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 September 5, 2014

By | Aerification, Rebuild | No Comments

The greens are maturing nicely as we move into the fall season. The edges on the first few holes have started to fill in nicely and are beginning to look like putting greens. They are starting to show signs of density but require more topdressing and a late season aerification to help. Growth will begin to slow down once the cool night temperatures arrive. The low sun angle creates long dews, keeping the leaf surface wet for long periods of time. This is when young turf becomes fragile, and I will need to be careful not to cause any wear going into the winter months so the club will have healthy greens in the spring of 2015.

Overall the turf is healthy and in great condition going into the fall season.

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 August 15, 2014

By | Bentgrass, Greens, Practice Range, Rebuild | No Comments

The machines have left the property! I am excited to say the construction company has removed all the large pieces of machinery offsite and are now finished. The remaining sod on the new practice facility will be completed today, leaving only the asphalt paving and curbing to be completed sometime in the next couple of weeks. Overall the greens have been growing in nicely, 14 of the 17 greens have now been mowed and are all at different stages of maturity. The crew started removing bunker boards this week and have begun tamping and leveling the sand. The remaining construction work will be completed over the next couple of months to ensure everything is ready for the spring of 2015.

On the course we have been focusing on repairing and seeding the remaining low lying areas in fairways and roughs. The rough has filled in nicely with the timely rains and cool nights, and fairways have improved dramatically since the beginning of the season. Over the next few weeks we will add some drainage to some small wet spots on #14 and #18 cart path that have popped up through the greens rebuild project. These areas are out of play and will not interfere with golf play during installation. In all, the golf course is recovering well and is in great shape going into the fall.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for August 1, 2014

By | Ballmarks, Practice Range, Rebuild, Winter | No Comments

The last green—the putting green—was seeded Thursday morning to wrap up the greens rebuild project. The remaining work on the practice facility will be completed at the end of next week. The last and most important step in the project is the grow-in. This takes time and numerous inputs to allow us to lower the mowing heights so they will be ready for play in the spring of 2015. One of the main inputs is sand; each green will receive between 5-8 skids of bag topdressing sand in the next six weeks. This procedure gives the new grass blades somewhere to grow, protects the new seedlings during mowing and height of cut changes and, most importantly, smoothes out any imperfections in the putting surface. Along with sand, the new bentgrass will receive approximately 6 lb. of nitrogen fertilizer in the next 10 weeks to promote establishment, compared to 2-3 lb. of nitrogen in six months for an established green. The weather over the last eight weeks was on our side for construction, and the next eight weeks will see the best weather for grass establishment.

On the Course
I have seen great recovery over the last couple of weeks in the roughs and on the fairways from the winter damage. We will continue sodding the larger damaged fairway areas on #11 and #18 next week, but overall the course is starting to look and play like it should. The one thing I have noticed and want to remind everyone to do is fix your ballmarks. The new #11 green has been neglected in this regard. There was a great conversation during the greens proposal about poa invasion, and the best way to fight poa invasion on new bentgrass greens is to repair your ball marks. Unrepaired ball marks create voids in the turf and the easiest way for poa to invade is through these voids. The next time you are on the 11th green take the time to look for where your ball landed and repair your ball mark. Here is a link to a video showing the proper way to fix ball marks.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for July 25, 2014

By | Construction, Rebuild

12 Green

I am happy to say the end is in sight. It has been a long 12 months of construction at Islington, and I want everyone to know the last three green surrounds will be sodded today. Machinery began to arrive on May 27, and on May 30 the 3rd hole was started. Exactly eight weeks later–one week ahead of schedule–the greens rebuild is complete. Now they will focus on finishing the new practice facility so we can seed at the end of next week. The crew has begun to backtrack, finishing any little items that may have been missed, and as planned the construction company should be offsite by August 1.

The grow-in has gone very well. As of today we have 14 of the 17 greens seeded, and 8 of the 14 are in different stages of mowing. The first three have each received the first two tons of topdressing sand, and by next week sand will be applied to five more. The grow-in process consists of numerous fertilizer, water, and weekly applications of dry bagged sand topdressing. Overall the greens that have germinated look great and I am happy with the stage they are at.

