Friday, 13 December 2013

Valley Clubhouse Update - December 13, 2013

Retaining wall being formed on
South side
 Most of the Foundation Walls were poured this week for the clubhouse. They have to still pour Foundation Walls for retaining walls and the one end of the club house. This process has been much slower than anticipated. The weather this week definitely slowed the contractor down. Hopefully they will be able to make up some time before the real freeze! The goal next week is to pour the retaining wall foundations and start back filling before Christmas.   Until next time....  David

View from the North side

Friday, 22 November 2013

Valley Clubhouse Construction Update

 The footings for the foundation walls were poured today. There was quite a lot of digging required. The footings are quite large on this project because there are a few retaining walls which require sufficient stabilization.  As you can see they had to use a pumper truck for the cement. It is good to see the progress.
Until next time.... David

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Clubhouse Construction Has Begun

 Excavation for the New Clubhouse has begun this week. The contractor hopes to have the footing and foundation poured sometime next week. There is a substantial amount of fill to move around and the site is quite tight.  I will keep you posted as the project progresses.
Until next time...

Friday, 25 October 2013

Dormant Fertilizer

Late fall fertilizer or dormant fertilizer is being applied this week at both Victoria Park Valley and East. Usually around the last week of October or first week of November. Some of you have asked me if we are doing it earlier this year. The answer is yes by about a week. I have taken advantage of the cold weather. The fertilizer we use is agricultural grade and can be "hot" if the temperature is above 10 Celsius, which means it can burn the turf.  The theory is to apply the fertilizer when the turf slows down or stops growing. The nitrogen (which is the main element for turfgrass growth) is absorbed by the plant. The plant does not use the nitrogen for leaf growth or shoot growth as it does in the summer. Instead it uses it for root growth and as stored carbohydrates. This makes the plant hardy for winter dormancy and allows the plant to green up in the spring. By doing this we can avoid an early spring fertilization which can result in too lush surge of growth. This practice is good for all cool season turf home lawns. There have been some environmental concerns regarding the possibility of leaching and run off. Always apply fertilizer with this in mind. Be careful of getting close to waterways and hard surfaces (asphalt) which will travel off site into storm sewers. You should also not apply more nitrogen than the plant can absorb. We never apply more than 1lb of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet.
Until next time... David

Monday, 7 October 2013

Valley Clubhouse is Gone!

The Valley clubhouse was taken down last week to make way for the new club house which should start in a couple of weeks. It did not take long. They say Rome was not built in a day but it can be taken down in one! 
The new club house will be a smaller clubhouse than the old West course club house or the existing East course club house. It will have one main golfers lounge/banquet area that can accommodate approx. 140 inside with over flow or other groups on the patio. We are in the process of discussing options to cover a portion of the patio. At the present time the banquet room will be primarily used for golf tournaments and will be seasonal. We have no plans to use the facility for weddings etc. The club house will have a panoramic view of the golf course.
I will update you on the new club house construction with pictures as the project progresses.
Until next time... David

Monday, 2 September 2013

Aeration Time

Aerating Greens
Aerating Fairways
Victoria Park East aerated greens and fairways last week.
We aerated the front nine on Tuesday. The process takes the whole day. The actual aeration is done in the morning and the clean up process starts when the cores are dry. The clean up was halted by rain and thunderstorms late in the afternoon. We were not able to finish the clean up until Wednesday afternoon. The weather was much drier on Thursday and we were able to finish the back nine greens and fairways. Greens will take about one week to heal. Today has been six days since we did the front nine greens and they are filling in nicely.

Aeration is necessary practice for the overall health of the turf. I want to thank all the members and guests for being so understanding throughout this process.

