“Ins and Outs” of Irrigation Project

The good times were flowing at Laurel Ridge last week, literally!  We were able to run the new irrigation heads for the first time on Wednesday.  This helps to cut down on the man hours that it takes to currently water holes 2-6 with a portable water tank.  While we cannot water the entire playing surface with the portable tank, we have been able to water the greens and some tees on these holes.

The old irrigation system is still active on holes 7-18 & 1 which has helped.  But with #8 booster pump out, some tees and green surrounds show signs of why the new system was such a necessity.  To compensate for the bad pump, a zone planning process is implemented so that the main pumps are not overloaded with too many heads running.

While the old irrigation system had “greens heads” that went a complete 360 degrees, the new system will have what’s called “ins and outs”.  Designated sprinklers eliminate overwatering the clay based greens surrounds and under-watering the sand based greens.  In just three waterings, I can already see the difference in #5 green with new sprinklers versus any of the greens with old sprinklers.  I hope you share my excitement as we anticipate the improvements coming our way!

Logan H. Nesbitt, Golf Course Superintendent

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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

Breaking with Wedding Cake Traditions

The most famous of cake quotes, “Let them eat cake”, does not have to apply to wedding cakes anymore. Either in the big city, or herein the Smoky Mountains, I am pleased to say that brides and grooms are stepping out of the “cake box” and getting creative in choosing their wedding cakes or wedding desserts. With so little understanding of the tradition of wedding cake and what it has meant through the ages, couples are free to come up with traditions of their own.

Some traditions are best forgotten? A bride today would never go for the wedding cake or bread as used 2000 years ago, to be broken over her head by her groom to show his dominance over her as they did in Roman times. Stacked, sweet buns were popular in medieval times and brought the bride and groom together by them kissing over the top. From the 17th to the 19th century, minced and meat pies were customary, meat being a luxury much like sugar. As refined sugar was introduced to Victorian England, cakes were developed to showcase a family’s wealth and the virginal state of the bride. It is only in the last 100 years that a couple cuts the cake together as their first act of unity.

Today’s couples are choosing a smaller version of a wedding cake and offering cupcakes instead. We have hosted weddings where family members were asked to bring their specialty dessert. Guests were lined up to sample Aunt Connie’s Rum cake, Great Grandma’s Pecan Tarts and Mom’s Coconut cake. This personal touch reflected the bringing together of both families in a “sweet” way. Pies and cobblers are making a huge comeback, a common wedding dessert in Pioneer days. One of our Destination Brides is having a Rice Crispy Cake we had posted on facebook. She wanted an easy, fun and inexpensive alternative to cake.

Some traditions are worth keeping, the cutting of the cake, hand over hand, in the promise to support and nurture one another. Feeding of the cake symbolizes love, honor and respect for each other, so….no smashing of cake! The final tradition, another symbol of respect and love, the serving of cake to each others parents is worth keeping. I challenge you to test the boundaries of all things sweet until you find what is meaningful for you.

Asheville Foodie Spanish Wine Dinner Review

I recently attended a Spanish Wine Dinner at the Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville, North Carolina.  I was impressed with the pairings and was excited to see that a couple of them I’ve never seen before!  Chef created some beautiful courses that worked very well with the Spanish wines accompanying each course.

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We began with a little time to meet each other over Clos la Soleya Brut Cava from the Penedés region of Spain surrounding Barcelona.  The Cava showed a brilliant pale yellow with thin bubbles and a clean nose.  It was elegant with fruit and mineral notes.  A wonderfully refreshing way to begin the evening.

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Our first course was a fall gazpacho garnished with two slices of avocado.  The wine was Capitulo 8 Sauvignon Blanc/Verdejo from the Almansa southeast of Madrid.  The wine bursts with intense acidity and elegant tropical fruit keeping a very crisp feel.  The gazpacho tamed the acidity and highlighted the minerality of the wine very nicely.  I wasn’t sure about this pairing when I saw it but the Chef really made the wine shine with it.

