Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Bunker Project Update

Progress on the bunker project has again been slowed due to weather. Work has been started on all of the front nine but with each rain the exposed soil turns to mud, making it impossible to work cleanly. The work that Mid-America Golf has finished so far has been very professional and the outcome of the finished bunkers look great. We do not want to rush by working in unfavorable conditions and risk the finished product looking sloppy. With that being said, the target completion date of March 31st is not going to be reached.

April is the informal start to our golf season here at Adams Pointe. Leagues and high school events begin as well as tournaments. The maintenance staff would like to apologize for any inconveniences the bunker project may cause during your round here at Adams Pointe but we assure you that the finished product will be worth the wait.

Our annual Masters scramble is scheduled for Sunday April 8th. Although the bunker project will not be completed, all holes will be open for play during this event.

A few bunkers (pictured below) have been completed since our last post. Scroll down to our February post to compare some of the architectural plans to the photos and to the work that you may have seen being done on the course.
No.18 before
No.18 after

No.6 before
No.6 after
No.5 before
No.5 after

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spring is on the Horizon


Winter can be long, grey and perhaps even a little mundane for both golfers and the golf course maintenance staff. We have seen nice, sunny days recently with temperatures in the upper 60's followed by freezing rain and lows in the teens the very next day. These drastic changes in the weather can be frustrating and can make it hard to get into any kind of a rhythm. Regardless, work is still being done both on the course and inside of the maintenance shop. Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner and the 2018 golf season is fast approaching. 

A significant amount of trees have been removed from the course this winter, most notably on No.'s 5, 6 and 12. Three trees along the right side of No. 5 have been removed for better visibility and access of approach shots from the fairway to the right side of the green. This will also give us a better chance to grow turf in these areas that have struggled in the past. Compaction issues and competition for water and nutrients from the tree roots can make it hard to grow turf. Trees have also been removed from behind the green to allow more sunlight and airflow to struggling turf in the rough and to the green itself. Multiple trees have been cut down along both sides of No.6 fairway. These trees have been removed for better visibility and access to the fairway from the tee boxes. No. 12 is a tough par 3 requiring  an accurate tee shot to thread the needle between tree lines on both sides of the tees. Over the years brush has grown up and trees have gotten a little too big. Brush on the left side and a few trees from both sides of the tee boxes have been removed. This hole is still demanding and will require an accurate tee shot for par. 

No. 12 before tree clearing
No.12 after clearing
Progress on the bunker renovation project was slowed down due to bad weather in the month of February. This project is now scheduled to be completed by March 31st. Our next post will highlight some of the work that has been completed on the front nine bunkers. Also, just a heads up, the course will be closed Monday March 12th for greens aerification.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February Bunker Update

Finished bunker in front of No. 17 green.
After a fast start to our bunker project this fall, things have slowed down a bit in the past month. With the holiday season, followed by abnormally cold and then wet weather, the bunker renovation is currently on hold. As soon as more favorable weather conditions take over, we will be back at it to finish work on the back nine. Sand needs to be added to the bunkers on No. 10 and No. 18 still has a few days of work left before it is finished. Check out our last post for more information about the work that was completed before the holidays and plans for No. 10 and No. 18.

After the back nine bunkers are finished, we will shift our focus to the front nine. Not all work will be finished on the back as we will begin tree removal and rehabilitation of the haul roads used during construction. Aside from those two projects, all heavy construction will be finished on the back nine. 

In this post, we will focus on the plans for the front nine and practice area. With the uncertainty in weather forecasting and amount of moving parts involved in a project of this magnitude, no firm timeline can be established for completion of the front nine. As with any large project, plans are subject to change for a variety of reasons. It remains our goal to have the bulk of the work finished before spring and the unofficial start of golf season.
Design plans for No. 5 green complex.
Almost every hole on the front has changes in store, except for holes No. 7 and No. 8. We will most likely begin work on No. 5, as it is the furthest hole from our shop and storage areas, and work our way back towards the center of the property. As you can see in the plans above, No. 5 will have quite a different look. Slight reshapes will take place to the two bunkers in front of the green, while the two bunkers behind the green will be removed. Two trees on the right side of the fairway will be removed to open up the right side of the green, which in its current form is basically inaccessible. The large tree in front of green will also be removed, in part to open up that side of the green, but also to reduce root encroachment in the bunker and under the green. We are confident that removal of these trees will provide improved playability, but also healthier turf in these areas. 

Design plan for No. 6 fairway bunkers.
Design plan for No. 6 green.
Hole No. 6 will be a straightforward renovation with slight shape changes to the bunkers in the works as well as new sand. The large tree between the fairway bunkers will be removed to reduce root encroachment and should increase the lifespan of these new bunkers dramatically. 

