Course Meetings with Ernie Cruz, Don O' & John Armstrong
Minutes by Raylene McSally
All Things Golf!
Attendees: Ernie Cruz, Don Oldakowski, John Armstrong and Raylene McSally
Jerry Blauvelt was unable to attend
Fairways, Greens and Tee boxes:
On 7/25 weed control was applied to fairways, rough and tees. The rigger (white trucks) was used to spray the greens. Brightview is both stunting the weeds (spraying) and feeding the Bermuda grass underneath.
The middle of September will be the last application of pre-emergence in order to prepare for the over seeding in November. As the seasons change the type of weeds also changes. Spraying will be applied to the foliage which absorbs the killer, however anything not germinated will not be killed in this process.
On 8/8/23 pre-emergence will be applied. The course will close at 2PM. Round star will be applied to tee boxes, fairways and greens so the course needs to be closed. It only goes out about 18’ into the rough.
On 8/14/23 the back nine and putting green will be closed and on 8/15 the front nine and range will be closed for deep tine Aerification of the fairways. If we run into a problem we may need to add another day.
The tee boxes received Aerification twice, they do not need deep tine Aerification but they will be top dressed with sand.
Verti cutting will begin. Verti cutting pulls up the thatch beneath the grass. It will then be top dressed with sand.
The course will be beat up with deep tine cutting so we need to give it a good opportunity to revive.
Ernie asked Brightview to get the cost of a pallet of tiff eagle Bermuda grass. This will allow us to replace the patches marked on #7. Our greens are currently tiff dwarf. Bermuda grass has been improved over the years, patching with tiff eagle will improve the damaged areas on #7. Brightview has been working diligently to improve #13, it’s looking a lot better. They hope to do the same with #7.
The finer the cut of grass the more susceptible the grass is to damage.
The rough is cut once a week.
The greens are cut daily. During the summer months with diminished play Ernie may eliminate cutting the greens on Saturday. He is reviewing this possibility.
The mechanic Brightview hired didn’t work out. They have just hired a replacement mechanic with over 30 yrs experience as mechanic. A golf course mechanic needs to know about sharpening and grinding blades as well as maintenance of the machinery.
The irrigation motor needs to be replaced at a cost of $8,000. The normal life span of a motor is approximately 6-10 years. This motor has been in use since 2015. The new motor will be installed Wednesday 8/3/23.
Ernie creates a budget of what he will need for the coming year. When unexpected expenses arise, such as the motor listed above, this comes out of his operating budget causing him to shift expenses to keep his budget balanced. He will have to shift expenses to fund the purchase of the sod for the greens.
We had a day when the water and ice coolers were not distributed on the course. This has been addressed and should not happen again.
Questions and Answers:
There is inconsistent grass cutting of the rough. Players finding themselves in the rough are sometime playing out of grass that is quite deep in spots. Ernie has addressed this issue with Brightview, we should see improvement.
During their quarterly meeting Ernie and Kent drive down the fairways. The fairways are also inconsistently mowed. The issue with cutting in the fairways is due to the mower blades needing to be adjusted for height and sharpness. We are still missing some of the proper equipment for the job to be done correctly. The tow behind unit for the rough is not here yet, using smaller units to cut the rough takes longer and is not as good a job as using the larger tow behind unit. All the rough should be cut once a week. Since this meeting they have received some equipment but the large unit is on back order.
Ernie pointed out there are lots of weeds on green #10, out newest green. Although Brightview inherited this issue they need to address it and get it corrected.
Ernie drives around to view the scope of service being done according to the contract. He takes pictures of the property which he sends to the superintendent in an email addressing the issues. He gives them 10 days to begin to fix it. If it is not fixed Ernie will elevate it to the superintendent’s boss. If still not fixed it continues to get elevated until it reaches our attorney. We have not had to elevate anything to date. Brightview has been responsive when issues are pointed out.
There is grass growing in bunkers, it was observed in #1 & #3. There may be others.
Ernie will address this with Brightview.
It was mentioned there is a broken sprinkler on #18 tee box. Ernie has check out the sprinkler and it is operating as it should.
There is a general lack of respect for the course. People are driving too close to the green, driving between bunkers and the green, driving up the throat and driving through wet areas. What can we do? Can we institute any kind of penalty?
Fellow players should remind people to be respectful. If it continues any player witnessing infractions should call the pro-shop as it is happening and advise Ernie who will come out and speak to the offender. See something, say something!
