Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day-Winnetka Golf Club Remembers...

Specialist Samuel T. Watts age 20, hometown Wheaton, Illinois passed due to hostile fire IED attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Memorialized today at #15 Tee Winnetka Golf Club. PLEASE note the 18 most recent military personnel to make the ultimate sacrifice in May 2012 are memorialized, one each at every tee box.

Flagpole donated by the Winnetka Women's Golf Club several years ago.
Dear Guests,
This Memorial Day, the Winnetka Golf Course Staff is honoring the sacrifice of our fallen soldiers.  “Brothers in arms” to those who have served in this Country’s largest “fraternity”, fellow Americans to us all, fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and friends to others.  At each tee box is a flag and a marker with the name of a United States Soldier who has paid the ultimate sacrifice, this month, serving our country in Afghanistan.  In addition there is a marker located at the flag pole, at the request of Mark Anderson, our Assistant Superintendent, and USMC Vietnam Veteran, in honor of a fellow Marine who was killed in action in Vietnam.

We ask that you keep these “Heroes All” in your thoughts on this special day, as with all of those who gave so much serving our great nation.

We hope that you enjoy your round.

God bless our service men and women everywhere, and God bless America.

Winnetka Golf Course Staff

Cpl William T. Perkins was posthumously awared the Congrssional Medal of Honor .

PLEASE remember today!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Winnetka Women's Golf Club celebrates its' 75th Aniversary !!!

 Winnetka Women's Golf Club was founded by Kay Stelzel back in 1937 and turns 75 this year.  50 Year member Carolyn Weinstein was duly recognized last night! A good time was had by all 40 members (of nearly 100) and staff in attendance at Hackney's on Lake.

2012 President Chris Falasco (LEFT - previous president for two terms in 2000-01) addresses the WWGC members.

The WWGC holds a special place place in my heart. They not only have been fully supportive over the years...last fall at the Fall Banquet two term (2010-11) President Jane Peterson surprised me with a donation check in the amount of $500 to be used specifically for the Winnetka Golf Maintenance Department. The empathy from the July 23rd flood was overwhelming! They did request we purchase staff  new 'hip-weighters'  after they saw the brief movies (on this blog) of staff's trials and tribulations while flooded. Staff was wading through waist-deep filthy flood waters in shorts to evaluate the damage to the irrigation field controllers as well as mowing greens by towing the 220lbs. greensmowers in 'kiddie-pools' from the 'dry dock' at #5 Green to the first 'port-o-call' at #8 Green. For days staff towed the kiddie-pools in leaky hip-weighters throughout the course keeping greens mown and healthy! The remaining funds were spent assisting the park district in the purchase of a brand new slit seeder that has been used extensively this spring.

To each and every WWGC member, THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Winnetka Men's Club Spring Banquet this Wednesday at the Happ Inn, 6pm gathering and 7pm dinner AND Buckthorn Removal Program spearheaded by our very own WMC long time member Pat Dowdle!!!

Winnetka Men's Club - Spring Banquet. Rumor of two special guests to speak in addition to 'Henry the Superintendent' giving his annual State of the Greens (and this year, Fairways!) Address. 

 WMC long time member Pat Dowdle
spearheads the "Buckthorn Removal Program" at Winnetka Golf Club this past winter! Please read on...
Hole #14 with Buckthorn removed leaving only the large trees for future removal.
 Pat Dowdle has a seemingly lifelong aversion to the European Buckthorn plant that has become a noxious woody weed in Illinois. He approached staff last fall with a commitment from several volunteers. Did I say volunteers? MORE LIKE FIRST CLASS LOGGERS! Pat and his troop of nineteen (19) Winnetka Men's Club members donated dozens and dozens of hours removing this weedy plant from the dike surrounding the course. Armed with professional grade lopping shears they would cut the buckthorn  and then haul it to a prearranged staging area for the maintenance staff to come around in winter and grind up in a chipper. They initiated removal over the Thanksgiving weekend. It snowballed (pun intended) over winter as the members could envision the improved benefit of cleaning up the dike. Staff has already overseeded all barren areas that were 'so densely shaded no grass would grow'. Ultimately the goal is to remove 98% of the trees from all four holes (#14-16-17-18) that have the flood protection dike. A contractor would do the larger more dangerous removals with staff. Once the dike can be cleaned up and there is turfgrass vegetation on both sides then staff would be able to 'mow' the dike thus improve playability and pace. At this point in time, the longer more naturalized grass is the most beneficial to providing integrity to the dike. By the Winnetka Men's Club - Buckthorn Removal Program volunteering their time and efforts this reduces the seedbank of this nasty tree and greatly helps keep down the cost of contracted and staff work. On behalf of the entire Winnetka Park District and myself I would like to formally recognize all nineteen individuals for their huge time commitment and being extremely generous individuals who as a team accomplished the unimaginable! Job well-done, THANK YOU...
  1. Pat Dowdle
  2. Micky Archambault
  3. Dave Smith
  4. Jim Neer
  5. Dave Skrodzki
  6. Tom Davis
  7. Paul Manley
  8. John Llewellyn
  9. Steve McElroy
  10. Dave Schafer
  11. Bill Lawrence
  12. Bob Gibson
  13. Mike Fonda
  14. Harold Nations
  15. Paul Van Zuiden
  16. Tom Horner
  17. Paul Lively
  18. John McGowan
  19. Bill Falland
Staff member Matt Bukovac at the #18 Tee site.
#18 tee close-up. Please note the amount of Buckthorn in just one of numerous plies. EACH branch was individually cut, removed and hauled to these staging sites.

Staff member Bukovac is Tebow-ing the Men's Club brush pile at #17 Tee.

This staging area is along the #17 Pond. Unbelievable amount of brush is removed from #17 Tee complex.

