January 12, 2011
This blog is from Tyler Boley. Tyler completed an internship at the Club at Mediterra in Naples, FL in the summer of 2010. This is part of his internship report on the experience.
The Club at Mediterra
Iowa State Univeristy
I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Naples, FL for the summer of 2010 to intern under recent ISU graduate Aaron Ohloff. Mediterra consists of 2 18-hole championship courses that were constructed around 2000. It was designed by Tom Fazio and built by a company called Bonita Bay Group and remained under them until recently when it was sold to the members.
It was a great experience to be down there during the summer because unlike here, the summer is their off-time beings that all of the real estate down there is strictly vacation houses. The houses that suround the courses range from $800,000 to $7,000,000. During the summer, we closed one of the courses completely for renovation while keeping the other open that was only averaging around 50 rounds a day.
My responsibilites and duties ranged every day but I received a lot of good experience. I was able to work with the IPM manager quite often doing things such as scouting, spraying, and fertilizing. I also worked with the irrigation tech and learned about the hydrolic irrigation system. I also got the chance to work with some of the crew doing daily maintenance like mowing and detail work.
By far, my biggest experience was the chance to work with a construction crew that we had hired for reconstruction on the closed course. There were a few goals of hiring this company to come in and complete, re-constuct some of the sand bunkers, help with a regrassing process, and expand the existing greens. All of the rough and fairways were 419 Bermudagrass that struggles a little bit with shade tolerance. Our goal there was to kill the areas of 419 that we wanted to replace with 3 applications of glysophate and sprig in new Celebration Bermudagrass. We replaced some turf on every hole on the south course including wall to wall turf excluding the greens on 2 holes. The 419 Bermudagrass was the toughest most persistant grass I have ever dealt with because even after 3 applications of glysophate, lome of the grass still came back. We sprigged the holes around the end of June and the surface was ready for play by the middle of August. We fertilized the turf approximately 6 times in that month and a half and watered about 6-8 times a day. There are some pictures to follow that show the beginning stages.
Just like on every other course, one of the issues that Mediterra was having was the constant downsizing of their greens. When the course was constructed a litlle over ten years ago, they put a tracing wire in the vapor barrier of the original green size so our first challenge was to locate the tracer and paint the outline of the original green. We then sprayed the area between the existing green and the new outline with three applications of glysophate and then cut out the sod in that area. The greens were Champion Bermudagrass while the collars were Tiffdwarf that had encroached the greens very badly. In order to propogate this new area, all we did was core aerate the green and push the plugs out to the trench and fertilize and watered it in. There are some pictures on the following pages.
Our last goal of the reconstruction was to redo some of the bunkers. Both courses at Mediterra were designed by Tom Fazio and as we know he is know for his deep, large sand bunkers. The memebers at Mediterra were having a lot of problems with balls plugging in the faces of some of these bunkers. Also, when the course was built, a plastic bunker liner was installed on the outside that was starting to show and make a ugly sight. Some of these bunker faces had up to 10-12 inches of sand on them and our final goal was to only have 2-4 inches. In order for that to happen, either the top had to come down of the bottom had to go up. For most of these problem bunkers we were able to cut the sod around the areas needing fixing, and dig out some soil and cut the bunker liner before replacing the sod and making it a smoother face. We also took out the mojority of the sand that was in the bunkers to end with 2 inches on the face and 4 inches on the floors. On some of the larger problem bunkers we completely took out all of the sand, replaced some of the drainage or added more, put in new bunker fabric, and added new g-angle sand that will help the plugging of balls.
Attached are some of the pictures from my internship. There are some pictures of my bunker crew, the plugs on the greens, and the new sprigs on the holes that we regrassed. Another one of the pictures shows a 16 inch water main break that happened because they had originally place the pipe on a rock and after 10 years of rubbing and vibrating it finally broke. Another picture shows me spray hawking a green, that is how we sprayed greens everytime because they didn’t want any equipment driving on the greens. A few of the pictures show some before and after pictures of the bunker edges including the bunker liner and new sod. There are also some pictures of just different holes and landscapes on the course including a couple of examples of what the houses are like around the area.
This was such an amazing opportunity and I would recommend it to anyone. I was able to experience so much that will help me further in my career including daily duites and also the construction side of golf course maintenance. We had great living arrangements and they really take care of you down there.