Ernie will post what is happening with the course on the bulletin board. Things like weed spraying, verti cutting, Aerification etc will be posted. It should be noted that it may be necessary to adjust the schedule for weather or any problem that may crop up.
On #8 there are holes as you come off the green just before the stairs. Can this be fixed before someone falls and get hurt? Ernie rectified 7/28/23.
Sometimes the tee box markers are not replaced after mowing.
If they are just mowing the markers should be immediately replaced. If they will be top dressing the tee boxes the markers will remain off to the side until the top dressing is done. They will move the markers, cut the tee box, wait for the box to dry out and heat up from the sun before applying top dressing. The markers will remain off to the side until the top dressing is applied.
There has been heavy treatment for fire ants. They appear to be under control
Some cart paths still need crushed gravel applied, this should be addressed soon.
The bushes on #8 have been trimmed back.
Last month we discussed GHIN not having handicap rating for men from the green markers on outside courses. Ernie talked to them and they will not be able to show a handicap rating from tee markers traditionally used for ladies in the system for the men. They will also not be able to show a handicap for ladies from markers traditionally used for men. If you need a handicap from these tee markers it can be obtained from Golf Genius. Putting your score in from those markers can be done manually.
Respectfully submitted by Raylene McSally
Attendees: Ernie Cruz, Don Oldakowski, John Armstrong, Gerry Blauvelt, Raylene McSally
Daniel from Brightview was unable to attend today.
The weeds are being attached which is both good and not so good. The Bermuda grass flourishing means the weeds are also growing. An application is being done every 7-10 days to treat the weeds. Some weed patches are so large there isn’t any Bermuda grass underneath or it is not healthy enough to grow quickly. A liquid to make the Bermuda grass grow is being applied but feeding the Bermuda grass also feeds the weeds.
Pre-emergence will be done in September or October. Some will be done now but the majority will be done in the fall.
A fungicide is also being applied. We’re applying more water than normal and with the deluge of rain we’ve been having we get fungus. Hopefully applying it early enough will prevent the fungus from getting so big the fungicide can’t get underneath the fungus to destroy it.
Please remind players to stay away from the collar of the greens, no one should be that close to the greens. Please use good judgment when getting close to the greens for those who absolutely need to get close to the green.
There are times when we need to let the grass grow longer. When this happens it must be cut in increments to avoid damage.
Greens are being rolled but not necessarily every week. It will be done in increments to avoid heavy compacting. The rolling is to smooth out the greens.
The next Aerification in August will be done with the deep tines.
The final Aerification will be done in August. Fairways, greens and tee boxes will all be done.
A rolling Aerification machine was brought in to do some of the hard compacted soil now.
Sprinkler heads are being replaced. The wet areas around damaged sprinkler heads are being handled.
Wet areas are being handled, ie #3, heads are being replaced. Spending limits and district policies come into play. Driving carts over wet areas causes ruts and breaks heads. It may also break the swing joints directly under the head. Please remind players to be sure to stay away from wet areas to minimize damage to the sprinkler system as well as the course. Please also remind players to stay away from the sprinkler heads along the collar of the green. No one should be that close to the green with a cart.
Men who play from the green tees are now upset because the green tee markers have been moved back with the addition of red tee markers. It really doesn’t matter where the tee markers are placed, it matters who you are playing against.
Leagues should get together and discuss what the goals of the group are.
Does your league want to make up their own rules for the league or abide by USGA rules?
Ernie suggested a blind ballot the member can take home to fill out and drop it off in the box for tallying. Letting them take the ballot home to complete may eliminate peer pressure to vote in a certain manner.
We have all the equipment as listed in the contract. It is not necessarily the equipment that will be dedicated to our course, some equipment is on order and will be swapped for the temporary equipment on site.
We finally have the equipment to start cutting the rough. Please have patience with the maintenance company. They are new to our course and they have new equipment. It takes time to learn the lay of the course and how to operate the new equipment efficiently and safely. We have steep banks around the course requiring expertise in operating the new equipment.
Since we had an abundance of rain the course is being managed in the fastest way possible. This means the flatter areas will be cut first leaving the more difficult areas for later.
We have about 40 new rakes. Remind players not to drive over the rakes. If you see a rake that needs replacing please let a Barefoot Bay staff member know. Please do not advise a Brightview employee of the need for a new rake.