#17 Dike this spring.

Hole #17.

Friday, March 9, 2012

18 Hole Golf Course OPENED today at noon!

This picture is from 2009 since Spring came early this year.
It was cloudy on February 2nd ‘Punxsutawney Phil’ & the Winnetka Golf Maintenance Staff ALL saw their shadows and Spring has risen early! Staff was able to maneuver on the course this week cleaning/blowing off greens on Tuesday, double rolling Wednesday and cutting them today. Golf carts will be running for the weekend! The mild winter certainly helped the 'Fairway Recovery Program'. If the fairways were 50% fully recovered at Thanksgiving, with the other 50% having great seedling establishment BUT lacking the maturity...the Fairways are now approaching 75% fully recovered! Weather permitted staff feels the full recovery may happen up to one month early, possibly by early May!

For the loyal followers we have  a contest just for you...
To the first person who can answer the following question by adding a comment to this blog AND is one of the 19 "Followers"  (or a newly signed up  follower of this blog),they will receive one brand new Winnetka Golf Club flag of their choice, red, white or blue. 

The picture of Henry at Torrey Pines South #14 has been replaced by what course and hole number??? 

Hint Henry played there just one week earlier on March 2nd, as well as at the GC at Wente Vineyards, Presidio GC and Bayonet GC.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eagle Scout Projects (Flora & Fauna Brochures)update. And WGC "Wildlife Inventory" updates...American Wigeon & Snow Goose seen on courses..

Remember to click on any picture to enlarge.
There have been two (2) new additions to the Winnetka Golf Club 'Wildlife Inventory'. If you recall, earlier this year in the  May 7th Blog we posted pictures of the American Bittern (type of rail bird) sighting at #4 Pond. Well, this last fall staff members David Evanshank saw and photographed an American Wigeon feeding on duckweed with numerous Mallard Ducks at #9 Pond.
 And Matt Bukovac photographed a Snow Goose at a few areas on the course. Surely these birds would have likely migrated through the course over the years, but these are the first officially  documented sightings. 

This would be a good time to segue into local Boy Scout Troop-20,  Nick Hedge's "Eagle Scout Project". Over a year ago Nick approached the Winnetka Park District's Director of Parks & Recreation/Dr. Terry Schwartz about an idea he had for his upcoming ESP. This very time consuming project included building from scratch a dozen Eastern Bluebird houses and replacing the most dilapidated of the over 35 Bluebird houses on both golf courses. In addition a huge part is 'leading' other scouts and adults for  hundreds of hours of volunteer work sighting wildlife on the course. Through the cooperation of his volunteers, Nick created a 'Wildlife Brochure' of the Winnetka Golf Club. The brochure's goal is for golfers as well as cross-country skiers, snow-shoers, and dog walkers (who utilize the golf courses in the off-season) to ultimately download and print the brochure through the WPD's website. Follow this Blog, WPD or WGC  Facebook for the soon to be released 'Wildlife Brochure'.
Here is Nick Hedge (holding his brochure) and his parents (far left) with the full Winnetka Park District's Board of Commissioners. Nick was formally recognized at the January 19th board meeting.
Another Eagle Scout Project from the same local Troop-20 is also nearing completion as another brochure thus creating  Flora & Fauna dual brochures. This other project will also be downloadable and has a routing map of the golf course similar to the Morton Arboretum's Map routing (one can follow the outer loop or choose additional inner loops) and provides the locations of specimen trees and groves of trees with interesting factoids. This Eagle Scout  documented, categorized and measured hundreds of trees with the help of his volunteers.  Many may not realize in their own backyard (aka Winnetka Golf Club) are many  non-typical trees that grow and thrive in the muck-peat soils of the golf course. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Par-3 Golf Course OPEN YEAR ROUND! 18-Hole Golf Course closed for rest & recuperation.

Following are several pictures taken of #14 Fairway (one of the most July flood damaged fairways) shown in a time-lapse type sequence. Feel free to click on any photo to enlarge. Recovery is right on schedule for a mid to late May full restoration, weather provided. Staff has applied plant  protectants (fungicides etc.) to ALL fairways to help control any snow-mold type diseases that typically are cost prohibitive (to 25 acres) at a municipal  golf course. In addition numerous light applications of fertilizer were applied throughout the Fall including a Monday November 21st application to "push" the plants coming out of Winter.
Hole #14 with thousands of Spring bulbs May 2011
#14 Fairway August 4th , one week after flood waters receded.
#14 Fairway August 26th
#14 Fairway August 29th
#14 Fairway September 1st
#14 Fairway September 6th
#14 Fairway September 12th
#14 Fairway September 20th
#14 Fairway October 6th
#14 Fairway October 11th
#14 Fairway October 31st
Uncle Buck returns to Winnetka Golf Club
The sun sets on the golf season at Winnetka Golf Club. Thank you very much for your patronage and support.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Rocky Raccoon watches for a Hummingbird Heartbeat at Winnetka Golf Club

This yearling raccoon was seen climbing a newer cottonwood tree between #8 & #11 Rough.

The following video of a hummingbird feeding was shot at the cement flower planter along the main pathway to the Clubhouse (aka The Superhighway, by staff). It took several attempts over a few weeks to catch a hummingbird feeding. About halfway through the one minute video when the bird had the backdrop of the Par-3 Golf Course trees is when it is most pronounced. All three cement planters in the parking lot as well as by the #18 Green / Starter Shack were planted with the intention of catching these remarkable little birds on video. As you walk up to the Clubhouse for the next several weeks keep your eyes on these planters as the birds spook and flush when you get about 20-50 feet away. The flower of preference for the hummingbirds is the 'Black & Blue Salvia' (Salvia guarantitica) in the late summer. Please enjoy!