WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
GOLF OPERATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING
Date: September 8, 2012
Place: Wilmette Golf Club
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Commissioners: Crowley, Olvany, Shelly
Staff: Bowen, Eppelheimer, Locke, Matchen, Wilson
Visitors: Courtenay Wood, Greg Martin
Topics of Discussion
1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes:
a) August 11, 2012
3) Recognition of Visitors
4) Communication and Correspondence
5) Managers’ Report
6) Master Plan Status Report: Greg Martin
7) Old Business
8) New Business
1) The meeting was called to order at 8:30 am.
2) The Committee approved the minutes of the August 11, 2012 Committee meeting by General Consent.
3) Under Recognition of Visitors, Committee Chair Crowley stated Greg Martin was in attendance to review and discuss the Golf Master Plan. WGA President Courtenay Woods stated she was sorry she had missed the August meeting when discussion took place on the ladies leagues.
4) Communication and Correspondence: None
5) Under Managers Reports, Golf Professional Jamie Locke stated rounds slowed down somewhat in July due to the heat but now everything is moving along well. Golf Manager Mike Matchen stated that most everything has been growing well now that some much needed rain had fallen. The crew will be starting on their fall projects next week which includes aerifying, sodding, and whatever is necessary such as repairing any bad spots on the fairways. They will also be out aerifying and fertilizing the wear areas in the rough edges of the cart paths located around the greens. The weeds will also begin to be sprayed again.
Mike presented a few photographs of the course that included the damage sustained on #5 green because of vandalism. A police report was filed and the green has since been repaired.
Another photo presented was of an experiment taking place on the #10 tee which involves the building of a cart path out of granite and to determine what it would cost, what it would look like, and what the golfers would like to see. Superintendent Bowen added this concept is being tried out on an experimental basis and he provided details of what the work would involve. Mike added the cart path has been very well received by the golfers. Staff would be doing the work as far as dumping and rolling the stone is concerned. He added that by making a commitment to a long-term maintenance program, the water then drains through it and the results are excellent. So far, there have been several favorable comments from the golfers on the granite paths compared to the blacktop.
Mike then showed photographs of some of the wildlife on the course including seven or eight deer.
6) Master Plan Status Report: Greg Martin from Martin Design Partnership stated he was present at the meeting today to provide a status report on the golf project. He added that progress has been made as far as what the plan looks like now and what we expect to have happen over the next five or six months. Since he last met with the Committee he has essentially targeted concept #4 out of the group of options. He has also conducted their site investigation and has worked with staff and project engineers to determine exactly what some of the issues are. He will also be asking for feedback on these issues which include the flood plains that are unique to Wilmette.
Greg indicated he knew about these issues and stated there has been a lot of back and forth with the engineers who have been great to work with since they have provided the information he has needed and everything has been going well so far. Even though it doesn’t seem like a lot has been accomplished, this advance work is necessary to make sure that the permits will be approved when submitted. The bottom line is that we need to resolve the maintenance issues as it relates to drainage and getting the water moving off the flat areas quickly which has been the main focus. Greg stated he just submitted additional revisions to the engineers who are looking at them now and they have already named three or four issues that need to be addressed immediately.
Greg began his summary of the work being done at the course on a hole-by-hole basis and indicated that so far we are meeting all of the necessary restrictions in regard to floodway shadows, flood plains, and several other items to be addressed. The engineers now have the plans and we are where we should be.
Commissioner Olvany asked if Greg had received all the permits and Greg replied that the engineers have the materials they need to prepare the permit submittals and that will occur over the next two to four months. That process will then be followed by working with all of the regulatory agencies. Director Wilson added there are still some finer points being worked out but the permits themselves had actually been received, signed off and returned to the engineers. Once the engineers are finished with the permits, they will be ready to go out within the next two months.
