Journey Along the Shores – Part 10 (Off-season Projects)

The season is slowly drawing to a close, and the Canal Shores Grounds Committee has made a decision to tackle several projects between now and May 1, 2016.

We have scheduled the first batch of volunteer days (sessions are 9am-noon):

  • Sat 10/31
  • Sun 11/15
  • Sat 11/28

All are welcome, and it takes no particular skill to pitch in.  If you are willing, email me at, or just show up.

Following is a brief run-down of our projects.  As they progress, I will periodically be updating this page with time-lapse photos.  For more frequent updates, follow me on Twitter (@JasonWay1493) or Instagram (@jwizay1493).


We will be continuing the process of “reclaiming the ridge” that we started on hole #3 earlier this year.  In that pilot project, we learned several lessons about how best to fight invasive tree species like buckthorn, while improving playability for golfers.

The steps of the process are:

  1. Clear away the understory, including cutting down brush and small trees, and picking up trash.  Stack the brush neatly.
  2. Treat the stumps immediately.
  3. Determine which larger trees are “specimens” (ideally with the assistance of an arborist).
  4. Cut down larger unhealthy, dead, or undesirable trees.
  5. Treat the stumps immediately.
  6. Chip all small-to-medium material and spread mulch in the treeline to suppress re-growth.
  7. Haul away larger material.
  8. Seed into the mulchline.
  9. Mow the new grass areas, including the new tree growth.

Out of concern for erosion, we will not be doing any cleanup or clearing down the canal bank until we can afford to have those portions professionally done as part of a broader plan to enhance wildlife habitat and water filtration.

This next phase has already begun on hole #2, and will continue depending on weather.  We are also limited from a financial perspective in that chipping and hauling away material can be quite expensive, and we do not take money for these projects out of the operating budget of the course.  Therefore, our progress is partially dictated by donations.  If you would like to donate, contact me at or Tom Tully at

Overgrown treeline on hole #2, prior to the clean-up and clearing process.
Overgrown treeline on hole #2, prior to the clean-up and clearing process.


Tom has already started the process of reclaiming lost green space by mowing some collars out the edge of the green pads.  This will happen throughout the course this fall.

Although the newly mown collars are puttable, the ultimate goal is to have consistent green-height grass running out to the edge of the green pad.  This will require re-seeding, and in some instances replacement of grass sections that we hope to have available from a newly established turf nursery.

New mowing pattern on hole #17. The lighter grass illustrates the additional green area to be reclaimed.
New mowing pattern on hole #17. The lighter grass illustrates the additional green area to be reclaimed.


The fairway bunker has already been removed on hole #12, with new grass growing in nicely.  This completes for now our project to expand the width of the hole significantly to the left.  In conjunction with the establishment of tall grass down the right side, the hole now plays as a true dogleg.

This fall, we will be removing three of the four bunkers around #12 green, and reworking the front left bunker to give it more character.  The aesthetically awful catch bunkers behind the green will be transformed into a containment mound planted with more pleasing tall grass.  The area left of and behind the green will be mown to fairway height to provide players with more interest and options in their short game shots.



Inspection of the ground short-right of the green on #11 reveals that there was previously a bunker there.  We intend to restore that bunker while at the same time giving it significantly more character.  I have been feeling inspired by CB MacDonald/Seth Raynor bunkering that I have seen lately, so this one might get a little creative.

The mounding that leads into the EL underpass tunnel will also be reworked and enhanced to tie into the new look that we are working to establish throughout the course.


The green on hole #2 is actually quite neat.  It is a small push-up green with one small bunker front-left.  We have already begun the process of expanding the puttable area on the green pad and mowing down the surrounds to fairway height to expose little ripples in the ground and give more short-game variety.

Additional grass will be planted to create a run-off in the area left and behind the green that has already been cleared of brush and dead trees. We will also be reworking the small bunker in front of the green to make it a little more interesting.

The Grounds Committee and staff are looking forward to continuing to make progress on our special little course.  Positive feedback from players on work to date has been greatly appreciated and is motivational.  As always, we are happy to accept any assistance offered.  Bring your loppers, your chainsaw, or your checkbook – we’ll take all the help we can get.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the fall and spring…

More Journey Along the Shores posts:



Copyright 2015 – Jason Way, GeekedOnGolf

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