Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cart Path Policies

I would like to take a minute and refresh every one's memory on cart path rules. There are only two possibilities, 90 degree rule and cart path only. When the course is 90 degree please drive on the cart path until you reach the area where your ball came to rest. At that point you may drive off the path directly to your ball and then back to the cart path. When the course is marked cart path only you may not drive off of the path. There is an area about 30 yards short of the greens that we try to protect on every hole to make sure that you have the best playing surface possible. You will see signs notifying you to return your cart to the path at these points.
We do offer handicapped flags to golfers with disabilities who are driving carts. This is not a drive anywhere you want flag. The flag allows you to drive in areas that other golfers are not allowed to when conditions allow it. Golfers with a flag on their cart may drive closer to the greens complex than other golfers. Golfers with a flag on their cart must obey the 90 degree and cart path only policies.
We do have two holes, #3 and #4, that are cart path only at all times. I hope that you have noticed the improvement on these two holes since we made them cart path only. The fairways have a much better playing surface, and the roughs were actually rough this summer. As opposed to last summer when you couldn't tell where the fairway stopped and the rough began.
Please keep all four wheels on the path when you park at a teeing area or a green. We have a few areas that we are trying to repair that are prone to this. Some good examples are the #6 Green and #7 Tee areas. It seems that most people like to pull just off the path in these areas. It makes it really hard to grow grass in that much traffic.
We do not post cart path only to punish golfers. We do it to protect the golf course from unnecessary stresses. So, please help us create the best playing surface possible for you and follow the cart path policies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Changing Hazards

Most everyone has seen the conversion of the bunkers on #1 from Sand Traps to fescue Grass Bunkers. The reason for the change is because of the amount of work that some of our bunkers take to to become "playable". Even when our bunkers are in a "playable" state many of them have sand that has been contaminated by the subsoil and the rocks in it that have migrated upwards from years of mechanical raking and out of date construction techniques.
The reason that grassing them over was chosen was due to several factors. First off, we do not want to remove the hazards from play. By converting to fescue we can retain the shape and placement of the hazard while maintaining a stand of grass that can vary from a height of 4-8 inches. This still encourages golfers to hit the fairway, or they will face a very difficult shot. Secondly, the ability to do this in a minimally invasive fashion came into play. The three bunkers that we just converted on #10 fairway took us one afternoon to complete with no evidence that we were ever there. Renovating these sand traps would take a considerable amount of earth moving, drainage, sodding, and irrigation system rerouting. The process I just mentioned would have taken 2-3 weeks with heavy equipment traffic to add to the mess.
We have completed 5 bunkers so far. I hope to have 2 more done by the end of the week. The list of bunkers to change over is; #1 fairway, #8 fairway, #10 fairway, #12 fairway, #17 fairway.
Here are some pictures the day after #10 was completed.
The above picture is a view from #10 Tee. The above picture is the 3rd fairway bunker on #10.

The above picture are the two fairway bunkers on the first half of #10.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Respect The Course

As I was walking the greens the other morning I came across some points of damage on #14 green. I thought this would be a good time and place to address this. There was a divot taken out of the green where someone swung at it with a wedge, and a drag mark where it appears that someone gouged a putter into the playing surface. These actions are inexcusable. Yes, it is legal to pitch the ball off of the putting surface if it is necessary, but we have very few greens where that play is called for and definitely not on #14.

When this type of damage occurs we have to spend time repairing these areas. This is lost time for us, time we could be spending working on other areas of the course as planned.

This is not the first time this has happened, and I seriously doubt that it will be the last. My hope is that with effort and good etiquette we can great a good playing surface for all of our golfers. Just rember to leave an area as you found it, if not better than you found it.


We are 15 days out of aerification of the greens, and they are healing well despite back to back frosts last weekend. The greens are still being cut higher than normal. We do this to allow the plant to be a little more tolerant of the stress, and as to not pick up any of the layer of sand that we put down on the surface of the green. We will start dropping the height of cut to the seasonal standard next week as long as the heal in stays on this path.

Here is a picture of the middle of the putting green surface I took this morning to let you know what to expect.

I know that aerifing is a headache that comes at some of the best points of the year in golfing standards. It is something that needs to be done though. Every growing season we accumulate thatch in the soil from decomposing organic material. We have to go in and physically remove a certain amount of this material and replace it with clean sand. If the thatch layer is allowed to continually increase it will result in a poor surface throughout the season.

Over seeding

I'm sure everyone has noticed the rye grass coming up in the fairways and tees. The tees were seeded on the 28th of September. Unfortunately the fairways had to wait until the 7th of October to be seeded. The traditional seeding dates for this area is usually the second week of September, but we got backed up due to a shipping mix up and a scheduling conflict. I am hoping that we can get enough warm weather for the remainder of the fall to get the rye properly established.

Over seeded tees and fairways, while nice to play off and have a good visual reference off of the tee, also have drawbacks. We will have to be a little more strict with the cart path policies during frost periods. There will be times when the greens are ready for play but the frost has not yet burned off of the fairways yet, and this will require us to remain cart path only. What happens is the leaf blade actually freezes and any heavy traffic will damage or kill the plant. So, there will be some days that we will be cart path only until 10:00 or 11:00 due to frost. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it is a necessary evil.


Welcome to the new Indian Hills Golf Club Maintenance information area.

I have created this forum to increase the communication between the golf club and the membership and golfers around the area. I will be able to inform our golfing community about projects that we are taking on, cultural practices being performed, and any other information that could be helpful to you.

I would just like to say thanks in advance to anyone who views this forum.