Design plans for No. 4.
Tee shots in to No. 4 green will be much more daunting after work is completed. The bunker behind the green will be removed, as it is not in a location conducive to catching shots, and will be replaced with a grass mound. A new bunker is being added to the front left of the green, where it is sure to see more action than the replaced back bunker.

No. 3 fairway bunker plan.
Design plan for No. 3 green complex.
Hole No. 3 will also look quite a bit different this year. The fairway bunker is being reduced in size and moved to make it more visible from the teeing area. The big bunker behind the green is being removed and replaced with rough. The bunker in front of the green is being enlarged and reshaped to make for a more challenging shot in to the green. These changes will improve playability as well as aesthetics on the hole.

Design plan for No. 2 fairway.
No. 2 is seeing a new hazard being added to it with the addition of a fairway bunker on the right side of the hole. This is a popular landing area for second shots, and with the current topography a bunker should lay in seamlessly, making for a tougher choice in club selection after your drive.

Design plan for No. 1 fairway.
Unlike most holes in this renovation, the tee shot on No. 1 should be a bit easier. The fairway bunker is being reduced in size, and additional bentgrass fairway will be added where the old bunker was. This will create a wider landing zone for tee shots, and should only punish longer hitters who try to "cut the corner". 

No. 9 green complex design plans.
Hole No. 9 is also a very simple renovation. Bunkers will be cleaned out, reshaped, and new white sand added. The small bunker in front of the green will have fescue sod added around it to hopefully increase turf health around that bunker. Both bunkers will also be made more visible from the approach area.

Design plans for the practice area.
The practice area is our last target for renovation. The west bunker is being removed and replaced with bentgrass. The east bunker is being reshaped and expanded to allow for bunker shots in to all areas of the chipping green, not just one side of it. Allowing shots to be spread out, instead of all shots going in one direction and sand building up over time, will help increase the lifespan of this bunker and reduce maintenance needs.

As mentioned above, with unpredictable weather and numerous moving parts, these plans are subject to change. Keep checking back here for updates on our progress, before and after pictures, and more.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January Bunker Project Update

No. 18 green complex before and during construction.
In our last post, we highlighted changes to holes No. 11 through No. 14, and discussed upcoming plans for holes No. 10, 15, 16, 17, and 18. In this month's post we will be reviewing the work that has finished since our last post, as well as discuss plans moving forward from here. Due to challenging weather conditions and the holiday season, we will not be getting in to plans for the front nine in this month's post. Be sure to check back in towards the end of the month for updates on those plans and more.

No. 15 fairway bunker before and after.
A lot of work has taken place since you last heard from us. Sand was added to the two bunkers on No. 15, and short of seeding haul roads all major work on that hole is finished. The fairway bunker was reshaped, allowing better visibility off the tee, and the green side bunker was reduced in size and reshaped for improved playability.

Sod ready to be laid on No. 16 old fairway bunker.
No. 16 fairway bunker before and after.
Looking back towards No. 16 from the new fairway bunker.
All major construction has finished on No. 16 as well. With one fairway bunker removed, and a smaller one added in a new location, this tee shot has become much more challenging. Reshaping of the green side bunkers has also been completed, making these bunkers more visible from the landing area.

No. 17 before and after.
No. 17 green complex before and after.
No. 17 has gone through one of the more dramatic changes on the course. The green complex still has four bunkers but all have been reshaped and three of the four have been moved to make them more visible from the teeing area. A bentgrass bail out area has been added behind the green to prevent punishment of good tee shots.

Removing the rock wall on No. 18 green. 

One of the most visible changes on the course is happening on No. 18. The bunker behind the green is being removed, with a rock wall to the edge of the pond, and sod on a gentle slope down to the water. The bunker on the right of the green is being reshaped, and shifted further to the front of the green. A second bunker is being added to the left front of the green, making for a much more demanding approach shot. 

All bunkers in this project are being completely cleaned out, with four inches of new white sand being added. Old drainage is being inspected and replaced as needed. Almost all bunkers are undergoing a shape change with some being shifted from their current locations. After all earth work is finished, a layer of gravel is put down, and then locked in place with the Better Billy Bunker polymer spray. After a quality check of the polymer, we add sand to depth and replace any disturbed turf with sod. Below is a video of the polymer spray on No. 16 green side bunker.

