Friday, December 4, 2009

Just what is going on with the mounds on #16 and #18?

I was asked this question today and thought it would be a good time to bring everyone up to date with this project, that was started during the summer.

All of this soil was removed from the pond that stretched from #16 to #18 because this is where our main irrigation pond receives water that is directed from the Golfview Canal, through Lake Whitley (#17), and into the end of the pond that is in front of #15 green. This area has been getting more shallow each year, and it controls the water flow coming into the course as well as going out of the course. We were only concerned with the inflow since it is most important in times of drought, when our ponds are at there lowest. This is a crucial part of our emergency water plan for times of severe drought. It is vital for us to keep the flow moving not only through our ponds but also the Parish drainage canal.

I get questions every year when a drought gets near on whether or not we have a well to add water to our course during these times. While the answer is yes we do have a well (located next to our pump house), the water is not idea for usage on our turf.
This is mainly due to the high content of sodium in the water, which causes issues with soil. I can and will use it, but only in dire cases, and then only for the greens. This is due to the very low water output of this well. Ideally we would have a 6"-8" well that would be dug down to the really good aquifer which is really deep and very expensive to reach. So we rely on our parish drainage water instead, which is actually "tidal". That's right I said tidal, as in fresh water tidal which comes from the other side of interstate 10, right out of the swamps. While it is not the idea water to use on a golf course it is better water then any other club in the metro area can get and we are darn lucky to have it.

So that is the reason why we ended up with all of the soil, now for why we have not done anything with it yet and what are we going to do with it.

So far it was dumped where you see it to allow it to dry out in order for us to work with it. This soil consist mostly of clay, which is almost impossible to work into usable structures. It also takes a long time to dry out, sometimes 6 months or longer. Once it does get dry enough to work we will use some of it where it is to keep from tearing up the golf course in moving it. Some will get moved to #18 where we currently have plans to build a series of bunkers on the left side and some mounding closer to the pond. The soil that was left to the left side of #15 green will most likely get moved to #2 where we have plans to fill in the little pond on the left side of the green. This pond was built really small and penalizes golfers a little too extreme. We have also recently rebuilt the bunkers, and we can take the re-design of the green surrounds to another level by getting rid of the pond in exchange for another grass bunker and mounding in the area.

Why is it taking so long? This has been another question I get often. The truth is that after we dug the ponds it started raining, a lot, and really has not let up for any extended period of time. The dry times we have had, have been used mainly to get the course back into great shape, in which it seems like by the time we get that accomplished it rains again. In this we are fighting Mother-Nature. We do have plans to clean up these areas ASAP, but our main priority is not to destroy the course in the process.

We really are sorry for the mess and any inconvenience it may be causing. Rest assured that we have not forgotten any of it and still have plans that will use this soil to make your course even better.

I hope this clears up any questions you may of had. If not please feel free to e-mail me with your questions, Stop me on the course or visit my office. Thank You