Riverside Golf Club

To the Members of Riverside Golf Club,

As most of you probably noticed last week, August 15th suddenly arrived and so had the much anticipated and long awaited bunker renovation project.  As the project moves forward we feel it is a good idea to send a note out to the Membership to let everybody know what to expect over the next couple of months.  There are many moving parts with this project, and several different groups of people working together.  There is a contractor on-site doing most of the heavy lifting, but the RGC Grounds Staff will also be doing a significant amount of work.  There will be a lot of coordination between those two groups to keep things moving forward.  There will also be a significant amount of communication between the Management Team at RGC to coordinate what the course will look like every day/week.  And finally, we will all need assistance from you, the Members, to help protect the work that is being completed in the process of healing.

There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of work and coordination happening to keep the course as 18 holes on a daily basis.  From the early stages of planning this project, a main goal of the Grounds Committee and the Board has been to continue to provide 18 holes of play while completing the work.  I am writing this letter to the Members to explain how that is being done.  We have a very unique asset here at RGC with our Old 12th hole.  This hole gives us the capability to close one hole completely while continuing to have 18 holes of play.  Construction crews are much more efficient when they aren’t dodging golf balls every 10 minutes. 

The project started last Monday as we began work on the 14th hole.  While we were working on the 14th hole it remained closed to golfers.  So, golfers played the 12th hole, and proceeded to the Old 12th hole, followed by the 13th hole.  When they finished playing the 13th hole they went directly to the 15th tee while skipping the entire 14th hole.  This will be the routine throughout the project no matter what hole is being worked on.  Early this week, the closed hole will be #3, so golfers should finish #2 and proceed directly to the 4th tee box.  Karl and his staff will inform every golfer before they begin their round what the course being played consists of every day.  Scorecards will be printed consisting of the course in play that particular day.

The major work on the 14th hole is now completed, and the construction crew has moved their major work to the 3rd hole.  As of tomorrow (Tuesday, August 23) the 3rd hole will be closed to play while that green surround is being reconstructed.  The pace of construction is going to pick up quickly at this point because the scope of work on each hole is much less than what was completed on #14.  We will likely have 2-3 holes in a state of construction at any given time, while several other holes are healing.  For example, #3 will be closed for the next couple of days.  The next hole after #3 will be #10, so some smaller work may be happening on #10 ahead of the construction crew’s completion of #3, and some other work will be buttoned up on #14 behind the construction crew.  #14 and #10 will be open for play, but there will be some Ground Under Repair in play.

When the work on one hole is completed, the major work will begin on another, leaving the previous hole in a state of “healing.”  All of the green surrounds are going to be sodded during this project, which leaves us in a situation where the greens will be open; however, all of the rough area around the greens will be Ground Under Repair for several weeks until the sod is healthy enough to walk and play from.  We will be fencing off all of the sod areas to keep people off of the new sod.  The longer the sod remains untouched the quicker it will heal.  We will be placing several ball retrievers around each green to help any golfer retrieve their golf ball from the newly sodded areas.  If a ball is hit into a sodded area, you will be able to play from a designated drop area outside of the sodded/fenced area.  Your cooperation will save a lot of work later in the project, because we will not have to go back and repair damage caused by walking on the new sod.

One final thing, when the bunker work is complete, all of the bunkers will have a similar style to them.  They will have relatively flat sand bottoms with fairly steep grass faces.  The backside of the bunkers will be fairly shallow, but the front height will be determined by the topography of the given hole.  Some of the bunkers will be very tall/deep (#12) while others will be relatively short/shallow (left of Old #12).  No matter the height of the grass face, it would be appreciated if golfers entered and exited the bunkers from the shallow edge not nearest the green.  The grass faces are not meant to be walked on.  Walking on the steep grass faces can damage the turf, and can be dangerous to the person walking on them.  This is not only true for newly sodded bunker faces, but also true for established turf.  Overall this is a good practice on any bunker anywhere.

Thank you for your help in making this a smooth and successful project!