Moving forward from here, we are going to finish adding sand to the bunkers on No. 10 to complete work on that hole. After that, we will head down to No. 18 and finish up the remaining work on that complex. After No. 18 is finished, basically all heavy construction will have been completed on the back nine. We will still need to seed haul roads, and a good deal of tree work still needs to take place, but focus will shift towards the front nine. Check back at the end of the month for progress updates and our plans for renovating the front nine bunkers.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bunker Project Update

Before and after view of No. 14 bunker.
If you missed our last post, we covered the specifics of this winter's bunker renovation project. After about a month of work, dramatic changes are starting to take shape on the course. As of this writing, work has been completed on holes 11 through 14. Although sand is in place, and they may look playable, we ask all golfers to follow the signage on the course to allow all new sod a chance to establish. This week, work continues on holes 10 and 16. Below are a few before-and-after pictures from our completed holes.
Before and after view of No. 11 from 100 yards out.
Before and after view of removed bunker No. 11.
Before and after view of No. 12 from the blue tee.
Before and after view of the removed bunker on No. 13.
Before and after view of No. 13 west bunker.
Before and after of No. 14 bunker.
Last month, we highlighted the plans for the bunkers on holes 11 through 14. Today, we will be highlighting the plans for holes 10,15,16,17 and 18. As with any large project, plans are subject to change for a variety of reasons.

Design plan for No. 15 fairway bunker.
Design plan for No. 15 green bunker.
Work has almost been completed on No. 15. Sand still needs to be added to the green-side bunker, and some cleanup work needs to take place, but the heavy construction on that hole is finished. Neither bunker was changed dramatically, with slight shape changes taking place. The green-side bunker was also reduced in size.
Design plan for No. 16 fairway.
Design plan for No. 16 green complex.
Construction on No. 16 has also progressed quickly. One fairway bunker has been removed, a new one has been added, and the left green-side bunker needs a little more sod to be completed. The right green-side bunker has been cleaned out and reshaped, and work will continue there this week.

Design plan for No. 10 green.
Design plan for No. 10 green complex.
Number 10 has quite a few changes in store, as well. The fairway bunker is being reshaped, with new gravel, drainage, and sand. The green complex will see the front bunker reshaped and moved further in front of the green. The back bunker will be removed entirely with a lot of shaping to match the current contours.

Design plan for No. 17 green complex.
One of the more substantial hole changes will be taking place on No. 17. All the bunkers on that hole will be reshaped, and most will be moved to make them more visible from the tee. Moving these bunkers to their new locations also makes more sense from a playability standpoint. The back left bunker in its current location is basically wasted, with very few shots ever finding it. In its new position, we are confident more tee shots will find this area, making for a more challenging shot in.

Design plan for No. 18 green complex.
No. 18 will also undergo one of the more dramatic transitions on the course. The first thing you'll probably notice is the bunker behind the green is being removed. Not only does this area rarely see approach shots, it is also a maintenance nightmare, leaving little room to mow or spray the green. In its new design, maintenance on No. 18 green should be much easier to perform. In addition to removing the back bunker, the east bunker will be reshaped and slightly moved to make it more visible from the fairway and put it in a better location from a playability standpoint. A second green-side bunker is planned to be added to the west side of the green. These changes will make for a more challenging and more aesthetic finishing hole.

We appreciate your patience during this hectic time on the golf course and encourage you to continue following all signage on the course. Check back in next month to see before-and-after pictures from the holes we've highlighted today and to see our plans for the front nine.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Winter Bunker Renovation

Discussing plans for the west bunker on No. 13.
On Monday October 30, Adams Pointe will be breaking ground on a major bunker renovation. The current scheduled completion date is March 15, 2018, although this date will be flexible, depending on weather conditions during the winter. CE Golf Design will be the architecture firm in charge of the project, and Mid-America Golf and Landscaping will be the contractor handling construction.

We will use the Better Billy Bunker Construction Method, which is a several-step process. First, the existing sand will be removed, and drain lines will be inspected. Next, a 2-inch layer of gravel will be added to act as the bunker floor. A polymer is then sprayed over the gravel to essentially glue it in place, eliminating the need for bunker liners that generally have short life spans and lead to unplayable bunkers. The polymer needs a full 24 hours to cure, and we ask that all golfers pay attention to signage around these bunkers. Not only will foot traffic disrupt the polymer, it will also destroy your golf shoes. The pro shop and this blog will keep you updated on which bunkers to avoid. After the polymer has cured, new sand will be added, and any disturbed turf will be sodded. If you'd like more information about the Better Billy Bunker method, click here.

Some bunkers on the course will be eliminated entirely, while others will be reshaped or moved. As with any large project, plans are subject to change for a variety of reasons. We will provide periodic updates on which bunkers we are working on and which are coming up, as well as the design features of those bunkers.

