The weather dropped 2.0 inches of rain on Thursday evening, then 0.25 inches on Sunday evening, then 0.33 inches on Monday evening, so, the course is very wet. This mixed with an unusually cool October, and the decreasing daylight hours, and the course is not getting a chance to rid itself of soil moisture.

Work does continue. We are now in the process of tackling the fallen leaves on a daily basis. With the wet conditions that are currently in place, it is important to move the leaves off the turf as soon as possible. Having a layer of wet leaves over wet turf will suffocate the turf. We do this by utilizing large blowers pulled behind a cart to blow the leaves into the rough where they are mulched or chopped up with a rough mower.

Sodding thin areas, in the rough and a few spot in fairways, is currently underway as weather and soil conditions permit.

Our ability to mow the rough and the fairways continues to be evaluated day to day.

If you are venturing out to play, and carts are available, please do keep to the path where possible, and avoid wet areas, drains, and areas under trees.

Some writings from the architect of the original golf course of the property. From "The American Golfer"



The links were bricht an' bonnie

Wi' tartan an' wi' plaid,

When the pride o' Skeebo village

Play'd the best that Cleveland haid.

The play was fast and furious

As soon's the ba' was thwack'd,

But in the final test o' skill

Ae' point oor Andra' lack'd.

The caddies stood wi' bated breath

An' every ee was set,

For no a mon was in that crood

But had his siller bet.

Ae' caddie cried as wi' his club

Oor Andra' faced the ba',

"Hoot mon, play up, and show them noo

Hoo Skeebo beats them a'."

Oor John he never winked an ee

Nae maitter fat they said,

He kent old Andra's game gey well

An' it never fashed his head.

He kent that a' he had tae dae

Was play a waiting game,

Sae a' he did wis cracked a joke

Wi' him o' library fame.

A' even at the seventeenth hole

Was hoo the game did stand

When Andra' stepped up tae the tee

Wi' driver in his haun'.

Oor Andra' look'd up at the sky,

An' then doon at the dirt,

An' cannily he weigh'd his club,

An' loos'd his pleated shirt.

An' then he plaintit baith his feet,

An' syne replantit each,

An' swung his club St. Andrew's style,

As high as he could reach.

Grim death, at just that moment micht,

Hae been old Andra's wush,

For the atmosphere resountit

To a michty empty swush.

His club flew like a rocket,

But, alas, the weird decreed,

The ba' row'd twa feet sickly

An' just lay doon an' deid.

Oor John noo steeped forward

A' een on him were set,

An' caddies o' the Skeebo tribe

Looked dour and glum you bet.

John waggled free and easy like

As he looked doon at the ba',

Bit he wisna taking chances

Wi' old Andra' ava'.

Sae takin' extra care he drave

A laich and rinning ba'.

An' Andra' wis richt vext tae find

He'd be on the green in twa.

Auld Andra' took his trusty cleek

An' fire wis in his ee

Tae try an' make a brilliant shot

An' lat his backers see,

That he wis in the rinnin' still.

An' could the game still win,

By swipin' sic a mar-vellus shot

An' holing the next yin.

He missed the ba' an.d brake his club,

Then kicked it wi' his fit,

Which pit him far's the game's concerned

Just hors-de-com-bat.

Ah, somewhere in this bonnie land

The pipes skirl a' the day,

An' somewhere lads and lassies shout

An' men are passing gay.

But they're awfu' dour in Skeebo

An' nae joy is there aboot,

Sin' the day when, like ane "Casey,"

Ould Andra' foozled oot.

Today we were able to complete the second half of the changes to the surface of the cart path on 17. As I posted earlier, the changes involved removing the asphalt surface, and replacing it with red gravel. This finishes off the changes to the cart path on 17.

Removing the asphalt.

Path prepared for the red gravel.
The cart path extension that was created last fall on hole 11 was laid through an irrigation head. The resulting traffic pattern left the irrigation head in the wheel track causing it to be driven over on a regular basis. On Monday, the head was driven over once too often.

While topdressing fairways for the last time on Monday, the tractor drove over the head and broke a fitting on the pipe. Unfortunately, in my haste to shut off the water, I did not have the peace of mind to capture the 20 feet high spray of water in pictures.

Fixing the leak is underway. We are currently stymied by a repair part that we did not have in inventory. This part should be here within two days, and the repairs can proceed. The fix will involve moving the head off the edge of the cart path to prevent these problems in the future.
I feel like I am typing the same thing every week, but I'll do it again. It was a wet week and the course remains very wet. We were able to get a few big projects done despite the uncomfortable conditions. Monday we were able to topdress greens and fairways, and begin to remove the dead summer flowers.

The recently betrothed Emilio topdressing greens. Emilio and the lucky lady plan to be married sometime next year.

Torres brushing in the topdressing on the greens.

Cesar applying the fairway topdressing. We will do one more application of fairway topdressing this year.

There have been a set of trees identified on the course as being key trees to the playability and aesthetics of the golf course. Extra measures have been implemented to protect their well-being. A company was out this week to install lightening protection to some of these tree.

Lightening protection being installed to a tree on the left side of 13 fairway.

On Friday we began some of the fall aeration we will be doing. It was decided to aerate the junior tees due to the more apparent thatch layer. These tees are soil tees and hold water for longer periods of time resulting in an environment more conducive to thatch production.

One of the junior tees after being aerated.

The back practice tee and middle practice tee were also aerated on Friday.

Thanks Greg!

We also replaced a few of the retired summer flowers with some flowers for the fall and into early winter.

When in the course of a renovation of the scale the club performed a few years ago, it is often necessary to utilize the most efficient measures possible to complete the maximum amount work. As work on the course progressed, the west side of the course was seeded first as earth work continued on the east half. As the grass germinates and grows it becomes necessary to begin a regular mowing schedule. However, the construction work on the other half of the course is still continuing. It then becomes necessary to manipulate the mowing schedule to accommodate the ongoing construction work.

During construction, it was decided to mow the bunker faces at 4" which would allow for a longer interval between mowing. This would enable the labor to be directed to other parts of the renovation that were still ongoing. Through one of the many course inspections during the renovation, one of these bunkers and it's 4" hair cut were happened upon, and it was decided to continue this maintenance throughout the course. Though this accident may never share the stage with the microwave or champagne, it works out well for the club and is still in place today.

The fairway cut leading into the bunker on the fronting edge was part of the plan from the beginning. This was desired to allow the bunkers to be more in play for shots that run toward them. A line of rough would prevent the golf ball from rolling into the bunker.

Both of these feature do require some unique maintenance requirements. The long grass on the face of the bunker is still mowed at 4", and is cut on every other Monday. So, on Sundays before our scheduled mowing, the grass could be rather long. Allowing this grass to be mowed every other week, rather than weekly, or twice weekly, significantly reduces our labor costs. The fairway height cut on the edge of the bunker is usually mowed twice a week with a walk mower. This job also mows several passes around the edge of the bunker which allows the fairway mowers more room to turn.

All of this adds up to the unique look the bunkers possess.
We received our first hard frost of the year this past Friday evening. This brings the end to the flowers and a beginning to frost delays.

On the golf course frost refers to ice crystals which appear on solid surfaces in the absence of precipitation. There are two such forms of frost: “rime” and “hoar”. “Rime frost” typically occurs under conditions of high atmospheric water content (vapor and/or liquid) and moderate wind speeds. It forms rapidly and adds a dull, matte finish to the surface on which it adheres. Rime formation is most common during cold fogs when water droplets come in contact with subfreezing surfaces. “Hoar frost” on the other hand, forms through the slow deposition of water vapor directly on a surface as ice. This is what we contend with most frequently on turf. It forms best when winds are light, which is often the situation during clear, cold nights. By accumulating slowly, hoar frost forms delicate, interlocking crystals that grow outward from the surface with a feather, fern, or flower pattern. Hoar frost's white color is caused by small air bubbles trapped in the ice crystal that reduces its transparency. The smooth faces of the hoar crystals cause them to glitter in the sunlight, particularly at the low, early-morning sun angles.

Frost occurs on clear cold nights when turfgrass plants reradiate heat. As the plant loses heat to the atmosphere the plant leaf cools. If the plant temperature is cooler than the air temperature then moisture from the atmosphere will condense on the leaf. If the leaf temperature drops below freezing then the water freezes and frost forms. This will occur even if the air temperatures are slightly above freezing. It is not uncommon to have frost form even if the air temperature is in the mid to high 30's. Frost does not form as readily on cloudy nights because the clouds reflect, or absorb and then reradiate the energy back towards the turf. Frost does not form as readily when a breeze is present. The breeze causes convection (a transfer of heat from the mixing of the air closest to the plant with the surrounding atmosphere); this helps to buffer the drop in leaf temperature. This also promotes evaporation of the water droplets from the leaf surface. Areas with little or no slope have a greater potential for frost formation than areas with greater slope. This is because air moves down the slope resulting in a greater potential for mixing. This is manifest when we see heavier frost formation in flat low lying areas.

Frost will normally form early in the morning before sunrise. This makes sense as the plants have been reradiating energy throughout the night, their leaf temperature will be the coolest prior to daybreak. Actually frost may continue to form even after daybreak because the low angles of light coming from the sun may not directly hit the leaf surface. Frost itself does not cause damage to the turf, but injury does occur when traffic is allowed on frosted areas. When frost is present on the grass plant the fluid surrounding the cells becomes frozen and takes on a crystalline formation. The frozen crystals have sharp jagged edges. Cart and foot traffic cause the sharp crystals to rupture the cell walls. This produces internal damage in the leaves of the plant. Turf damage is generally superficial. This is not to say that traffic should be allowed on frosted turf. If traffic occurs, whether it is foot or mechanical, damage caused by crushing the leaf blade will occur. Initially the damage will appear as a purplish to black discoloration of the turf. The damaged turf will then progress to a straw color. This discoloration is visible for a prolonged period of time.

If discolored turf was the only damage that Superintendents had to contend with then play could proceed as normal. Unfortunately there are more profound consequences. The discolored areas are weakened. This turf is more susceptible to disease pressure from fungal pathogens and is vulnerable to weed invasion, specifically Poa annua (annual bluegrass). If damage has not been sustained by the crown of the plant, then recovery will occur from the generation of new leaves. It can take several weeks for this recovery to occur. When the frost burns off, the grass plant thaws and it is possible to let play proceed. Under normal conditions play may proceed when the air temperature at ground level reaches 40 degrees.

Frost delays are frustrating for both golfers and the golf course maintenance staff. Superintendents are sensitive to the needs of their membership. They understand that the delay of an early morning tee time can affect a golfers schedule for the balance of the day. For this reasons we do not delay play unless it is absolutely necessary. Our goal is to provide the best conditions possible for all members and their guests. When frost is present, we monitor the course condition closely. We communicate and work directly with the pro shop so as to open the course as quickly as possible. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we encounter early morning frost delays.
Tim has be recognized in the October 2009 issue of Golf Course Management for his recent Master Greenkeeper certification from the The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association. Golf Course Management is the national publication of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

"Chicago superintendent walks the walk in pursuing
professional development."

The latest American superintendent to attain Master Greenkeeper status from the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association recently reflected on the foreign version of GCSAA's Certified Golf Course Superintendent designation.

Tim Anderson, superintendent at Naperville Country Club on Chicago's west side, became the 49th Master Greenkeeper registered by BIGGA this past spring, nearly five years after he earned CGCS status. The 23-year member of GCSAA is just the 14th Master Greenkeeper superintendent in the U.S.

"It shows commitment to the industry, continuing education, keeping current, professional development ... all of those things," Anderson says. "you're investing in yourself, really."

Anderson says the Master Greenkeeper process is a lot like GCSAA's certification program, with similar peer reviews, membership and education requirements and exam preparation materials. BIGGA even accepts the transfer of many GCSAA education units.

One BIGGA requirement, a course attestation by a Master Greenkeeper, turned out to be a no-brainer for Anderson. Bob Maibusch, CGCS at nearby Hinsdale Golf Club, is a good friend and a Master Greenkeeper himself, so he was able to perform that duty.

