Irrigation System Construction Update & a Longstanding Golf Course Sediment Problem Solved

We hope everyone had a wonderful Derby weekend!   As most of you know, we have a lot of projects happening on the golf course.  First and foremost, we are in the middle of the irrigation system construction project.  The mainline from the pumphouse on #7 has been installed all the way to #4 rough.  Every irrigation head is on a loop coming off of the mainline.  Hole #6 has all irrigation material in the ground and will have the final (of many) grades done today.  Then all dirt areas will be hydroseeded with either bentgrass or bluegrass, depending on the area.  With a raised fertility rate and a growth regulator encouraging lateral growth, these areas should excel. 

Hole #5 has the greens loop installed also and the plan is to start the fairway loop today.  So far, we have already installed 6,000 feet of communication wire.  The downfall of installing any irrigation system this time of year is changes in the weather.  In the beginning, we had too much rain.  Now we are having to haul water in a cart to water areas that currently don’t have irrigation.  Our staff is doing everything possible to keep conditions favorable during construction.

An ongoing sediment problem on Hole #10 has been corrected.   For years, topsoil has washed off of the mountain, ending up in our creeks and ponds.  Over time, sediment, sticks, and leafs have clogged the culvert under #10 cartpath causing it to crack and settle.  Our great friend Burton Edwards has built a boulder head wall to solve that problem. Not only is water flowing correctly now, but the cartpath is much wider.

Trying to do construction and still be able to play golf is a challenge, but we are doing everything that we possibly can to keep any interruptions to a minimum. Once again, thank you for your patience.

Logan Nesbitt, Golf Course Superintendent

Updating Progress on the Irrigation Project

Each week, I will write a blog insert to provide the members and interested parties an update on the irrigation project. The work is progressing great in spite of the rain early on and we have started to lay the PVC pipe and wire from #7 tees, up to #6. This will cross the cart path one time and feed water to holes 2-6. Tentatively, Hole # 6 will be closed Friday thru Sunday (4/24-4/26). Cart traffic will be directed down Skylark, left onto Will Hyatt, and Back onto #7 tee boxes. Our crew is very anxious to progress away from #7 tee box area and move onto dryer soil.

A few members have asked about the possibility of shorter mowing heights. Currently, we are mowing our rough at a 2 inch height of cut. The rainy days have made it very challenging to get the rough cut twice per week as we normally do. As we get irrigation installed on each hole, we plan on mowing an intermediate cut around most greens. This cut will be in between the fairway height, and the rough height of cut.

These sunny days have allowed us to get back into our normal routine. We thank you once again for your continued patience.

Logan H. Nesbitt, Golf Course Superintendent

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Looking to the Future and Installing a New Irrigation System

In these days when golf courses are struggling and golf play is declining, Laurel Ridge Country Club is looking to the future and excited about what is on the horizon.   We will be doing some construction work on the golf course in the next 60-90 days, installing a new irrigation system that will improve the course condition and playability for years to come.  Our current irrigation system is about 30 years old and is in major need of replacement.  The average life of an irrigation system is about 18-20 years, so we are approaching double the expected life span.

The construction began April 8th and should be completed in June. It is always hard to put an exact time line on an irrigation project, due to sub-surface soil, weather, etc.    The installing contractor has been asked to complete one hole at a time to limit the disruption to members and guests.  Rarely will they start another hole until the first has been completed.  The installation process will cause limited disruption to golf play and the course should recover quickly.  Around the greens, turf will be cut, the product installed and turf re-layed.  In the fairways and rough, a couple of narrow trenches will be dug, then filled and compacted with soil, hydroseeded, and the surrounding grass will fill in these areas expeditiously. 

The plan is to start from the pump house at #7 tees and complete holes 6 thru 2, backwards. The reason to follow this route is, once each hole is complete, we can pressurize the water and continue on.  Also, the end of the line will be at #2 black tee; the pipe does not cross under the road over to #1.  Once holes 2-6 are complete, we will start back at the pump house on #7, complete holes 7-9 and #1. Once again, #1 is a dead-end pipe at the green. We will then have a complete front 9 open for play, without further disturbance.  From there, we will work on holes 10 and 18 as well as the tennis courts and driving range.  Afterwards, work will proceed to holes 11, 17, 16, 15 and finally end the project on holes 12-14.

We realize that this can be inconvenient at times and ask for your patience during the next couple of months.  The long term benefit far outweighs any aggravation.  We value each and every member at the club and feel this is a great leap toward providing the best product possible.  Thank you for you patience.

Logan Nesbitt, LRCC Golf Course Superintendent

Thoughts on Spring, Golf Course Conditions and Grub Control, Waynesville, NC

What a beautiful spring! In my 13 years in the golf course maintenance business, the grass has greened up quicker and grown faster than any year that I can recall. We are trying to keep the golf course conditions as consistent as we can, but training new employees and frequent rainy weather leave us scratching our heads. The golf course received bulk fertilizer application on the 8th and 9th of April to spread fertilizer, crabgrass control and grub control. This is the first year that fertilizer companies have started attaching grub control onto fertilizer. It is also the first year that we have been able to control grubs in the rough grass. I am looking forward to the great results that are expected. As most of you know and have seen, we have started the new irrigation system. Feel free to read the next blog for a more detailed plan.

Logan Nesbitt, LRCC Golf Course Superintendent


Our very own Golf Pro and Director of Golf, Duane Page, along with club members Chris Wilmot, Don Stephenson, and Scott Siewert, captured the inaugural CPGA Pro-Am played at Sequoyah National in Cherokee on July 14-15. Coming from behind on Day Two, the team brought home the victory along with bragging rights. We couldn’t be prouder; congrats to all four gentlemen. For the complete story and scores, follow this link:

Pro Am July 2014

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Verticutting Greens for Ball Speed

Submitted by LRCC Golf Course Superintendent, Logan Nesbitt

Welcome back members!  I hope each of you enjoyed the long frigid winter months.  My staff did wonderful projects this winter, but preparing the golf course for you all is our passion.  One of the most recent practices that we have performed, is verticutting the greens.  The verticutting process has many benefits:  correcting the density of the turf, water infiltration, removing poa annua seed heads, removing thatch, and standing the leaf blade upright for ball speed.  We performed this process on Wednesday, May 14,   in preparation for the 2-day Member-Member tournament and we gained significant speeds and a much smoother ball roll!  Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts that you may have.  May God bless you and your family this Memorial day!

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