On the course we have begun sodding areas in the fairways with wear from winter damage that had a difficult time recovering. This week we will sod areas on #8, and next week we will tackle #11. The roughs have filled in nicely, and we will continue seeding and soiling these areas for re-establishment. The haul roads from the construction will be rototilled and then sodded in the next few weeks, and around the middle of August we will hydroseed the piles of fill by the pond and #18.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for July 18, 2014

By | Construction, Rebuild

On May 27, the construction crew started bringing machinery onsite to begin the greens rebuild project, and on May 30 the first shovel went in the ground on #3 green. I am happy to say it is almost at an end. After this week the construction crew will have three greens to finish. With good weather, we should be completed on July 25, then the focus will be on the practice facility the following week.

14 Green

This week started off slow with all the rain, but the crews pushed hard and we will be sodding around #13, 14, 16 greens and #14 tee today. The drainage and gravel layer have been installed on #12 green and #7 green has been rough graded, leaving only the putting green to complete. The grow-in portion of the project has gone very well. The turf team has begun mowing greens #2, 3 and #4 and today those greens will receive the first 2 tons of topdressing sand. Greens #8 and #9 will hopefully receive their first cuts today with topdressing sand to be applied next week. Overall the project has gone very well.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for July 10, 2014

By | Construction, Rebuild

Even with the rain over the last week, the construction crew was able to keep moving forward by installing drainage for the new practice facility and removing sod on two more green complexes. As of yesterday, the construction company had cored out 14 of the 17 green complexes and are anticipating completing the removal of the last green core on Tuesday. By the end of this week, we will have 11 greens seeded with the first 8 in different stages of grow-in anywhere from seedlings to being mowed. In all, the construction project has gone very well and the greens that have been seeded have fully germinated. With continued good weather, the project should be completed by the last week in July.

For those of you who haven’t been onsite this week, we have started the process of rebuilding #14 tee. With the disturbance around #13 green complex incorporating the bunker and surrounds it gave the opportunity while the construction company was at that location to finish them both together. The tee was old, uneven, and not aimed down the middle of the fairway.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for July 4, 2014

By | Construction, Rebuild

Another week down and three more greens have been seeded, giving us a total of eight completed greens. The construction company has removed earth on four more greens and started the finishing stages on three of them. With good weather, we should be done removing earth from the greens by the end of next week. This will put us right on schedule to finish the project by the end of July. The crew will be moving to holes #14, 13, 12, and #7, as well as the PG to finish off the project. While the construction moves forward, the turf crew has now backtracked and started to re-sod the haul roads that were damaged during the work. Over the next few weeks we will begin the process of adding the new sand to the bunkers. Once the sod has rooted and no more soil will wash out, we will add the new white sand, avoiding as much contamination as possible.

6 Green

For the past week, the turf team has been focusing on cleaning along creek banks and bush lines. We have been removing sucker growth along the creek banks to open up sightlines, as well as pruning back branches along cart paths for safety reasons. We continue to reseed bare areas throughout the property. The majority of the fairways have recovered nicely and we are now treating the small areas, like divots. The most severely damaged fairway was #11 by the 150 marker and approach to the green. We will continue to aerate and reseed these areas because bentgrass sod is unavailable until sometime in September. We have added new trees along the right side of 13 fairway where the ash trees were removed. The six new trees include: two Hackberry, two Linden and two Sugar Maples; a good variety of plantings to diversify the trees along the right of #13.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for June 27, 2014

By | Greens, Rebuild

It has been another busy week on the golf course. The turf team has again been working hard on seeding damaged areas throughout the course and will continue for the next few weeks. Areas that were to be stripped and sodded have been postponed for a week due to the heavy rainfall on Wednesday night. The rain gave us the chance to clean up some over grown brush along the creek banks to open up site lines off tees and fairways. The brush along #17 tee was knocked down to allow a clear view of the fairway and work began on the corner of #11 fairway to maintain the open look. Brush around bridges and over hanging branches are being cut back for safety reasons as well.

2 green 9 green

This week was very productive on the greens rebuild project. Even with the rain, the construction company made great progress. After today, 5 greens will have been seeded; holes #2, 3, 4, 8, 9. With the rain on Wednesday, the crew backtracked for the day and have been able to get holes #1, 5, and 6 ready for sod and seed. Next Tuesday, the sod will be laid around those three greens and will be seeded the following day. By the end of next week, we will have seeded half the greens and construction will have started on the final 4 greens.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent