If the weather is going to continue being unusually warm, I will continue writing about it.  I did notice a few golfers on the course today enjoying the warm weather. The course is soft from the continued melting snow, but for January, the conditions for golf are not horrible.  If you want to come and play the rest of the week, we do ask that you stay off the greens.

We have fielded a few questions about how this mild winter will impact the golf course.  As of now, there is no abnormal turf conditions to expect.  As always, this can change quickly, but the weather forecast through the next 10 days shows 30s and 40s.  At this rate, we will be mowing greens by the end of February.
There are many projects happening at the clubhouse this week in an effort to be ready for regular business soon.  All these pictures were taken today.

The remaining HVAC units are going on top of the clubhouse.

Painting has started on the new ceiling in the Pump Room.

New carpet is going down in the fireplace room.

New carpet is down in the Grill on the Green.

New hardwood is going down in Club 21 by the doors, but I did not get a picture.

Our guys are taking a break from refinishing course supplies to polish the floors in the kitchen.

I will have some video up soon of the projects being done.
We received at least 8 inches of snow yesterday. The hills are ready for sledding, a cross country ski track is groomed and the ice is ready for skating.
We are not giving up on the ice rink yet.  We put down the first grooming layer of the season today.  This is nothing more than a light layer applied with a hose and nozzle.  We are hoping to do this twice tomorrow.  After that, we think it will be ready to skate on.

Here is a quick look at the 10-day forecast.  The rink should be ready for this weekend, and we are hoping the rink does not melt too much with the sun and warmer temperatures.
I have uploaded a short video of the ESA burn that was completed last week.  This will give you an idea of the process used on all of the areas on the course.

The crew spent this morning cleaning the parking lots and sidewalks of the biggest snow of the season.  We received about 5-6".  There was wind with the storm that created some deeper drifts.  This storm also brought with it the coldest temperatures of the season, with near 0 degree F expected for tonight.

The ice rink will not be ready again this weekend.  It is still not frozen through. Once it is frozen through, we will need a day to groom the ice smooth to be ready to skate on.  The freeze and thaw and snow, has created a bumpy surface.  We are not able to walk across the ice yet.  Rain and mid 40s is forecasted for Monday, which could delay us more.

The ceilings in the hallway and fireplace room have been completed.  You can watch two short videos of the work on those ceilings on YouTube:

Removing fireplace room ceiling

Replacing fireplace room ceiling

The ceiling in the Pump room is in the process of being torn out.

New drywall will be put up and painted in place of the old tile ceiling.

Watch for updates next week on the ceiling in the Pump room.  New heating units will be installed on the roof next week also.  The units will be disconnected on Monday.  A crane will be here Tuesday to remove the old ones from the roof and put the new ones on.

The recent warm and dry weather did give us the opportunity to revisit the ESA(Environmentally Sensitive Area) burn that was unsuccessful in early December(ESA Burn - Fail).  During the first attempt, there existed too much moisture for an effective burn to be completed.  Leaves and vegetation at the edges of the ESAs would light, but the fire would not carry towards the middle of the areas.  The smoke in the pictures from the post in December shows the amount of moisture that was still in these areas.

Wednesday's dry conditions with a light breeze was sufficient for getting this project completed before the spring.  Our lack of snow and abundance of warm sunny weather sufficiently dried the remaining plant material to burn with little effort.  The light breeze was able to move the flames through the canopy to ensure a thorough burn of the surface.

The burn is done to remove the dead stalks and plant material to provide an open surface for the seedlings in the spring.  We try to do this every 16-18 months.
The new ceiling tiles are being put in place in the fireplace room and the hallway.  The cutouts for the lights were made first so we would be able to get lights back on in the room, then the full tiles were put in place.  The pieces that need to be trimmed will be done this week.

A few other projects are being done while the ceiling tiles were down.  The track the ceiling tile sits in was painted, and a few lights were moved around.  Also, some changes are being made to the music system, which won't be noticeable, but should make it easier to use.  We hope to be done with this as soon as possible.  A contractor will be in to renovate the ceiling in the Pump room, then new carpets will be put down in the fireplace room, Grill on the Green, and hallways.
We will be working on a few projects in the clubhouse over the coming weeks.  Changing out ceiling tile like we did last year is the first project being tackled.  This will be done in the room with the fireplace, and in the front hallway.  The ceiling in the Pump room will be done by a contractor later this month.  After the ceilings are completed new carpets will be installed by the fireplace, in the Grill on the Green and the from hallway.

The Ballroom is being used as a cache for all of the furniture from the rooms that are having work done to them.

Here is a quick video of Torres, Emilio and Mario taking down the ceiling by the fireplace.

I suspect the majority of superintendents in the Chicagoland area are happy to watch 2011 in the rear-view mirror.  This past season is not one that we want to revisit too often, so I will do it with just this one post.  Here is a video of clips and pictures that will take you through what we did this past season, and some of the information that is on the blog about it.  The video is long, but it was a long season.  The subtitles refer to a blog post and the date it was posted for more information.  The posts are also listed in the order they appear in the video at the bottom of the post.

**The original version with sound was blocked. This is the same video without sound.**

Ice Rink Is Nearing Completion - January 31
Ice Rink Problems - February 7
It Snowed - February 2
Tim Contributes To On Course Magazine - March 21
Tim Wins Leo Feser Award From GCSAA - September 23
The Report From Farm Links - March 28
Greens Are Opening Thursday, March 31st - March 30
Cart Path Is Finished On 8 - April 9
Work On The Pond At 11 Tee - April 12
Dramatic Changes At 3 Green - April 13
New Drain In 1 Fairway - May 3
New Drain Started On 15 Approach - May 11
Wildlife In 17 Pond - May 14
Preparing For The Invitational - June 7
Lots Of Rain Today - June 9
Invitational Preparation - June 11
More Arborvitaes Near 1 Green - June 20
Some Dry Weather Forecasted - June 29
Setting Up For Fireworks - June 28
Latest Storm In Pictures - July 13
Deep In Data - July 21
Special Weather Statement - July 18
Courses Cleaning Up Today - July 25
Flood Injury And Pythium Blight - August 10
Disease In The Rough - August 3
Started Some Seeding - August 30
Rumble In The Maintenance Facility - September 14
The Lightning Strike - September 14
Dollar Spot - September 15
Starting Some Tree Removal - September 21
Drain In 14 Fairway - October 6
Drainage Project In 11 Fairway - November 2
Back To Work On 11 Fairway - November 15
ESA Burn - FAIL - December 6

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