Welcome Wing Point Members

This blog is intended to keep the members at Wing Point up to date on the course conditions, the challenges we face with weather, the day to day update on projects, and hopefully add some insight to your overall golf experience. The blog will be updated as much as possible. Information on things that may impact your golf experience such as sanding or aeration will be posted as well. Take time to read one of the polls on the side of the page. The results will help us make decisions on course maintenance practices and give us feedback on what you, the members are thinking.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Project and greens update

The irrigation project is going very smooth. The mainline is done on holes 3-9. We will be going down #10 Monday and connecting to the pump house. This week the crew will be on holes 1,2 and 18. The ditches have given me a unique look into what lye's beneath our golf course. We've installed 6 miles of drainage at Wing Point over th elast 6 years, but not to the depths Milroy is digging. The variations in the soil structure 36 inches deep is really interesting. We are finding out why some areas seem to stay much wetter than others. The amount of groundwater is incredible which goes to show you how much rainfall we've had the last 4 months.

The greens are recovering nicely. 2/3 of them are in perfect shape, but some of them like #5, 7, and 13 need another week or two for full recovery. #4, 10, 15, 16 and the putter are all getting better, but still far too weak and thin to allow golfer traffic. The weather has been wonderful for both the project and the greens recovery, so let's hope it continues.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


We have lift off! Milroy Golf Systems got started on the irrigation Tuesday and they have been moving along at pretty good clip. The conditions aren't ideal, but we do have sunny and warm weather for them to work in. The recent heavy rainfall from the previous 3 months added up in the soil profile. Groundwater is a major obstacle for them at this point. Most of the land across Wing Point Way on holes 4-8 has a 10" layer of sand/silt/gravel about 2 feet deep. Once they hit that layer, it's like turning on the faucet! Outside of the groundwater issues, which they have managed quite well, everything else is going along just fine. They accomplish roughly 1000 feet of installed and back filled pipe per day.

So far we have not had to close a golf hole. Tuesday we had to move the pin back into the fairway as they crossed in front of the #8 green and Wednesday we had #4 play as a par 3 from the 200 yard marker in the fairway. These are both good examples of what we may have to do from time to time.

Speaking of good weather. When was the last time I had anything good to say about this subject? Maybe the El Nino is starting to kick in. We really needed this warmth and sunshine for a speedy recovery of the greens. We are seeing tremendous recovery over the past 7 days since we closed many of them. We have also aerated all of the greens for a second time in the last 3 weeks with 3/8" solid tines which do not remove a core. They are spaced 1.5" apart and penetrate 3" deep. That's a lot of holes! This will allow the roots to breath and expand, thus strengthening them over the next couple of months. The holes should close up in about a week once the greens are rolled a few times.

We will be opening greens #1,2,3,6,8,9,11,12,14,17 and 18 on Saturday morning. They were mildly affected and have come back to full health already. We anticipate #5,7,13 and the putting greening returning to play in about 2 weeks if the weather holds up. Expect #4,10,15 and 16 to be even longer with #10 being closed perhaps until mid April. These are merely estimates at this point based on mild weather patterns.

Let's hope this author continues the feel good messages and doesn't have to write anymore horror stories.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The only solution to recovery

Our greens have been in sub par condition for a few months now. Most of the problems we saw 2 months ago were just the start of a long Winter. Our root system on many of the greens, primarily greens with moderate to heavy shade, were compromised by the effects of a long hot summer aided by a Nematode infestation, and recently a sever cold snap that put many of them over the edge. The worst greens are #10,15,16 and the putting green. We are also seeing gradual decline and thinning on greens #1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 17. Due to the recent decline after the cold snap, the green committee has decided to shut down all 18 greens to speed the Bulleted Listrecovery as a whole. We all agreed it was better to do this now instead of waiting to see if they get worse.

The 10th green is becoming more difficult to manage each year as the trees directly south are growing taller. These trees are not on club property. It is becoming an identical problem to #4 and 15 which we have dealt with every winter. #10 however has the unfortunate addition of being the coldest spot on the golf course and also has almost zero air circulation. #10 stays closed days after the other greens are cleared for play from frost.

We can all agree the weather patterns over the past 12 months have been quite extreme for our region. These extremes have spelled doom for our root system. We have roughly 45 to 60 days of poor growing conditions ahead of us before we start to see significant improvement in the greens. The sun is still too low on the horizon and temperatures are still too low for recovery. If we continue to allow foot traffic and mower traffic on the greens in question, we will undoubtedly experience even more turf loss over the next 60 days.

The greens need a break. We are doing everything we can to promote root development right now, but it's a losing battle as long as golfer traffic and mower traffic interfere with progress. We need to accept that we have a problem on our hands and look forward to the spring and summer when the turf is expected to be in perfect shape. This approach is being taken at many other courses in the Portland and Seattle area, as they too have suffered dramatic turf loss and thinning over the past month.

Please be patient in our efforts to bring the greens back to their normal condition. We do not have a timeline for them since every green will react differently and the weather needs to cooperate. Thank you...your humbled superintendent!

Friday, January 8, 2010


This is #10 yesterday.


This is #10 on November


Thursday, January 7, 2010

More greens closing...

We will be closing greens #4, 5, 7 and 13 tomorrow. They will be put on temporary greens just short of the green. The putting green, #10 and #16 are still closed as well. We are very sorry for the inconvenience. We will be doing everything we can to bring the greens back to full health, but I fear we need warmer temperatures and more sun to get to that point. Thank you for your support and patience.