Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wissahickon Greens Sod Update

Please view the below video to get an update on the greens sod being grown for next year's Wissahickon restoration.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dormant Zoysiagrass

The zoysiagrass at our St. Martins campus has gone fully dormant for the winter.  As the photo indicates, the fairways still maintain a great look with well-defined color differences.  The turf also maintains very good playability all winter-long as the balls sits very upright.  Please feel free to play the course all winter!

Now that our turf is well established following this past season’s sod work, our staff takes full advantage of this dormancy state.  With a single application we eliminate all cool-season weeds, including Poa annua, within the zoysiagrass.  This single, easy application is in sharp contrast to challenges associated with simply trying to control Poa populations with multiple, season-long applications in a cool-season turf stand.  This process will produce a beautiful, pure stand of zoysiagrass for our fairways within a very short period of time.

As a side note it is somewhat comical that during our rough conversion, which occurred just two months ago, our turf colors were exactly inverse to what they are today.  Feel free to scroll down to compare photos.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Finished! Overlooking #9 with our roughs recently converted to turf-type tall fescue, and our fairways to zoysiagrass.

This is same view from a couple years ago when the course was non-irrigated and prior to our restoration work.  It is hard to believe this is the same golf course.

Choosing to kill every blade of rough grass on our entire golf course was quite gut-wrenching for a short period of time…  

 ... but now the results are paying off!  All of our turf-type tall fescue roughs, as well as our newly seeded native areas has completely germinated! 

As we head into 2013, members will find that nearly every feature on the St. Martins course is new.  In one season our fairways and tees were converted to zoysiagrass, our roughs were completely converted to fescue, and the greens were expanded to their original perimeters.  In addition to the new grassing schemes, bunkers were completely rebuilt and a fully-automated, Rain Bird irrigation system was recently installed.

As St. Martins hosted the 1907 and 1910 U.S. Open Championships, it is fitting that our historic course will shine bright when the U.S. Open returns to Philadelphia next season for the first time in over 30 years.

Many Thanks
While overlooking the “new” St. Martins course, personal reflection quickly turns towards the tremendous team effort required to completely restore a golf course.  

 Staff- Our dedicated staff members amazed me daily throughout this past season.  The best example is that during our zoysia fairway conversion they stripped and laid over 40 semi-truckloads of sod during the peak-season months while continuing to maintain the course for play. 

 Our staff members performing the green expansion work last fall.

 Constructing the new putting green / 1st tee area.

 Laying another truckload of zoysiagrass in 2012 during our fairway conversion.

Working through a snowfall during the winter during our bunker construction.
Golf Course Architect- Keith Foster’s passion for St. Martins, vision of what the course was and could be, and frequent visits helped keep our efforts headed down the right path.  We are all excited about working with Keith next year on Wissahickon.

Superintendents- When researching the St. Martins work, I am grateful that many fellow superintendents in the Mid Atlantic region allowed me to visit their courses and learn from their past successes and areas of improvements.  This graciousness and willingness to help is one of the great aspects of the golf course industry. 

Irrigation Team- Installing an irrigation system though three city blocks within the City of Philadelphia was no easy task; and navigating through these obstacles was the specialty of our irrigation team.  Their knowledge and willingness to work well together proved critical.  This team was world-class and included: irrigation designers, Aqua Agronomic Solutions; irrigation contractors, Tanto Irrigation; City of Philadelphia master plumber, Stuckertt Plumbing; Rainbird Irrigation’s national representatives; and their regional distributor, Atlantic Irrigation.   Members can feel very confident knowing that this group will be tackling Wissahcikon’s system next year.

Carefully unloading the HDPE pipe during our irrigation installation.

Club Leadership- The St. Martins work saw the light of day because of the faith and commitment from our club leadership.  The trust which was given to our staff was greatly appreciated, and allowed us to be innovative and set aggressive timelines in accomplishing this meaningful work.   

The creativity our leadership provided in 2012 provides PCC members with another high-quality option for golfing in 2013.  With our June 2013 close period upcoming for the Wissahickon restoration, the timing worked perfectly.

 Club leaders with golf course architect, Keith Foster, and PCC staff members following last winters work.

PCC Members- Lastly, we thank all of PCC’s members for your patience in allowing us to accomplish this work during the middle of your golf season.  We understand that disturbances were frequent occurrences in 2012.  The improvements made will be long-lasting, and we hope that this work truly makes a difference in how your family enjoys the club for many years.

PCC members dressed in "Classic" attire during our 2010, 100th Anniversary U.S. Open Championship event.