Until Next Time....   David

Clean up process

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Clean up Begins

Willow tree on Hole #2 at East
Clean up has been going on since the violent wind storm Friday afternoon. Many trees were damaged or blown down. The East course received much more damage than the Valley. The power however was out at the Valley until Sunday morning. The it seems the golf course was just put back together again since the last storms. The main thing was no damage to any buildings and nobody was hurt. Until next time...David

Cedar Tree on Yellow deck on Hole #5

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Equipment problems at the Valley!

Jason and David hooking up the chain for the tow truck
 It was an exciting day at the Valley yesterday. One of our tractors ended up in the pond on Lakes # 8. Thankfully no one was hurt! The tractor will have to into the shop and shall we say dry out!
The water was nice and warm.
We don't need anymore excitement like this for the rest of the summer.
Until next time... David

Tow Truck pulling tractor and mower out

Friday, 12 July 2013

Recent Storms Wreak Havoc at Victoria Park

Lakes # 9 at Valley
Cart Path # 5 East

The recent thunderstorms have caused a lot of issues here at Victoria park. The already saturated ground could not absorb any more water. The amount of rain and how fast it came down on Sunday night then again on Monday evening caused major washouts to cart paths and sand traps. The east course was hit hard twice all the repair work done during the day on Monday had to be done again on Tuesday. The Valley however received only half the rain on Monday as the East course and did not experience the washouts. We are only 4 km apart. That is the thing with thunderstorms, they are vary hit and miss.  We dodged a bullet on Wednesday afternoon as more thunderstorms raged through Guelph. Both golf courses only received some rain. If any of you have been out this week you can see what we are dealing with. We hope get all the washouts fixed today (Friday) and catch up on the grass. With all the rain we are extremely behind in mowing grass and there are may areas we just cannot mow because the areas are too wet. At the East course we have not been able to mow the fairway or rough since last Friday. The hole has been playing as a par 3 instead of a par 4. We are attempting to mow it today. You may have also noticed the greens are slower than normal. When they are so wet we are unable to do many of the cultural practises like roll, verticut, topdress etc. with out causing serious damage.
I would like to thank you for all your patience during this time. Until next time..


Saturday, 29 June 2013

Wet weather adds to disease pressure at Victoria Park

Dollar spot disease on fairway
The wet spring has many benefits for the turf at Victoria Park. The rough has never been this lush and thick this time of year. We have hardly had to water the golf course. The water table is high and the course looks great. The downfall of all the rain is we can hardly keep up to keeping the rough mowed and as a result, some golfers complain about how hard it is to play and find their balls. The other problem with so much wet weather and especially the high humidity is the presence of turf diseases. Turf diseases which are also referred to as fungus, pathogens, mould etc. and are the most persistent (and expensive) pest problem on golf courses in southern Ontario. The main reason is the type of turf grass used on most golf courses. Creeping Bentgrass and Annual Bluegrass is much more prone to turf diseases than Kentucky Bluegrass which is primarily found on home lawns. There are also many different types of Turf grass diseases some prefer cool weather and some prefer hot weather. Some diseases will only occur once if the weather conditions are just right and some are more persistent and last all season long. Some disease are more of a nuisance and some can be devastating if left untreated. Some diseases can go untreated  especially if the weather conditions will that caused the outbreak are no longer present. Some diseases do have to be treated with a fungicide. This is especially true for dollar spot. Dollar spot shown in the picture is the most persistent disease at Victoria Park East. The Creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass (poa) greens, tees and fairways are very susceptible. Golfers may have already noticed the spots about the size of a silver dollar. If left untreated the spots will spread and eventually kill the turf. Lets hope for some less humid weather.
Until next time...

Monday, 3 June 2013

Wildlife at Victoria Park

This fawn was found by members on Sunday morning near the 13th ladies tee at Victoria Park East. I actually drove by it earlier and thought it was a brown paper bag. The humane society was called they moved the fawn to a more secluded spot and told us it is normal for the mother doe to leave the fawn during the day. I checked on the fawn at 5:30am on Monday and it was gone.
The golf course is full of diverse wildlife. Unfortunately most golfers only see the Canadian Geese! This time of year keep an eye out for snapping turtles trying to nest in a sand trap or cart path. Wild Turkeys are becoming more prevalent in our area. They are around but quite shy.

