Winter

15 hole

I have been asked over the last couple weeks why the fairway and rough recovery is taking so long. Let’s not forget it was the harshest winter in recent history, the damage to the low lying areas throughout the course is severe and growing them back will take time. The amount of damage is not isolated to numerous large areas but to small low spots throughout the fairways and roughs making it impossible to sod. The turf team has been aerating, slit seeding, drop seeding, and topdressing with sand through the damaged areas, now we have begun watering and fertilizing regularly to promote growth. This seeding process is not a onetime procedure it will be done numerous times throughout the season to aid in recovery. This will be a long recovery process, there is nothing we can do to make seed grow faster, trust me, I have tried! I know you have heard me say it all spring but this year is going to take patience from the membership and the turf department, the worst thing I could do is lack patience during recovery and reseed to quickly destroying all the work we had previously accomplished. Let’s hope spring has arrived and with the warm temperatures the recovery process will continue to move forward.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for January 13, 2014

By | 15th Hole, Ice Storm | No Comments

Last year ended with another memorable moment, an ice storm that hit the city of Toronto that probably effected most of you. The golf course was hit again with some significant damage to trees throughout the property. Several of the old, brittle Silver Maples were unable to handle the weight of the ice and a large amount of branches fell. It will take the better part of the winter and spring to fully clean up the damage. One of the main issues is the number of trees that still have broken branches hanging amongst other branches that will require climbers to safely remove them. This process is to start today and will take a few weeks to complete. Some trees have lost so many branches that the entire tree will have to be removed. Again, as previously mentioned, this clean up will be time consuming and could take into the spring to finish (see photos below).

Ice Storm  Ice Storm

A quick update on hole #15 renovations (see photo below). The project is on schedule, and work will begin again in late March early April. As projected, the tree removals are complete and the creek realignment with new rock work and plantings is finished. The new bridge abutments are installed and the bridge will be set in place the week of January 13.

15 Project

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for December 6, 2013

By | 15th Hole, Bridge, Construction, Greens

15th Hole December 6 2013 15th Hole December 6 2013 15th Hole December 6 2013
It has been a busy week of construction on the new 15th hole. All the trees have been cleared and chipped, and stumps have been removed and will be taken offsite next week. The creek work has progressed nicely; with another week of weather like this, the re-configuring of the creek will be completed. All the rock for the new creek banks and plantings will be installed and straw mulch applied for winter erosion control. The Helical Piles for the new bridge have been installed and concrete footings will be poured Friday, the final bridge abutments will be poured next Tuesday, and the bridge will be put in place sometime in January. Overall, great progress has been made on the project to date.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent


Course Update for November 29, 2013

By | 15th Hole, Construction

After years of discussions and months of planning and permitting, the 15th hole renovation has finally started. Tree removal at the new green location and the new 16th tee location have been completed. Chipping and stump removal will finish next week in preparation for earthworks. The temporary bridge has been installed and the creek channel works started today. The creek work will take approximately 6-8 weeks; this will put us on schedule to have the final earthworks completed in the spring.

I have included a couple of pictures showing the new green location and the view from the new tee site.

Course update for November 29 2013

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @IanMcQueenIGC for construction updates.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent