Friday, May 29, 2015

Golf's largest weed problem

I have be accused of a lot of things, some more true than I would like to believe, but I am not a tree hater.
I love trees, they are beautiful and amazing creatures.
Ever since humans have learned how to plant trees, we have made lots of goofy choices regarding this practice.
Golf is a great example.
This is the time of year that trees are fertile, and with that comes the absolute downpour of flowers and flowering structures of trees. Here at Briar, we are spending an incredible amount of labor dealing with this issue. The morning dew works like glue to stick the debris on the rollers of our precision mowing equipment. After one pass, a machine that was meant to cut off .020" of a grass plant for a height of .125" is now mowing no where near the target.
The result, shaggy greens that are slow.
We have gone to rolling in the am, to remove the dew, and then mowing in the afternoon when they are dry. I apologize if you see the mowers out in the afternoons, no, I haven't lost my mind, I am trying to outwit Mother Nature.
Again, we are sorry for any inconvenience, we are trying to provide the best surface for you and your guests.
We appreciate your understanding.
Have a nice two putt,

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Demo day and a horse race

If you missed the demo day yesterday, you missed a great event. We had the major club manufacturers set up on the driving range. Each manufacturer had their club fitting specialists here to assist our members. Club fitters use technology like launch monitors to measure the effects of different shafts and heads for each player. Chef had hot dogs and hamburgers cooking at the range, and Cory had FREE draft beer!
Today, the horse race is scheduled at 2:30pm. The horse race is much like our shootout at the presidents cup. If you want to have a cocktail and watch some players choke under the pressure of playing with a gallery, this is your oppurtunity. These events are great to follow along and watch, I promise some good laughs!
Have a great holiday weekend,

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My favorite machine

We have over 90 pieces of equipment to maintain our 27 holes of golf. That may seem like a lot, but for those of you who have been to our spring open-houses, seen my power point presentations, or witnessed the beginning of the day at the operation center, you have a better understanding of how complex of an operation we run.
Of the 90 pieces, this machine is my favorite. This machine was the first cultural practice machine that I put on the greens. This little gem is the reason we were able to restore the putting greens here at Briar. Armed with vertical blades, I can wage war on thatch. Excessive thatch will make a surface spongy and puffy.
We are using this machine in the approaches to help firm these surfaces up.
Golf is more fun when the contours of a course make shots interesting.
As we work this year to firm these areas up, we hope you enjoy how this practice changes the game.
Fairways are next, but I'm gonna need a bigger knife,

Friday, May 15, 2015

A buzz at the club...

There always seems to be something buzzing at the club. Unfortunately, the buzzing I've been hearing makes me sad. It's a swarm! Bees swarm when they for a number of reasons, but mainly to produce a new queen. Our queens are not that old, so the swarm is probably due to the lack of a hive bodies being added in a timely fashion (bad bee keeping on my part). I guess the toughest lessons are the ones you learn from.
On to a better buzz......
The humming of golf course equipment. We have received a healthy dose of new equipment! I am very excited, this new fleet should help us maintain some quality playing surfaces. Thanks to my committee and the Board for the dedication to the preservation of our golf course. When you see any of these individuals, please say thanks!
Gotta go, I have to figure out how to get my swarm out of that tree and into the hive,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why do we hate golf courses so much?

Golf courses have done a tremendous job explaining the environmental benefits of these green spaces, yet it seems like some still view us as all that is wrong in the world. Senseless destruction of property always makes me sad. I feel a greater sense of sadness when that destruction takes place to something I care for or about. The damage below was done on two blue tee Monday night. We are busy today replacing the sod on this area and it will soon go unnoticed.
We have also undergone some damage due to an unauthorized entry in the men's grill area. We are also working quickly to restore this area to the comfortable atmosphere that members enjoy.
We apoligize for any in inconvenience you or your guests may experience as we restore the property.
Thanks for your understanding,
P.S. Look for the benefits of golf series coming next week!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Range Tee Opening

The weather plays a huge part in various aspects of a country club. The opening of the range tee to the grass portion is one of those aspects. We want to be certain that the turf is actively growing before we do any damage. It is imperative that the turf can recuperate from any of the damage it receives, prior to opening.
We have a relatively small grass tee at the driving range here at Briar Ridge, but a small effort on the players part can make a huge difference in the quality of that space.
Below is a photo of three sets of thirty divots. Please note the middle section of the photo. This is how we would like you to utilize the range.
Not only does this method reduce the area impacted, it also allows for the fastest recovery.
Please help us as we begin the season by following this simple recommendation:
Place the ball at the back of the previous divot and work backwards in a line. Keep each line separated by a strip of grass.
Thanks in advance for your cooperation,

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Palmer Singleton Scramble

Today we remember Palmer, a great advocate of the game, well respected figure in the community, and a great gentleman.  Palmer Singleton was on the search committee that eventually offered me my current position here at Briar.  He was one of the first members of Briar Ridge that I would come to know and one that I will surely never forget.   Behind my desk sits a photo of Palmer and Susie, his high school sweetheart and partner in life's journey.  Palmer C. Singleton, Jr., was born and raised in Hammond IN, served our country in WW II, and returned to Northwest Indiana where he opened his practice of law, raised two children, and served as a volunteer for many charitable organizations. Palmer was an integral part of what led to the building of Community Hospital in Munster. Palmer certainly left his mark on our community. He was known as a good friend to many, a man to rely upon, a man with character.  Palmer also had a lengthy history with pro bono legal services as a frequent volunteer and advocate for legal services for the less fortunate.  Palmer was a prisoner of war in World War II.  

Palmer was instrumental in the creation of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program at Briar Ridge.  Pictured is a bluebird house with what was the Singleton residence in the background.  Many of the bluebird houses at Briar were built by Palmer and with the help of a local boy scout troop.  Palmer understood the need to be good stewards of the land and that golf courses can play a great role in protecting water quality, creating lost habitats, and conserving natural resources.  Mr. Singleton recognized the abundance of land that surrounds golf courses that are not integral parts of the game, and how those parcels could serve the community in greater ways.  The birdhouse and natural area on 2 red was placed there because of Palmer and serves as a reminder of his contributions.  I hope you have a great day. 
I miss you Palmer,

Go Blue!,
Mr. Good Boss


Sent from Erwin's phone, please excuse grammar and punctuation.