Saturday, May 18, 2019

Project Update - May 18

The grounds department finished up another busy week working on both the project and the grounds. Things are taking shape and the new green slope/bunker complexes are nearing completion. This week was predominately consumed with sod installation. We accomplished the following:

  • Completed all sod installation on holes 2 and 9. This included approximately 60,000 sq.ft. of sod!
  • Began sod installation on hole 16 including completion of the paspalum around the green.
  • Completed bunker drainage installation on holes 7 and 16.
  • Began construction of the new tees on hole 4.
Next week we plan to complete all sod installation remaining on holes 16 and 7. We will also begin to increase focus on new tee complexes being renovated.

Monday started with the delivery of 16,000 square feet of sod in big rolls.

Installing rolls versus piece sod is a more efficient process requiring less labor.

#9 following sod installation.

#2 complete with paspalum sod around the green.

The exhausted crew putting the finishing touches on the paspalum around 16 green Friday night.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Project Update - Mother's Day Edition

First of all, I would like to wish all the mothers a Happy Mother's Day! This is especially true for my wife, my mother and my mother-in-law, all of whom I know read this blog. Thank you ladies!

This past week finished up to be a good week. Drainage installation was completed on holes 2 and 9. This was no small undertaking, especially 9. Our goal is to provide at least a 1% slope for the drain pipe which is installed underground. This means that for every 100 feet the pipe runs we need the elevation to drop by 14.4 inches. On an island that sits at 6 feet above sea level, it doesn't take long to run out of fall! The drainage run on #9 was several hundred feet which provided drainage to the area back right of the green, the approach and the two bunkers. Precision was key!

Sod was installed in the bunkers on holes 2 and 9. No these will not be grass bunkers. Like last year, we are installing sod in the bottoms of our bunkers in order to provide greater structural stability. Being on an island built from dredge, our native soil has the structural stability of a sandcastle! The sod should help with this. We will let the sod establish and grow roots for about a month. At that time, we will then kill the grass but leave it in place. The thatch and soil from the dead sod should provide a physical barrier to prevent the native sand (and shell) from mixing with the clean bunker sand.

We have been waiting on a delivery of Seashore Paspalum sod since Wednesday. Due to excessive rain in southeast Florida, this has been delayed. We are hoping the delivery will arrive this coming Tuesday. Similar to our efforts last year, we will be expanding the greens by approximately 10 feet in all directions. Over the past decade, our greens have reduced in size. This is a common occurrence on golf courses as the taller surrounding grass overtakes the shorter greens-height grass. Our sod work around greens is aimed at reclaiming lost square footage and increasing locations for pin placements. 

On Monday we are expecting two loads of bermudagrass sod to be delivered for number 2. Our plan is to have #2 completed with grass this week along with most of #9. These two holes alone will require over 6 truckloads of sod. We also plan to be sodding the bunkers on 7 and 16 midweek. Once shaped and drained, it is important to sod the bunkers as soon as possible. This helps to reduce the potential for heavy rains to erode shaping work. It will be another busy week for sure!

The guys finishing drainage and bunker shaping

New bunker on #9 with sod installed around drain lines
#2 graded and ready for sod

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Project Update - May 7

Brian Ross, our shaper, was able to cut out the new bunkers on 2 and 9 over the weekend. Moving us one step closer to completing these holes.

Progress on Monday was delayed due to an irrigation blowout on hole number 5 by the green. Unfortunately, the leak caused major erosion in the area. After examination, it has been decided that the best option for repairing this area will be to remove the turf, regrade and install new sod. We will time this activity sometime over the next two weeks for when we will be receiving a sod delivery.

Tuesday was an exceptionally busy day. Taking advantage of the closed day, we were able to do a small-hole aerification on greens, and apply fertilizer across the entire golf course. Having altered our approach to aerification last year, we are planning to do many small-hole aerifications versus a few aggressive aerifications. When you do the math, we can be as effective with several minimally invasive aerifications as we can with a few aggressive ones. While more frequent, the small-hole procedure has minimal effects on playability compared to the large holes which usually require a few weeks for the greens to heal. The goal is to provide great putting conditions for as many days out of the year as possible without sacrificing turf health.

