This will be the start of my fifth year as the superintendent of Ridgewood Golf Course. As I began to write this, I started to reflect on the past years and I realized how great my staff is and how hard they work for Ridgewood. In this letter I will inform you of all the projects that have been completed, started, or planned as of today! When you are finished reading this, you should understand why I am so impressed with the crew!
Since I began working here at Ridgewood (March of 2013), I have been committed to reconstructing the sand traps on the course. The bunkers stood out to me to be the number one problem to address. None of the sand traps had drains that properly removed water after a rain storm. Because of this the sand would wash out and become contaminated with silt and stone. Since 2013, the Ridgewood maintenance staff has completed the following list of bunkers;
- #1. Removed right side trap. Reshaped, added drain tile, and filled with clean bunker sand to the left and front right trap.
- #2. Filled bunkers and added mounding to create grass bunkers to the green surround.
- #4. Added drainage tile and new sand to both sand traps.
- #5. Removed trap and added mounding to create grass bunkers.
- #6. Reshaped, added drainage, installed clean sand to both traps.
- #7. Filled bunkers and added mounding to create grass bunkers to left side of green.
- #9. Filled left side bunker due to flooding caused by creek.
- #12. Filled bunkers so the hole is more playable. Allows for a bump and run shot under tree.
- #14. Reshaped, installed drainage, and filled with clean sand.
- #17. Filled bunker and mounded to create a grass bunker.
- #18. Installed drainage and filled with new sand.
This year we will be reconstructing the bunkers by the 13th green. Over the winter we removed the contaminated sand and old drain tile in these bunkers. This area will become one big grass bunker with large mounding on the left side. The mounds will protect the golfers teeing off on the 14th hole. Proper drainage will be installed all around the green and the bunker to help dry out this low area on the course. This will be a big project that should take a couple months to complete, weather pending.
Construction to select tee boxes has also been completed over the past 4 years! Here is a list of what has been done.
- #2. Removed original pro tee, and constructed a new tee in the same area but made it longer and higher. This gave the golfer more visual to the fairway, and added a few yards to the hole.
- #12. Added drainage to the right side of the tee boxes. Removed the original pro tee and added 400 yards of soil to increase the length of the hole another 50 yards in length. Created a stone cart path to gain access to the whole tee.
- #14. Cleared vegetation around men’s tee box to help dry up swamp area surrounding it. Added 250 yards of soil to widen and lengthen tee box. Leveled new tee to the same grade of the seniors tee. This allowed the new tee box to become one large tee. Removed vegetation around original pro tee to increase sunlight and air movement. Added 50 yards of soil to widen the tee and make level.
Since the opening of this course in 1925, it has been maturing and growing. Some of the biggest plants on the course are the trees. Many of them were probably here since the start of the golf course, and at that time their size did not impede playability. To help correct this issue, a small percentage of trees on the property were removed. This will increase the health of the golf course greens, tees, and fairways by adding sunlight, air movement, and more available water to the turfgrass. Eighty percent of the trees that were removed were diseased and decaying which causes a potential safety hazard to the golfers. Over the past four years during the winter months we have been removing these trees so we do not interrupt play.
The current irrigation system on this course was installed in 1994. The average life span of a golf course irrigation system is around twenty years. That being said, a lot of time and maintenance is needed to keep an old system running! Since 2014 we have dug up and replaced over 80 sprinkler heads on the course. This task usually takes one man three hours to complete the replacement of just one sprinkler head. Not to mention all the Icy Hot needed at the end of the day to heal your aching muscles from shoveling! With all the repairs to the system, we have been reducing the expenditures towards the water bill! On the other end of Hydrology, when it rains we need to remove the water off the golf course as fast as we can so there is less down time of play. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of corrugated drain tile. I have found a lot of clay tile on the course that must have been installed many years ago, but not much of it drains very well. Drainage projects that were completed over the past few years were;
- #4 Drain lines installed between fairway and ladies tees. A collection box installed in front of ladies tee.
- #14 Drain lines installed by the approach area from the left side to the right side
- #15 Drain lines installed to the right side of the fairway close to the green. Water that was collecting in the old cement pond underground was redirected to the creek.