We have two truckloads of sand in the bins. With all the rain it has not been possible to spread the sand in the bunkers. The bunkers currently have a lot of sand but it has settled in the bottom of the bunkers. The sand needs to be distributed around the bunkers before new sand is added. The equipment is entering and exiting the bunkers in new patterns. Entry and exit is no longer from the same place every time. Entering and exiting at the same point allowed the sand from the bunker to be dragged onto the fairway and caused damage to the entry/exit point. Brightview is using a sand pro machine has a plow in front and rakes in the back. The machine is used in the flatter sections of the bunker with the edges being hand raked to minimize damage to the edges.
What should we do with the rakes? Should they be in the bunker, just outside the edge or should the head be left in the bunker with a bit of the handle sticking up for ease of picking it up? The league Presidents should send out a survey through golf genius and poll their members. Ernie will take pictures of 3 bunkers with the rakes in different positions. He will make up a ballot with the pictures so we can send them out in the survey.
Brightview is not responsible to trim anything above 12’. Barefoot Bay doesn’t do any trimming. Any dead leaves or palm fronds are left to fall off on their own.
Brightview has hired a full time mechanic, Nick, who is now on site. He is dedicated to Barefoot Bay. He takes care of the maintenance of the equipment and well as some maintenance on the course. He seems to be doing good job so far.
There is no requirement of how many employees are dedicated to our course. There is coverage on the weekend but it is a skeleton crew. They cut early and they are gone by 9:30AM, they cut both Saturday and Sunday.
We don’t have much play on Saturday so Ernie would like to see the course get a rest from cutting on Saturday.
There will be a meeting after Brightview has been on site for 3 months. Toward the end of July, Kent and Ernie will meet with the superintendants boos to see how things are going. Any questions or concerns can be given to Ernie for him to discuss at the meeting. Kent will drop out after the first few meetings.
Ernie drives around the course to see that Brightview is handling maintenance in accordance with the contract. Ernie takes pictures but doesn’t necessarily do anything with them until he feels there is an issue. He then sends Brightview an email and the pictures if warranted and gives them a number of days to respond. If he doesn’t receive a response he then sends it to Kent who will address it and forward to the lawyers if necessary.
Quarterly Ernie will advise what he feels is going well and what needs improvement.
The playability of the course is important to Ernie, he periodically checks to see that the course is playing as it should.
There will be a summer eat and play all day special for $32. It will include green fees, cart and lunch. This special is not for members.
Ernie is allotted a modest budget to run the course during the year. Equipment or supplies beyond this budget must be approved by Kent. Any large expenditure will go before the Board for approval.
Remind players to repair divots, rake traps and stay off the collar of the greens. Please do not drive golf carts up the throat of the greens, stay at least 10’ away from the green and throat.
Please do not drive over sprinkler heads with the area is wet and stay out of wet areas.
There is now a cooler behind the counter in the pro-shop to sell drinks.
There is a noticeable decrease in the amount of fire ants since the treatment. If you notice a mound please let the starter know. The starters have a small amount of treatment they can apply as needed.
1 Who is responsible for cart path maintenance?
Some of the cart paths need some work. #9 has a large drop off where the cart path ends, can we get some gravel to smooth it out?
Response: Ernie had some crushed stone/concrete delivered to fill in where needed.
2 The bushes on #8 at the cart path are loaded with bees, can we get them trimmed before someone gets stung?
Yes, Brightview has been ordered to trim the bushes back.
3 Tournament schedules are made up for a year in advance, can we have a copy posted so everyone knows what they are and when they’re scheduled to happen? Notification a couple of weeks in advance is not good enough, people plan events a month or more in advance.
Yes, there is a copy in the pro-shop, stop by and pick one up.
4 GHIN from tee boxes.
GHIN does not show the green tee boxes for men at other courses. They only show the Blue and White tee markers so the men who play from the green tee markers cannot look up a handicap from the green markers. The ladies cannot get a handicap from the Blue tee makers.
The score can be entered using the slope and rating for the course but a handicap cannot be obtained.
Ernie will check with GHIN.
We will move our meeting on the last Friday of the month at 7:30AM.
Our next meeting will be held on July 28th.
Respectfully submitted by Raylene McSally
Barefoot Bay: Ernie Cruz, John Armstrong, Don Oldakowski, Raylene McSally. Jerri Blauvelt was unable to attend.
Brightview: Andrew Ninnemann, Todd Six, Wade Foster, Daniel Perkins.
The official start date for Brightview was 4/17/23. They are progressing but do not currently have all the necessary equipment. More equipment is being brought in each week. Improving the course is a process, it will take time. The current plan is 12 – 18 months. Improvement has already begun.