New irrigation was installed around #7 green today and drainage was installed in the new bunker on #2. The left greenside bunker on #16 began to take shape. We will continue drainage work on #9 on Wednesday and our first loads of sod are scheduled to arrive later this week.

Erosion caused by irrigation blowout on #5

While visible, the small holes should have minimal effect on putting conditions

Cristino installing new irrigation wire on #7

Bunker drainage on hole #2

Left bunker taking shape on #16

Friday, May 3, 2019

Project Update - May 3

After week two, we continue to make good progress. Rough shaping of the bunkers on 2, 9 and 16 is complete. Work has begun to rough shape the bunkers on 7. (Yes, the small bunker to the right of 7 green is coming out. I can hear many cheers for joy!) Over the weekend, shaping work will continue on 7 and the bunkers on 2 and 9 will receive their final shape.

Irrigation will be installed around 7 green on Monday. We will begin drainage installation on 2 and 9 on Tuesday. Paspalum sod will be installed around the greens on Wednesday. This sod will server the purpose of enlarging the greens back to their original size. Sod around the bunkers on 2 and 9 will take place on Thursday and Friday.

There are a lot of moving parts but our crew is doing a fantastic job!

We have been doing Facebook Live updates the last couple of weeks. To view the most recent update, click here: IslaDelSol_ProjectUpdate_May2_Video

Right side of 7 green beginning to take shape

Rough grading taking place on 16

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Project Update - April 30

Work on the golf course project continues to progress. On Monday and Tuesday we accomplished:
  • Installation of new irrigation on #9
  • Rough shaping of bunkers on #9 and #16
  • Sod removal from #16 and #7 greens
On Wednesday and Thursday rough shaping will continue on #16 as well as #7. Sod removal will take place surrounding #8 tee to allow for the addition of extra material to build new forward tee space. Irrigation work continues in these areas as well.

Late this week and early next week the final shaping of the new bunkers on all holes will take place. After that, drainage will be installed. Once the drainage is complete, a final smoothing of the surrounding grade will take place in preparation for sod.

Things will really begin to take shape over the next week. As things become easier to see, we will be able to better describe the planned changes and reasoning behind each change.

On #9 we have encountered a situation where we will be removing a an oak tree and replacing it with a new oak tree in a slightly different location. The tree on #9 has not been healthy for a few years as a result of girdled roots. It is evident by the color of the leaves and thinner branches that the tree isn't healthy. This will only compound as the tree ages. We decided this was an opportune time to replace the tree as it coincides with the location of current construction. We will also be planting two additional oak trees on the left side of #3 fairway where we lost several trees next to the condos to Hurricane Irma.

Unhealthy Tree on 9. Notice color of leaves and thin, spindly limbs.

A healthy oak of similar age with branches full of dark green leaves
Early stages of the bunker to the right of 16 green
Early stages of the bunker to the left of 16 green

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Project Update - April 28

Friday wasn't a complete wash but work was slowed due to the rain that passed through. We were able to complete the irrigation installation on #2 and haul most of the remaining material from #2 to #4 tee.

Over the weekend, the renovated left greenside bunker on #9 began to take shape.

Early stages of the renovation of the left greenside bunker on #9

On Monday, new irrigation will be installed on #9 to accommodate the relocation of the right-side greenside bunker. Turf removal will begin on hole #16 around the green. Because of this, #16 will be played to a temporary green.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Project Update - April 25

Work continued on #2 today and things are beginning to take shape. Both of the old bunkers have been removed and rough shaping has begun on a new bunker to the front right of the green. Creation of new contours surrounding #2 green has produced excess soil which we are hauling to #4 to provide material to build the new tees. Friday's forecast doesn't look great but hopefully we can continue to make progress.

Left side of #2

#2 Approach

Right side #2

Material from #2 to be used for new tees on #4