“We have made a lot of progress, and there is still a lot to do.”
That was Bill Koepfer’s assessment of the work he and other staff at Southern Delaware Golf Club did this summer to prepare the former Shawnee Country Club for reopening next spring.
I recently met with the Director of Agronomy at SDGC to discuss what they have accomplished at the Milford cycle since our conversation in June.
There is a huge pile of mixed greenery near the entrance along S. Rehoboth Street. Kupfer said that this material will be the new bedding for the 18 greens. This mixture combines sand from the Dover area with organic matter from North Dakota (mostly peat) in a ratio of 85/15. Once distributed on the green base, the seeding process will begin, which began last week.
Weather and other challenges have slowed some seeding plans, but not enough to change the overall schedule, Kupfer said. For example, while this year’s rainfall totals are on track, much of it came in just four storms. More time was needed to keep the new grass irrigated and safe due to the hot and dry conditions.
The fairways were seeded with an updated Bermuda grass strain at what Kupfer said was a very high rate. I saw signs of new shoots emerging.
Much of the bunker work is essentially complete, especially the placement of zoysia grass from Salisbury, Maryland. The sand walls that appeared in most of the bunkers have disappeared. Only the bottom will hold sand, providing many benefits.
Golf balls hit by zoysia tend to bounce and roll to the ground, making it easier to escape from bunkers. In addition, the low sand surface reduces the maintenance burden.
SDGC also follows the general trend of reducing the number of caches. The course previously had 72 bunkers, Kupfer said. After converting some to grass swamps, merging some, and removing others, we should end up with about 65.
Some greens are further along than others. VIII The green has been nicely reshaped, now featuring a sloping ridgeline, subtle ridges and a modest false front to add to the challenge.
We also talked about upcoming action items.
Each pond will be cleaned and edged with a white rock border. This would reduce the risk of erosion and discourage waterfowl, which are gentle birds.
About 500 of the 600 irrigation heads still need to be replaced. The new Toro heads are more accessible for maintenance or repair than previous models. New control systems are being installed. Fortunately, most of the irrigation pipes are still in good condition.
Wetland area adjacent to 11th The passage and blessing for the seventeenth day The hole will be cleared, with river rocks installed as an obvious hazard to be avoided.
Other ideas are in the conceptual stage, such as creating a new tee box for the 205-yard par-3 fourth Hole to convert it into a drivable par 4.
The country club’s former tennis courts will also be rebuilt for pickleball.
A target date for a late spring opening remains. “We’ve given ourselves a little window. We’ll see where we are now as we move forward,” Kupfer said.
I also met SDGC owner Tim Johnson, who readily admitted his passion for renovation.
“It’s a need for the city, it’s a need for Kent and Sussex counties, and for the citizens of the local area,” he said. “Milford will be our next growth area. I have a lot of time and investment in the city of Milford here. We have some shopping centers and other buildings and other facilities.”
“Amenities are what you need,” he continued. “It will bring other people to Milford. When this gets done, you’ll see other businesses come to Milford because of the golf course. I’m very excited about that.”
It has meaning to me.
Results of local club competitions
Mulligan’s Pointe Ladies played the 18-hole Crier Course on September 12.
In the first division, Valerie Greb won the top nine, followed by Peggy Clausen. Sue Ahern won the back nine, with Tammy Findlay in second. Maxine Ansbach won 18th place, followed by Brenda Joyce.
Cathy Marks won the top nine in the second division, with Jackie Adams in second place. Donna Dolce won the defense nine, followed by Susan Gatcombe. Pam Pekula won the full 18 prizes, followed by Chris Allison.
The Kings Creek CC Ladies 18-hole group played Beat the Pro on Sept. 7, in what Jan Schlastawa described as “brutally hot” conditions.
Mary Ann Fitch, Margie Moore and Chris Piasek won the first flight, while Mina Colucci, Faye Slatcher, Joan Jurek and Francie Young came in second.
Linda Kelleher, Kay Wolin, Darcy Whitehead and Alicia Polsky took the second flight, followed by Jodi Wetzel, Carol Simon, Patricia Magee and Pamela Cranston.
Assistant pro Eric Willey made it impossible for one group to beat him when he fired a shot on the 14th slot.