Fall Season Update
As the season begins shifting into the fall months, Springbrook and Naperbrook Golf Courses are preparing for maintenance work to address the areas at Springbrook impacted by the renovation, along with continuing work on the changes to the 18th hole at Naperbrook. Also, as part of our Golf Master Improvement Plan, staff and our golf course architect, Greg Martin, are continuing to plan for significant updates at Naperbrook beginning as soon as next year. However, the project work in 2024 at Naperbrook will not require the complete closing of the golf course, and both courses are expected to remain open for all of the 2024 season.
At Springbrook, the goal is to improve turf quality in several of the areas that were part of the course renovation last fall. The less than desirable spring season did not provide the new turf with the best growing conditions. Staff is anticipating and hoping for a normal fall season, with cooler temperatures and timely rainfall, which provides conditions that are optimum for cool season turfgrasses. With fall beginning shortly, our staff is gearing up to perform maintenance on many of these renovated areas.
Fall is the perfect time to seed, sod, and feed turfgrass, and staff will begin work on the renovated turf areas in early September. You may have noticed weed control being applied to many areas the past few weeks to remove annual grasses and broadleaf weeds that were prevalent in several of the renovated turf areas. Most of these areas have turf that is patchy and not yet fully established. An early fall feeding of fertilizer will be applied to help jump start the growing process for the already-established turfgrass. Additionally, staff will add new topsoil to low and thinned out playing surfaces to improve the growing medium before work begins on seeding and sodding. Most areas will be mechanically seeded with a tractor-mounted seeder that will punch into the soil the new seed, providing the best opportunity for the new grass to germinate. Some areas will need to be roped off to limit cart traffic to provide an opportunity for the grass to mature and grow. Staff will be monitoring these areas to maintain proper moisture and follow up with fertilizer applications to keep the new turf healthy and growing. With favorable fall weather, we expect that the identified areas will have a full cover of turfgrass by the spring and will be in good condition.
Naperbrook Course Renovation Projects
At Naperbrook, we will be working to renovate the tee on the 18th hole, and add additional fairway bunkers and drainage to the hole in preparation for switching over to the new green complex next year. In early October, with work beginning on the tee, the 18th hole will need to be played from the fairway as a par-4, and on some occasions as a par-3 when work begins on new fairway bunkers. The current tee will be leveled, regraded and expanded to provide adequate teeing space, and all areas will be sodded to allow the tee to be reopened in early 2024. At the same time, new fairway bunkers will be added on both sides of the fairway, and the large fairway bunker on the right side will be removed. This is all part of the project to change the route of the 18th hole to allow the current 18th green to be used for a practice area.
In 2024, at Naperbrook, once the new 18th hole is opened for play, work will begin on updating the current 18th green and transform it into a practice area. The green surface will not be changed, but new bunkers and a chipping fairway will be added in addition to berms to separate the new hole from the practice area. We anticipate that the new practice area will be open for use next summer.
Also, at Naperbrook, staff is continuing to plan for renovations at the 33-year-old course. In 2024, the priority will be the replacement of the irrigation system, which was installed when the course was built. This will ensure that this critical infrastructure required for golf course maintenance is up to current industry standards. As you may have noticed, several areas on the course are often impacted by wet areas caused by leaks from outdated pipes and sprinklers. Also, coverage is less than desirable, forcing staff to hand water several surfaces during dry periods. All pipe and sprinklers are currently proposed to be replaced in fall 2024, which will not require the course to be closed. Partial hole closures will occur only during the week to allow work to be completed on greens and tees, with the entire course expected to be open for play on the weekends.
Design work and planning for a major renovation of Naperbrook is continuing, part of our Golf Master Improvement Plan, with the expectation some of the renovation work will be completed in 2024 without the need to close the course. Additional updates, and the remainder of the renovation work, are planned to occur in future years.
Staff is excited about the recent and future changes to our courses, and looking forward to the continued improvements at both facilities. We appreciate your patience and understanding while the work is being completed, and hope you enjoy the improvements we’re making.