Wade advised the greens are starting to pop. A full course ratification and top dressing was completed. They will be keeping a thin layer of sand (top dressing) on the greens for awhile. This will keep the greens firm and help prevent algae and helps control weeds. The greens are old and in need of replacement. They will do their best to keep them in the best shape possible. We have a layer of hard pan between 4-6 inches under the greens which has formed over time .Our normal aeration tines only go 4” therefore we need this machine which has 6” tines to penetrate it and loosen it up. Fertilizer was applied on Wednesday 5/24/23 as well as an insecticide and nematode treatment. We have had a significant amount of nematodes for years; nematodes damage the roots which causes damage to the greens. They are now using a fungicide which has been proven effective for nematodes.
There is a plan in effect for the greens for the next year.
The cut lines delineating the green from the first cut has been confusing. They are in the process of remedying this situation.
John asked if the course is in better or worse shape than they thought. The course is in worse shape but the recovery process has been better than anticipated. The healthier they can make the turf will allow the turf to control the weeds on its own.
Spraying for weeds was done in the fairways, tees and two passes of rough beyond the fairway. Eventually spraying will stretch out into more rough. A sidewinder will come in to cut the rough, it’s also good around the banks. Pre-emergence has been put down to keep new weeds from growing and to control existing weeds.
We have a bulletin board that will contain the maintenance calendar so everyone knows what is actually happening per month. Some adjustments may need to be made to accommodate weather. The plan is not set in stone, some adjustments may need to be made.
Our irrigation system is antiquated. There is currently some puddling around some of the sprinkler heads. Brightview is working on the system, a list of replacement heads and parts is being compiled, we will purchase what is needed in bulk to keep costs down.
The pump house foundation has been fixed.
Barefoot Bay is seeking grants to totally replace #13 and #7 Greens. These two greens are a priority. Ernie asked Todd to identify an alternate plan for the other greens. We may need to remove the top 4” of soil on the other greens. This was last done in 2012. The only green we currently have that meets USGA specs is #10.
The bunkers are now being edges with new sand pro equipment. The sides are being hand raked so the edges are not damaged. They are working on getting the sprinkler head out of the bunker on #17. Wade is our bunker expert.
Raylene advised the condition of the rakes is poor. There are rakes where the heads just spin and are missing teeth. The handles are flaking paint. They are in the process of assessing the condition of the rakes. If a member finds a rake with a problem please report it to a member of the Pro-Shop staff, not Brightview.
The red lines around the hazards are pretty much non-existent, players don’t know where to measure from. Ernie advised they don’t line the hazards in the summer months. The cost relative to the number of players is prohibitive. In the event there isn’t a line to measure from the hazard itself is where to begin measuring.
Treatment is being applied to address the ant problem.
Carts cause wear and tear on the course. People are driving too close to the greens. Carts have been driven over sprinkler heads and through standing water causing damage and ruts. If it becomes necessary handicap signs will be placed at appropriate distances from the greens.
Brightview will rope off areas where we need to stay away from.
The various leagues have been keeping their members informed as to the progress of Brightview. There are players who are not members of any of the Barefoot Bay leagues, it is necessary to inform these players also. Ernie can reach out to the player base via Golf Genius.
Brightview does not have 100% of their equipment here so notification will not go out until all the equipment is here and plans can be made.
Met with Ernie and two ladies from the women’s golf group.
3 pm Monday the 15th the course will be closed. They are bringing in a commercial truck to spray the entire course to kill the weed grass. Shortly thereafter they will apply fertilizer. The course is going to appear as if they killed it so hang in there gang. Greens have been heavily sanded because they combined the plugs with the sand so to have better mix of sand and organic matter. They discovered the greens are infected with nimeneodes. #13 green subsoil is heavily compacted and this will be the first to be redone but we will need to raise funds. The greens have not been rolled we do not have a roller but I believe it’s because they have been varying their mowing patterns so it appears so. Not done in the past.
Labor they are working on developing a team. Have brought in a new person to be a greenskeeper to work under Wade the Super. Wade is working with Todd Six Daniel Perkins and their agronomists on the recovery part of the operation. Outside team so to speak. We are behind on equipment but Ernie has addressed that with a email to all the people in charge. They assured us it should be coming next week (maybe two good size list) I believe we are moving in the right direction it will be a slow process. But have Patience next time we meet with Wade and the new guy.
Remember I’m no damn secretary 👩💼
Please feel free to call (772) 663-0631, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or come by and see me if you have any
Ernie J. Cruz, PGA
Golf Operations Manager