The most unusual presence of wildlife at Victoria Park Valley has been the number of coyote sightings. It is rather the same few coyotes seen frequently. They have always been around but are usually much more aloof of humans. Some people are understandably concerned by this. The coyote's main diet is rodents, small mammals, reptiles, birds, berries and seeds. - NOT GOLFERS!We have spotted what seems to be a den on the golf course which would explain the multiple sightings.   Until next time...... David

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

May Projects at Victoria Park

Green side Bunker - Hole #1 at East
 May is a good time to finish spring projects before the golf course gets really busy. At the East course we are rebuilding a few bunkers edges. Bunker edges are continually changing because the sand is blasted up in the faces from golf shots and to a lessor extent wind. Green side bunkers with a lot of play need to be rebuilt every six to eight years.

New Rain shelter at Valley
New Rain shelters are being built at the Valley. Locations of the new rain shelters are Between Lakes # 4 and #6, Beside Pines #6 green, and beside Valley #6 fairway. The shelters should be completed some time next week.
Hopefully we don't need them. Until next time...

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Ice storm causes major damage at Victoria Park!

The ice storm yesterday caused a lot of tree damage, power outage at the Valley and major damage to the driving range fence at the East course. We are assessing the extent of the damage but I know it is extensive, will take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. We will let golfers know the fence is damaged and balls from the range will potentially go onto holes # 1 and # 9.  Old man winter clearly wanted to leave his mark on 2013! Until next time... David

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Golf Course is Open!

Both the Valley and the East course opened today. The Lakes course including all 9 greens plus the driving range were open for play.
At the East course we were able to open 9 holes and the driving range. As I said in my last post the greens are in great shape. The picture shows Jason Sewell (Valley Superintendent) walk mowing # 2 green at  the Valley. We would like to open the rest of the course by the weekend but the forecast is for a lot of rain. We will have to see what the next few days brings us.  I will keep you posted.
Until next time... David

Monday, 1 April 2013

Greens are in Great Shape at Victoria Park!

#18 Green 2013
The snow has finally melted on 90 % of the golf course and so far I like what I see. There is virtually no winter injury to speak of. In other words the greens are in great shape! Golf Course Superintendents and Managers always anticipate the first sight of the greens after snow melt with a little concern. In my last post I said I was not too worried because there was no real ice build up and I did see the greens during the early February thaw. However the prolonged spring did have me thinking a bit. The forecast does not look that great for this week but we hope to get on the course cleaning up by the end of the week. Until next time...

#18 Green 2010 with winter injury

Friday, 8 March 2013

Spring is just around the corner - or not!

This is what we all had to deal with last week. Spring is certainly taking its time this this year. It feels like the snow will never melt especially after last year's record breaking warm March. I remember working outside on the golf course, the kids wearing t-shirts and opening up the driving range. This is more like a traditional winter. Although the golf business really gets excited over early spring openings; it is only March 8th. There are some benefits with this traditional winter. The amount of snow we have and the fact that it is melting slowly is really good for the water table. Last year was quite dry and there was a huge concern that we could still be in a drought situation if we had below normal precipitation in the winter. Water quantity and quality will continue to be a huge concern especially in the Guelph area. As far as the condition of the turf, I have not been able to see if there is any damage. I do feel better this year compared to the spring of 2010. We experienced the worst winter injury ever. We had a thick ice layer on the greens around Christmas that year which lasted until March. The amount of ice and duration it lasted caused a lot of poa annua turf to die on the greens. This winter we had a major thaw in early February which melted all ice.  Therefore any ice build up will not be on the greens that long. I am anxiously waiting for the snow to melt at an even pace. I may even shovel some snow off some greens to help melt it faster. I will keep you posted.
Until next time - David