Monday, October 21, 2013

2013 Golf Digest Green Star Award

The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay was recently honored with the 2013 Golf Digest Green Star Award for Outstanding Environmental Practices.  Over the years we have been blessed to have received several awards for our environmental stewardship programs and projects but this one is extremely special as this is the first year public golf courses across the nation were judged.  To be included in the same category as previous Green Star Award winners Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, and Barton Creek Resort and Spa is truly special.

Our environmental projects have been on-going for many years and have involved many individuals that may not always get the recognition that they deserve.  An award such as this is not possible without support and hard work from many people and I would like to take this time to thank each of them.  From the great golf course maintenance staff to the clubhouse staff to our management team in Nashville it is truly a team effort and this award is a tribute to every one's hard work and dedication.

We are very grateful to the fine folks at Golf Digest for the 2013 Green Star Award and for their outstanding award article,  The Eagles Have Landed.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Time to put the mowers up

Friday marked what will most likely be the last mowing of the fairways and approaches for the 2013 growing season.  It has been a great year even with all the rainy, cloudy weather we experienced during the summer months. 

Improvements to the golf course this year have included projects such as the renovation of our short game practice area behind the cart storage building.  This area which is also used as a greens nursery was in dire need of repair and with the help of our friends from Champion Turf Farms is now another asset to our golf course and a great place for our golfers to practice.  Chipping Green Renovation

As we did on #5 green two years ago, this year we installed part circle irrigation heads on #16 green so we could better control the amount of water applied to the greens surface and to be able to apply it only to the green and not the surround.  As a result, these greens which used to be our worst are now among our best.  We are planning to continue this process on other holes this winter.
#16 Irrigation Renovation
Renovation of the bunkers continued earlier this year as we finished up the removal of old sand, installation of new Sand Mat bunker liner and installation of new bunker sand to finish up renovation of all the greenside bunkers.  Only a few fairway bunkers are left to be renovated and some maintenance of adding some new sand to the renovated bunkers and the nightmare of maintaining the old bunkers will be a distant memory.

One of our biggest improvements to the golf course this year has come in the form of the new electric golf course maintenance equipment we got through our "Electric Equipment Initiative."   The new electric equipment has made a tremendous improvement to the golf course not only in the conditioning of the course but in reducing point source CO2 emissions and undesirable noise.  We thank Ms. Lori Munkeboe of the Office of Sustainable Practices and our Director of Golf Mr. Mike Nixon for thinking of Harrison Bay as a great place to implement this project.  We are hoping to continue this project at another State Park golf course in the near future.
Electric Equipment Initiative Goes Public

Along with our Mallard Duck nesting tubes and our wild turkey feeders, my favorite environmental project that we do The Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project was a tremendous success this year.  With the hatching failure that Elliott and Eloise experienced last year to see the two little eaglets hatch, grow and fledge this year was doubly exciting.  The Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project has reached over 211,000 unique viewers in 69 different countries since it began.  We are grateful for all our sponsors and supporters we have had over the years and are especially grateful that the USGA Green Section has once again provided major funding for this years operation.  Hopefully within the next two weeks we will have a new pan/tilt/zoom camera installed beside the nest and a microphone installed so we can hopefully hear this years brood calling out for some fish or turtle.  Two Weeks Since Eaglet Hatching

Most of all I have to thank my fantastic staff.  Without their passion and dedication to the conditioning and playability of the golf course we would not be in the position we are today.  Although I tend to hear the great comments from the golfers and guests, the golf course maintenance staff are the ones that make the golf course what it is and they deserve all the credit.
Great Work Gentlemen!!!