Anderson says the major difference between the two certifications is the exam. When he took the GCSAA certification test is was mostly multiple choice and, at that time, open book. The BIGGA exam, on the other hand, entails two days of essay questions. BIGGA allowed Anderson to take the test in America at the Chicago Golf Association's Golf House, with Luke Cella, executive director of the Midwest Association of GCS, serving as moderator.

A Kansas City native, Anderson has been the superintendent at Naperville CC since 2005, returning to the club where he was an assistant in the mid-1990's after a nine-year stint at Prestwick Country Club in Frankfort, Ill.

Noting that the superintendent profession today is highly competitive, he sees great value in achieving the dual titles of CGCS and MG.

"Anything that you do to enhance your professional development helps you down the road," he says. "Whatever profession you're in, people who have long tenures and successful careers are those who focus on continued professional developemnt and education."

Sept. 30th-Oct. 2 I had the opportunity to travel to Clayton, North Carolina for the Green Start Academy. The Green Start Academy is an educational conference offered to Assistant Superintendents across the U.S. and Canada by Bayer Environmental Science and John Deere Turf Division. The 2 day event involved lectures, demonstrations, tours, and networking opportunities with the other Assistants in attendance. An application process that included a recommendation from the Superintendent, and an essay was required. The recommendation letter and essay were reviewed by a panel, and enrollment was limited to 50 attendees.

Grady Miller from NC State gave a presentation on Water Management.

Demonstrations were given by Bayer and John Deere representatives.

It was a great opportunity to meet other Assistants across the country.
(L to R: Dustin Peterson, TPC Deere Run, IL; Tyler Casey, Los Angeles Country Club, CA; Mike Mausolf, Oakland Hills Country Club, MI; Josh Cull, Chicago Highlands Club, IL)

It was a great opportunity to learn and meet others in the industry. I was proud to represent Naperville Country Club at this event.

The last update on 2 approach was the information on reseeding the herbicide damage. The seed that was applied, did germinate and begin to grow, but the cool, cloudy temperatures slowed the maturation of the seedlings. It was decided to go ahead and sod the damage to establish a cover before the end of the year. Our decision turned out to be a very good one. With the abnormally cool temperatures, and possible record low temperatures at night, the seed would have stopped growing until next spring.

The repaired area will continued to be played as "ground under repair" for the remainder of the year.

The flowers located around the clubhouse, in the flower pots on the deck, and in the planter boxes at the halfway house have looked spectacular all year. Unfortunately, these flowers are specifically summer flowers. The cooler temperatures that we have experienced, and that are currently in the forecast will take a tole on the flowers. We covered them in the evening once last week, and will plan to do it again to extend the life as long as we can.

We cover them with plastic to trap the warm temperatures from the soil. This will prevent frost from setting on the leaves due to the cold air temperatures in the evening. The first frost the flowers experience will kill them. Covering the flowers with plastic in the evening is only a temporary fix, and will only be successful for a few days. The forecast for this weekend has multiple evenings in the low 30's. It is doubtful the flowers will be as vibrant next week. Enjoy them for the rest of this week!
The water feature in the pond on 13 has been removed for the year. The specific maladies preventing it's usual performance have not been thoroughly identified yet. The feature is tethered to the shoreline with a rope. This allows us to pull it out from the shoreline rather that navigating the waters to remove it. Look for it to be back in the pond next year.

Aside from the continued wet conditions, the course is handling the weather well. The forecast is showing more rain for this evening and tomorrow. Just a reminder to be mindful of where you are driving with your cart. The storms that pasted over the course on Sunday, September 27th left part of a tree down on the left side of 2 fairway. Other than loosing a large portion of itself, the tree will be fine.

It's not a new cart path, just new material. The black-top cart path near the 17th green was removed, and replaced with the same red gravel material that is used in other parts of the course. The reason for the change is to prevent shots from bouncing on the cart path. Having the red gravel in place will provide a surface that can absorb most of the bounce of the ball.

The black-top has been removed, and the first load of the red gravel has been set.

The completed path.

It has been a couple of weeks since anything has been posted, but that does not mean we have not done anything. Updates will be posted soon on 2 app, 17 cart path, the water feature on 13, bunker mowing patterns, and a trip to North Carolina. Today was the first morning our maintenance crew was delayed due to frost, so some information on frost will be posted as well.
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