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.