A familiar sight after heavy rains will hopefully become a thing of the past.
As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude requires a lot of material and equipment. Sand, gravel, and drainage pipe will be stored in the lower parking lot at the clubhouse. Any other materials and equipment will be down at the maintenance shop. Our goal is to keep disruption of play to a minimum, so holes will only be closed when absolutely necessary.

Legend for design plans.
Design plans for No. 13 bunker complex.
Work is scheduled to begin with the bunker complex on No. 13. We will start at this far point and work back toward the middle of the course. As you can see from the plans above, the south bunker will be eliminated. It will be filled in to match the surrounding contours and will be sodded with fescue. Assuming the drainage is in proper working order, the west bunker will not change much, aside from a slight shape adjustment and new sand.

Design plans for No. 11 and No. 12 bunker complexes.
After No. 13 bunker complex, we will begin working east toward holes 11, 12, and 14. No. 12 will undergo one of the more dramatic changes on the course. The west bunker will be eliminated and turned into rough. The east bunker will be shifted toward the northeast, bringing it farther out into the approach to guard the front of the green. Tree removal will take place on the left side of the hole to make the green more accessible. No. 11 will also see major changes. The bunker on the north side of the green will be removed and turned into rough. The south bunker will be reshaped and moved back to the west.

Design plans for No. 14.
Finally, No. 14 is a straightforward renovation. A minor change in shape and new sand is all we have currently planned.

As stated above, plans change for numerous reasons, and we might not always work in the order described here. We will do our best to provide timely information pertaining to where work is taking place and the scope of that work, so check back here regularly for before-and-after pictures and updates on progress. We look forward to the positive affect these changes will have on our course, not just aesthetically, but also with regard to playability. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this busy time on the course and hope our efforts improve your experience here at Adams Pointe.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Fauna of Adams Pointe

A baby Eastern Cottontail sits on No. 1 green
One of the most special traits of Adams Pointe Golf Club is the abundance of wildlife on the property. From small, indistinguishable insects to white-tailed deer, every round played has encounters with the animals of Adams Pointe. And with numerous different habitats, ranging from native grasslands and deciduous forests to riparian zones and protected native wetlands, the viewing options are endless.

An unexpected find on the first hole of the day.
The baby Eastern Cottontail pictured above was inside the cup on No. 1 green on a morning in the spring. While the rabbit was undoubtedly nervous about being trapped, we recovered it from the cup unscathed, and it hopped right off. 

A young White-tailed deer heads toward greener pastures.
While many animals visit Adams Pointe at various times of year, our permanent residents are abundant. White-tailed deer can be spotted nearly any day on the course, especially during morning and evening golf rounds.

But one species that has even the deer outnumbered is the wild turkey. Large groups gather on different holes in the mornings to feed on seeds and insects, and in the heat of summer, you can hear them foraging in the shaded woods. Their high-strung nature can cause some entertaining moments, as they do everything possible to get away from approaching carts.

One of the most overlooked segments of our wildlife population is the large variety of birds on the property. Seasonal visitors such as the Killdeer and Red-winged Blackbird can be seen and heard around No. 10 and No. 18 pond during the summer. In winter, Black-capped Chickadees and Brown Creeper take over the woods on No. 8, while American Kestrels invade the grasslands on No. 15 to hunt for a rare January meal. We have observed more than 100 species of birds on the property.

An osprey perches in a tree overlooking the pond on No. 14.
This spring, we were visited by a migrating Osprey. During its rare and brief stay, we were lucky enough to spot it in the trees above the water south of No. 14.

Our most mysterious resident by far is the solitary bobcat. A lucky few have had the privilege to see one while playing a round, but the views are usually fleeting. Although bobcats prefer the dense woods and are nocturnal, there have been several sightings in the day and out in the open. If you do spot a bobcat while on the property, it is best to give it space and just enjoy the view. 

A bobcat patrols the native on No. 11. 
A bobcat kitten runs across the path to the maintenance shop.
While the bobcats might get more attention, another cat at Adams Pointe is more famous and rightly so. Affectionately named Knucklehead, the cat pictured below has lived at the maintenance shop for at least 15 years, although historians argue about the exact number. Serving as a therapy cat, head mouser, and lunch hour entertainment, she has been the best shop animal in the golf industry and continues to do her duties without complaint. If you happen by the maintenance shop and see old Knucklehead, feel free to give her a pet.

Knucklehead hiding in the tallgrass.
During your next round at Adams Pointe, be sure to keep an eye out for our wild course companions. Spying a bobcat or watching the bluebirds harass a perched Red-tailed Hawk can further immerse you in the joy of golfing. Just remember to be respectful of their space, as these creatures are nice enough to allow us to golf on their front yard.