Monday, February 29, 2016

Stump Grinding

This morning, we started a two day task....grinding stumps.  This process is long overdue as we have 43 stumps that we plan on taking out.  Once we grind them down, we'll then fill the hole with clean top soil, seed, fertilize, then cover with a mat to help with germination.  Not only are the stumps an eye sore, but can do some serious damage to a cart or mower if/when they hit them.  This project has been on the radar for years, and it's nice to finally cross it off the list.  Oh the things you can accomplish when you have a great crew!     

Friday, February 26, 2016

Full Version of Course Update Letter

2016 Course Update

With spring right around the corner, the phones will start ringing with anticipation of when the course will open. I would like to take this time to update you and summarize my decisions and actions that were taken this winter so we could provide you with the best possible conditioned course during the season. 

After last winter, many discussions were had and proactive decisions were made on what has to be done to protect the course so it’s playable come spring.  The answer, cover the greens.  Not only is this a big financial investment, but one that impacts possible golf during the winter months.  Temporary pins were cut in approaches (9 holes) to eliminate completely shutting down and served as a compromise to satisfy the golfers who wanted to get out when the opportunity arose.

There are several reasons why we covered greens at Field Club. 

1.   The first being to protect the turf from cold, dry winter winds, which can desiccate turf, causing injury.
2.   The second is to help alleviate the formation of ice on the putting surface.
3.   To eliminate any foot traffic on the greens while they are frozen.

Identifying the turf species at your club is usually the deciding factor when making a cover/no cover decision.  The most susceptible turf species to injury is Poa annua (the primary species at FCO).  Poa is a much weaker plant than bentgrass, and this goes for the winter as much as it does for summer.  As you have seen, leaving Poa annua uncovered during winter is a very risky endeavor, as Poa does not have the same ability as bentgrass to harden itself off for winter.  When the cold winds combine with no snow cover it can quickly and easily desiccate and damage the plant.  Poa is only able to survive at most, 30-60 days under ice cover.  In Omaha, we often see the prime weather conditions for damage, which is why this was the right decision for us to make.  Covers are the best insurance against winter injury although nothing is guaranteed.  

Over the last week, I have been able to walk the course several times and even pulled back some covers to inspect the turf.  So far, the course has gone through winter with very minimal issues and the greens have great color and appear to be very healthy.  I anticipate no changes from here on out and expect us to not only have a great spring, but a great year of golf. 

The plan (if forecasted weather patterns do not change) Monday, March 7th we will begin removing the covers and preparing the greens for play.  I anticipate by Wednesday, March 9th at noon the greens will have been mowed, fresh cups cut and ready for golf.

If there are any questions on this decision (or anything moving forward), please direct them to me.  The best way to reach me is via email at  I also utilize a turf blog which serves as general course updates to the membership.  You can view the blog at:

Thank you for your support and I look forward to another great season at FCO.


Nick Leu

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Last of refurbishing

Every winter, we go through all the course amenities and give them a fresh look.  Sometimes this means repairs and times we have to rebuild.  The tee signs were given a new logo as the others were faded, scratched up and difficult to see.  The little details on a course are very important to us and a lot of work goes into making sure the details are dialed in.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Course Condition Update (February)

Last week I walked the entire course several times to inspect the turf so I would be able to update you on the current condition of the club.  I am pleased to report that the turf has very minimal issues (very few snow mold spots in fairway), but nothing severe.  Friday afternoon, we pulled back #2 green cover in the front (pictured above) and we were very pleased with the product underneath the cover.  The turf appears to be healthy and free of any winter damage.  This week, we will pull back a few other covers to inspect the greens (#13,#14,#17,etc.) to see what we're dealing with.  I don't anticipate any issues, but want to see the greens first hand.  Below I will summarize the work completed on the course since November 1 (start of the 2016 fiscal year).

  • Planted 8 new trees
  • Removed 30 trees 
  • Repair and Refurbish ALL course amenities (benches, ballwashers, bunker rakes, etc.)
  • Service, Repair and Upgrade lighting on course equipment
  • This Spring (March), we will grind out the remaining stumps on the course (40+)
  • When weather allows, we will fill and seed ALL stumps that have been removed
  • Spring Changes: Combine #2/#11 Fairway, Change/Expand #6 Fairway around Green, Bump #8 Fairway to the left and create a low mow area to the right of the green
Moving forward over the next couple weeks, we will get out and hand rake all the areas where extensive tree work was completed (#2/#11, #8, #14) to clean up all the sticks/debris that was left behind.  Once the ground firms up, we'll get the remaining stumps ground out and will fill ALL the stumps with soil/seed and rope off.  I am also in the process of getting a few bids to repair several cart path areas (#12, #18) and hopefully get those addressed sometime this Spring.  

If there are any questions, please direct them to me.  You can email me at