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Next we enjoyed an antipasto of Spanish favorites including Serrano ham (very similar to Italian prosciutto), chorizo, olives, caper berries, roasted red pepper, Manchego and Pecorino cheeses.  Again not a pairing I would have anticipated first for the Chardonnay paired with this course – but, again Chef knew best.  Mureda Chardonnay comes from a family owned property boasted the largest organic vineyards in the world (1,200 hectares or about 3,000 acres) around the La Mancha region.  Its 100% Chardonnay fermented in stainless steel to allow the fruit to show center stage.  It is a golden pale wine with pleasant tropical fruit aromas and fresh mineral notes.  It’s very fruity with some roundness from malolactic fermentation.  The saltiness of the antipasto along with the mineral and fruit of this Chardonnay were very invigorating.

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For our main course Chef prepared Rosemary-rubbed Colorado Double Lamb Chops with a Fig Glaze.  A stunning medium-rare made it perfect for me while the glaze was inspirational on the lamb.  Of course, it complimented the wine pairing perfectly.  Our wine, 100% Tempranillo, was Urbina Reserva 2001 from Rioja Alta the Western most region and highest elevations of Rioja.  The continental climate, limestone and chalk soils and high elevation create lighter more elegant Rioja.  The Urbina family, now in their fourth generation at the estate, have been creating some of the region’s finest wines since 1870.  The Tempranillo vines are over 50 years old and are organically grown.  The wine is a dark ruby color with a rich earthy nose revealing black cherry, spice and crushed rock.  It is supple on the palate with sleek red fruits, lively acidity, marvelous balance and a long pleasant finish.  There are many aspects of this dinner to love but this was the hit of the evening.

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Chef finished the meal with a selection of dried fruit, Marcona almonds, and chocolates.  The evening finished with an usual pairing using Lacrimus REX which is 75% Garncha (from 60+ year vines) and 25% Graciano from Rioja that was aged in American and French oak for nine months.  This wine is always a favorite with macerated dark cherries and crème de cassis on the nose.  It is full-bodied with sweet ripe blueberry and dark cherry, orange zest and spice.  The dark fruit along with the spice create an opulent energetic wine that at the same time is frisky and soothing.

A charming dinner in such a picturesque location can make you truly appreciate relaxing with new friends and relishing our time together.

Wines from Veraison Wine Brokers

http://veraisonwb.com/

This blog was originally posted by AshevilleFoodie.com.  To view the original post: http://www.theashevillefoodie.com/2013/09/spanish-dinner-at-laurel-ridge-country.html

Destination Weddings in the Great Smoky Mountains

The beauty of the mountains and southern hospitality combine to create the perfect venue for your Destination Wedding at Laurel Ridge Country Club.  The rustic elegance of the clubhouse, open-air pavilion and new outdoor wedding arbor overlooking the golf course and pond offer many choices for your ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner.  And our impeccable service and food will definitely impress your guests.  Be inspired by other weddings and view comments by visiting our website and Facebook!

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Who Let the Dogs Out?

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If you heard howling and barking on the Fourth of July, it was probably coming from our 2nd annual Dog Show. Our Pavilion was packed with spectators and canines, the latter prancing and showing their stuff, vying for votes for the Best of Show prize. Congratulations to Casey Hines, a young Cavachon belonging to Tom & Carolyn Hines, for winning the top prize. Casey also won the Pet/Owner Look Alike Contest (yes, that is Tom in disguise). The Hines won an original oil painting of Casey graciously donated by LRCC member and artist, Dawn Plifka. Dawn’s Shih Tzu, Saki, won “Most Patriotic”; “Best Tail Wagger” went to Finnegan, a border collie owned by Kevin Cronin; and “Best Trick” went to Paddy, a german-speaking German Shepherd! All proceeds from the event will benefit SARGES Animal Rescue. After the Dog Show, a delicious BBQ dinner was served in the clubhouse.

 

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Original Art for Sale During ART at Laurel Ridge

Some of the most talented artists in WNC are members of Laurel Ridge Country Club!   This talent will be evident during our 2014 Art Show & Sale on August 22, 2014 from 4-7 pm in the Pavilion.  Original art of every shape and form will be on display and for sale, including paintings, quilts, pottery, hand-crafted jewelry, fiber art, furniture, encaustic & more.  Participating members are also inviting local guest artists so the selection and quality of art will be tremendous.

After visiting the show, “Flying Pasta”  is available by reservation only in the clubhouse.  Choose from our fresh ingredients and sauces and watch our chefs create your pasta dish to order right in front of you! .

There is no admission charge for the Art Show & Sale.  Open to the public.