After nearly two months of construction, the back 9 holes at Estero Country Club are starting to resemble a golf course again. During the restoration process we have celebrated certain milestones along the way. The construction start date, first greens shaping, initial grass being laid, and last Friday we mowed new grass for the first time. We took advantage of a dry afternoon and mowed and edged all of the collars on the back 9.
- As previously mentioned, all the collars on the back 9 have been sodded. We have also sodded steep slopes around greens as well as around drain basins in the fairways. This week we will begin sodding rough areas around bunkers, slopes and lake banks.
- The back 9 greens were sprigged on Tuesday, June 5th. During this process, the sprigs were delivered from Pike Creek Turf Farm in Adel, Georgia. They arrived via refrigerated truck to ensure they remain fresh while in transit. Prior to planting, the golf maintenance staff applied “pre-plant” fertilizers to all the greens, this will provide the plant the nutrients that are needed to begin the grow in the process. The sprigs were spread out on the greens by hand at a rate of 25 bushels per 1000 ft2 followed directly by a tractor with a slicing and rolling unit on the back that cuts and rolls the sprigs into the green. Immediately after completing each green, irrigation is applied continuously to ensure adequate moisture is present in the soil at all times. Heavy irrigation will continue throughout the first couple of weeks of growth combined with weekly fertilizer applications. After the first couple of weeks, once the sprigs have established healthy roots and the grass begins to grow laterally across the green surface we will then back off the water slightly and continue weekly fertilization. We will look to start mowing the greens after about week 3 or 4. This will be another milestone that we will be sure to share with you!
- Concrete cart path work has been completed on the back 9. Repairs have been made to broken sections of path and new cart paths have been laid on certain holes per the architects plans. On hole number 10 you will see the cart path has moved closer to the tees that have been properly aligned to the fairway. The path on number 13 has been raised up as much as 4 feet in some areas where we would encounter flooding in the past that would render the path undrivable. By rerouting the path slightly leading from 17 green to 18 tees, we were able to alleviate some flooding problems that we have seen in the past.
- Landscaping work continues on holes 12 and 13. Copperleaf, Cocoplum, Green Buttonwood, Wax Myrtles and Bougainvillea have been planted to add some native plant material as well as some color on these holes. We are expecting another plant delivery this week at which time we will continue our install on holes 10, 11 and 17.
- The seawall on #2, as well as the replacement wall cap on #5, were finished this week. This completes all of our seawall work on the course.
- Contractors are continuing with the installation of the irrigation at the Clubhouse. This week they are working around the administrative offices as well as along Vintage Trace towards the tennis courts. The irrigation install is still behind by a couple of weeks, but progress is being made. They have allocated more staff to our project to try and make up some time. Hopefully with the weather cooperating they will be able to complete the front of the Clubhouse by weeks end.
- Rough shaping of the practice and cart staging area continues. The golf maintenance staff will be installing “sleeves” underneath the brick paver and concrete areas throughout the practice and staging areas. These sleeves will prove valuable in the future allowing us to run electric, water or any other utilities underground without disturbing the pavers or concrete. Base rock is scheduled to be installed later this week throughout the staging area and leveling and final shaping will begin.
- Clarke Construction has finished all of the stripping and burying of material in the disturbed areas on the front 9. They are now working on rough shaping throughout the front.
Check out this week’s video updates!