WILMETTE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
GOLF OPERATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING
Date: July 14, 2012
Place: Golf Course
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Commissioners: Crowley, Olvany
Absent: Commissioner Shelly
Staff: Bowen, Locke, Matchen, Wilson
Visitors: Commissioner Murdock, Tom Bonnie, Fred Watson
Topics of Discussion
1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes:
a) May 12, 2012 as Amended
b) June 9, 2012
3) Recognition of Visitors
4) Communication and Correspondence
5) Managers’ Report
6) Old Business
7) New Business
1) The meeting was called to order at 8:30 am.
2) The Committee approved the minutes of the May 12, 2012 as amended and the minutes of the June 9, 2012.
3) Under Recognition of Visitors, Tom Bonnie asked the Committee to consider not scheduling any outings on Fridays during the summer months of June through August since that is the most popular day for the public to play and it would be nice to keep the course open for members, non-members and the general public. He sometimes feels like a “second-class citizen” when he is paying his membership and it is an issue that should be reviewed. Commissioner Crowley stated that Mr. Bonnie’s comments were duly noted.
4) Communications or Correspondence: None
5) Under Managers Reports, Jamie Locke reported this has been a great season so far. As of this morning, the year-to-date rounds of play totaled 21,399 compared to 17,700 last year at this same time. Prop Shop sales total $101,000 at this point of the year compared to $88,860 last year. The driving range is doing quite well and is up approximately $14,000 from 2011. The Al McLean Championship was held on Wednesday, June 9, and there was a great article published about the event in the Beacon. There were 153 golfers who started this year as opposed to 57 in 2011. The Illinois Junior Golf Association (IJGA) did a fantastic job this year and they will be running the event from now on. The IJGA was also pleased with the condition of our course. Overall, the event was an overall success and the District actually made a little money that day as opposed to previous years. One of the boys finished seventh in his division. The age bracket was 14-18 and the 14-15 division had 75 players.
The Tom Healy Classic was held this week with over 128 players participating. Gift cards totaling over $3,000 were distributed to the winners and Open Kitchens did a great job.
Commissioner Murdock asked how the new golf ball dispenser system (E-Range) was working. Jamie reported there were a couple of issues with the software but over the last four or five days everything is working well and staff has become more knowledgeable on how it works. It’s a very good machine and is being well received by the golfers. Director Wilson added that there had been actual technical systematic problems but they have all since been resolved.
Mike Matchen stated the crew has been doing a lot of hand-watering and there has only been 19/100 inch of rain so far in July and a total of 1.02 inches for the month of June. He stated that the course would normally have had five or six inches of rain by now.
Mike Matchen presented a slide show of the work being down on the course which included photos of the dry areas on the course. He also pointed out that each night the crew goes through 360,000 gallons of water because it has been so dry with low humidity. In the past when it has been this hot but also very humid, we use would use under 150,000 pounds of water per day but then we would also syringe the course to get through the day. As always, everything depends on the weather.
The wells have been going full tilt for several months now and have been working okay so far. Staff has been watching them very closely and there is an emergency back-up of city water but have not come close to using that yet. When it rains, the wells will fill up again but we do not have to pay for that water. Mike much prefers hot and dry weather than having to deal with 97-degree temperatures and flooding on the course.
Mike pointed out the other photos of the course which included the deeptine aerifier on the putting green, #5 and #6 fairways, and a couple of wet spots on #1 and #13. The crew has also started taking down ash trees at the 6th fairway. In general a total of 62 or 63 needed to be taken down. With help from the Parks Department crew, a total of 13 trees have been removed and three trees were taken down between the #3 and #4 fairways so that area is now wide open.
Commissioner Murdock asked if there was some kind of treatment for these trees. Mike Matchen replied that several of these trees have been treated for five years and it could be the age of the tree when the disease is caught that affects how well the treatment works. The larger trees are not being treated since it doesn’t work well on those older trees. If there is anything that is critical as far as a safety issue is concerned, the crew will either transplant a tree to somewhere else on the course or plant another tree. Beyond that we will wait for the Master Plan and then tie everything together since some fairways will change. Nels Johnson will hopefully be here next week to take out a very large ash tree between 4 and 17 and a willow tree to the left hand side of 11. These trees are too big and dangerous for District staff to handle.
Other photos in the slide show included the Parks Department crew on #5 immediately after they dropped the tree, some deer and other wildlife on the course, and the large fan on #6 which has been running constantly and has been doing a great job of cooling the green. This fan is also appreciated by the golfers.
Mr. Bonnie asked about the dead trees on the edge of the forest preserve. Mike Matchen replied that the plan is to take those trees down and clean them up but not until winter and most of them are on our property. Mike Matchen added that as we work through this year, our rounds of play are up and staff will work on some ideas in early September on the possibility of spending some time and money on doing additional fertilizing and aerifying in the wear areas and in the rough.
Commissioner Crowley asked Mike Matchen to report on the master plan at the next Golf Committee meeting on August 11, 2012.
6) Old Business: None
7) New Business: Mr. Watson stated there was something wrong with the web site. When he tries to look at the golf course section there are a lot of missing photos and other information. Director Wilson replied that our web site is one of those which doesn’t work well with some of the new web browsers. To rectify that, there is a compatibility function that can be turned on and off. Firefox in particular seems to have this problem.
8) There being no additional business, the Committee meeting was adjourned at 8:45 am.
Minutes taken by J. Bowen.
MINUTES APPROVED ON AUGUST 11, 2012.