All the water shed on the course ends up at the creek that runs through the course. Over the past years we have dug up and cleaned out the silt in the creek from hole 15 to 8 tee. This year we will be cleaning out the 8 tee area of the creek. A new culvert pipe will be installed in under the cart path to cross over the creek by the 8th tee. The current culvert pipe is not wide enough and is a safety hazard for the golf carts passing over. On the 12th hole last year we added piping and backfilled the open ditch on the right side of the fairway. Grassing this area will create a much larger landing area for the golfers who tend to have a slice or hook in there golf shot.
As you can see, we have completed a lot of projects these past few years with only our crew! We are planning on making more improvements each year, to keep Ridgewood Golf Course the City Gem that it is!!! So if you see a member of the maintenance crew while you are out playing give them a smile and a wave or say thanks for all their hard work and dedication!
***Changes for 2016 golf season at Ridgewood***
- 1. We added around 45 yards to hole twelve tee box to lengthen the hole and gain more tee rotation. Trees were removed to allow for better access to the green from the left side of the fairway. A donation of pipe from one of our patrons allowed us to access the right side of the fairway by creating a bailout area of rough. No longer will a golfer have to jump the creek to play a shot right of the fairway. The greenside bunkers were eliminated to allow a bump and run shot undrneath the big tree thats protects the twelth green.
- 2. Our new plan to renovate strategic bunkers by addding drainage and sand while eliminating bunkers that were hard to maintiain is in the second year of development. This year the bunker short and right of two green is gone. We took out the bunker to the right of seven green. Currently, we are constructing grass bunkers/mounds to the right and behind #7 green to redirect water away from the green while providing a hazard to the errand shot hit from the fairway.
- 3. Many dead or deseased trees were eliminated on the hillside between #10 tee and the lower parking lot. Safety was our main goal on this project but now we want to clean this area up while providing a view of the golf course.
***New things for 2015 at Ridgewood***
- Many dead or diseased trees have been removed around holes 13 and 14. This will improve playability and overall turf health for the greens and tee boxes.
- Trees were removed around the putting green and club house to enhance appearance and improve health of turf. This also allowed for more room for the new cart staging area.
- There was some snow mold disease that occurred on tees and fairways, but should recover nicely when the turf starts to grow in the spring.
- Large pile of soil stock piled by the maintenance building will be for future projects.
- Additional tee box on number two added length and visibility of fairway.
- The creek was cleaned by number 8 to increase drainage of course.
- Green side bunkers renovated on hole fourteen.
- Drainage installed in front of fourteen green.
Last Year's News:
The start of the 2014 golf season has been one of the wildest weather conditions I have seen in a while. We had one of the coldest winters and relatively no spring time conditions before summer finally arrived.
Over the winter, I took the opportunity to remove some large trees intruding onto the putting greens on holes four, five, eleven, twelve and fifteen. Unfortunely, the root system of these trees were growing into the previous greens mentioned. Due to this encroachment, the turf on the greens were in direct competition for water and nutrients with the trees. Tree roots will out compete turf leaving stressed or dormant turf on the putting surface. The removal of the trees also help improve air movement and increase sun exposure to the mentioned greens. All of this will help aide in the health of the turf and improve the aesthetics and playability of the greens. In addition, there were quite a few dead or disease inflicted trees that had to be removed. Since March of 2013, a total of one hundred and five trees have been removed. This will increase the aesthetics, turf health and safety of the golfers on the course!
There is a new addition to the Ridgewood family! A new tee has been created on hole fourteen to not only add valuable length but also add more tee surface creating better tee rotation. The old tee was short in yardage creating a hazard for golfers waiting on the green. Slow play was another concern since many golfers waited for the group in front to clear the green before hitting their drives. The new yardage will be 315 yards from the mens tee and 330 yards from the back pro tee. Using left-over soil located near the maintenance facility helped clean up this area while reducing the overall cost of this project. A new cultivar Perennial Ryegrass is being grown on the mens tee. The grass grows laterally in nature allowing it to fill in divots taken from golfers. This type of growth is normally associated with bentgrass (grass found on the greens). Many golf courses grew in bentgrass for this very reason. Another benefit of this new cultivar is the low mowing height, it likes to be cut at heights under a half inch. We cut our tees at .475", which is ideal for our new grass! We also took out the railing on both sides to speed up play.
This blog is a communication tool to relay information to our golfers. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns relating to the course.
Tyler Good (Ridgewood Golf Course Superintendent)
Welcome to our new blog! We are currently working on hole 14. From top to bottom: hole #14 tee after a month of growth. Middle picture start of bunker renovation right-side of hole #14 green. Bottom picture start of new tee on hole #14.