Chair Crowley asked that in terms of the egress across the bioswales, are there going to be areas where people can cross. Greg replied there will be a culvert which will act as the outfill for this area so that golfers can get around the #11 green through here. There will also be a small bridge located there which will be done in-house. These buffer swells are probably going to be no more than 5-6 feet wide at the bottom and 10-feet wide at the top. They won’t be too wide but wide enough to provide a better depth which makes it easier to cross. In addition, the other two ponds will also be expanded which was part of the original plan.
Commissioner Olvany asked about the existing 12 holes vs. the conceptual 12-hole comparison. Greg replied there is not much of change in the tees which will be fairly close to where they are currently located. There will also be some raising and centering of the tees. The fairways will also be raised to get water moving to the catch basins.
Courtenay Wood stated that the ladies leagues have been playing from 5,100 yards with a combination of green and white tees and the greens are 5,600 yards. However, when concept #4 came out there were some players who would prefer to still play at 5,100 yards since it would encompass most of their skill levels.
Greg replied that currently the forward tees play at around 4,800 yards and the combination of tees will depend entirely on how staff operates it. His job is to provide a place to play and if they want to move this tee back on any given day, he thinks that would be okay. In general, he believes the players should have more tees moved forward on given days just to bring things into play that would otherwise not be. Director Wilson added that for the most part there will be far more flexibility and more tee surface with this plan.
Mike added that a fifth set of tees on the score card will be rated right from the start of play which means we do not need to issue a separate scorecard in the range of 5,100 or 5,200 yards. In general, the whole course would have to be re-rated anyway.
Ms. Woods stated there is a “comfort station” located between the 6th green and the 5th green and 6th tee and the 15th tee. The station by the 15th tee is closer to #6 so we are able to use it and are hoping it will remain in place.
Ms. Woods also asked that since we have been putting a lot of effort into the bioswale maybe we could say we have already been certified for marketing purposes. Mike replied that as we finish up the application paperwork, they will be coming back to us with possible changes.
At this point in the meeting, Greg provided a hole-by-hole summary of the work to be done on the course.
After the summary, Greg reported that in terms of a project timeframe and if we are on schedule with the engineers with their most recent revisions, they will be ready for submission. And as long as we’re on track, Greg will begin to move forward to the next stage which is to prepare the construction documentation and set up the specific timeframe for bidding and construction. We should be bidding out sometime in February or March.
Steve added that currently the five-year capital plan that went before the Financial Planning Committee had the project beginning and the full dollar amount scheduled for August of 2013 even though it is a wrap-around project going into 2014. Steve and Ken have been trying to come up with an estimate and have emailed Greg to get a feeling of where the costs would fall. The $2 million project that we showed in 2013 is now really about $1.4 million.
Chair Crowley asked that if the bid documents go out in February and we get the green light, what is the timeline of when the course would close. Mike Matchen stated that the date would probably be sometime in late July or early August of 2013. It is hoped we could reopen on Memorial Day the following year but that all depends on the weather.
Commissioner Shelly asked if the $2 million estimate for all the changes that have been addressed is still correct. Greg replied that we are close to that amount although some things have been added. We can keep some of these items separate or maybe not even add them. His most recent estimates are not finalized but they are close. What we really need to do is determine exactly what we’re going to do.
Steve added that once the bids come in, we will prioritize the project items. Greg added we will also look at different ways of handling everything such as possibly doing the cart paths in-house for example. However, Greg would still prefer we build these additional features into the plan and take the cart paths out since those are items that can be placed on top of the surface. It’s really all about the large underground features such as drainage and irrigation for the greens since we don’t want to come back in five years to start the plan when we have the chance now to complete the project. A cart path is something that can be taken out and which most golfers would not question.
Greg replied that as part of construction, he would have a cart path location there and then the contractor could core it out and relocate it. It would then be Mike’s job at a later date during construction to put down the finished material on the course.
Chair Crowley stated that we are running on a short timeframe and will be wrapping this project up soon. He also thanked Greg for a job well done.
7) Old Business: None
8) New Business: None
9) There being no additional business, the Committee meeting was adjourned at 9:05 am.
Minutes taken by J. Bowen.
MINUTES APPROVED ON OCTOBER 13, 2012.