Hyde Park Est. 1909, A Donald Ross Design

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Holiday Season at Hyde Park

The holiday season is here with a chance to pause and reflect as we head into 2018 with a lot to be thankful for. I would like to thank all of the Hyde Park membership for your support, with 13 seasons in the books for myself it has gone very quickly and it is nice to look back at the learning moments, accomplishments and the challenges ahead. The transformation of the Grounds at Hyde Park has been a team and collaborative effort, I am very fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing Grounds Team dedicated to provide the best to the entire membership. Thanks for all you do!
The last few weeks have been very busy, with final touches to the turf for the winter and the continuous preparations for the Legacy renovations ahead!
The last of the leaf clean-up has been completed along with the final sand topdressings and deeptine aeration to the putting surfaces. The staff is busy with equipment maintenance, enhancing course accessories for next season and participation in continuing education activities.

 The grounds staff continues to move forward with many tasks related to the Legacy renovations slated to begin in mid to late February pending a few details.
The Grounds staff and I have been busy with:
Laying Conduit
  • Placing conduit for network, telephone, new irrigation and future expansions at the grounds building and beyond
  • Temporary parking lot construction on Erie Ave.
  • Relocation of irrigation infrastructure including pipe, wire and communication
  • Finalizing details for contractor selection, we are excited to announce Golf Preservations have been selected to complete the renovations at the practice facility. Their work will commence May 1st with a ten week timeline, followed by a grow-in period for all surfaces
  • Final landscape preparations around the entire clubhouse
My daughter Maeve giving me a hand!
Re routing com lines through old chipping green
From the entire Grounds Team and I we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Pat O'Brien
Grounds Superintendent

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Busy but Exciting Time for HP

With the recent approval of The Legacy Plan for the South Side, the Grounds team and I have been very busy with final winter preparations on the golf course and grounds, along with whole host of activities surrounding the Legacy plan on the both the South and North sides. 2018 will be an exciting and busy time!

Golf Course Operations:

The staff continues to move forward with the following tasks:

Deep Tine Aeration
  • Leaf removal. Which will continue well into December
  • Final fall Herbicide applications to all 70 Acres of rough
  • Winterization of the irrigation system
  • Collaboration with the Grounds Commitee utilizing Ross drawings and Master plan for new 5 year plan for golf course and grounds
  • Staffing for 2018 season
5-year plan template

Legacy Plan:


  • Landscape and irrigation and plans are approved
  • Staff will begin removing dated landscape at front and rear of clubhouse
  • Developing timelines for landscape and irrigation install
  • Collaboration with multiple contractors
Landscape Plans-North
Dated Landscape Rear Clubhouse

Legacy Plan:


Practice Area

Logistics- The South phase scope of work is significant and the compact site will pose many challenges

there are many details to work through.

Collaboration- working with multiple contractors and stakeholders to ensure a successful project.

Communication-use of multiple platforms to share information.

Execution- project management while maintaining golf course and grounds.

Over the coming weeks please check in or subscribe to our Grounds Blog: www.hydeparkgolfandcountryclub.blogspot.com

Follow us on twitter: @pobrienhpgcc

Or get caught up with daily HP emails concerning the Legacy Plan

As we head into the Holiday Season I would like to wish the entire HP membership and Grounds team a very Happy Thanksgiving!

If there are any questions or feedback please email me: grounds@hydeparkcc.com


Pat O'Brien

Grounds Superintendent


Friday, October 27, 2017

Putting Greens at Hyde Park-2017

With the 2017 season coming to a close there has been much discussion about the putting greens and the consistency noted throughout the entire season. The composition of the putting greens over the last 4 years have changed significantly, therefore our practices have changed as well.
In 2013, with the help of the Grounds Committee we began to look closely at the challenges of managing Annual Bluegrass (Poa) an unwanted Turfgrass at Hyde Park. Poa is susceptible to many plant pathogens, it has poor heat tolerance and can provide a particularly bumpy surface in the spring due to seed head production.
Putting green 2013- 50 percent Poa?
2017- less than 5%
The timing was almost perfect, the recent additions of internal drainage in the 100 year old greens, along with significant tree removal, gave us the opportunity to shift our practices to encourage bentgrass. The challenges ahead included improving the physical properties of the profile below and managing playability while the Poa was shrinking?

Our program was compreshensive, we incorporated many strategies that other Turfgrass managers were using to enhance bentgrass which included:
2013- First use of plant growth regulator to slow growth of Poa
Sand topdressing to fill voids of shrinking Poa and improve phyical properties of the profile.

Physical removal of Poa
Solid Tine aeration to reduce bringing Poa seed to surface
Other practices that have helped to reduce Poa populations to less than 5%:
  • Smooth front rollers on mowers
  • Increased lightweight rolling
  • Precise moisture management
  • A great staff that understands the vision and strategies to make the putting surfaces better!
To further help to enhance the putting quality on a daily basis we track data on ball roll, moisture and growth rates of the plant to see what inputs are needed? On a yearly basis we monitor closely how cultural practices are paying off with laboratory testing of the growing medium. So far, we are happy with the results of the program, but the learning curve has been steep trying to figure out how these old bentgrass types respond to nitrogen rates, traffic and playability. Thanks again for the feedback, we are excited to see how are strategies enhance the surfaces in 2018! Our next target is Poa control in the rough, stay tuned.

The addition of turf fans to lower canopy temperatures
Bryan showing off his grass clippings!
Clipping yield bucket
If there are any questions or feedback we can be reached at grounds@hydeparkcc.com

Pat O'Brien
Grounds Superintendent

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fall Has Arrived!

The chill is in the air again, it finally looks as though fall has arrived. On the course and around the grounds of HP the staff and I have been busy with preparations for next season. The putting green aerfication on 9/11/17 went extremely well, the turf healed nicely and your feedback was appreciated on the putting quality that was noted so early in the healing process.

Over the next few weeks the staff is focused on many processes that need to be completed to have a successful 2018 season. We are currently working on:

  • Mowing and herbicide applications to all high rough areas
  • Fungicide applications to the fairways
  • Solid tine aeration to fairways, tees and rough
  • Leaf clean-up
  • Herbicide applications to all primary rough area
  • Legacy Plan preparations
  • Fall plantings
We are also hoping to sneak in a renovation of a tee or two!

As always thank-you for your feedback and comments on the course and the grounds, it is greatly appreciated!


Pat O'Brien
Grounds Superintendent

Monday, September 4, 2017

Fall is near!

Like any other summer the Grounds team continues to press forward with a very full fall agenda ahead which includes:

  • Ladies fall invitational
  • Construction of the whiffle ball field for Labor Day celebrations
  • Founders Cup
  • Fall Aerification 9/11-9/12
  • Various small course enhancements

As all of you know there are big changes coming to the pool and surrounding common areas. As part of The Legacy Plan, the Grounds staff is currently involved with relocation of irrigation, construction of temporary parking lots and various other minor details to help with this significant undertaking. Over the next few weeks Bryan Miller (Horticulturalist) and Natalie Selker (Landscape Architect) are collaborating to develop landscape plans for the pool area. Thus far, it has been exciting for me to observe these professionals brainstorm to come up with a plan that will make these areas shine! We all know it has been well overdue!

Due to the proximity of the pool and the scope of the construction golf cart traffic and playability near the 16th green will be impacted, please observe signage and we will send updates out as the project progresses.

Rough Sketches of Pool Landscape

Of recent, there have been many great questions raised about the smoothness of the Zoysia grass fairways. The fairways were aerified in late July. One of the challenges with Zoysia grass is that is a slow growing Turfgrass, thus the healing process has taken slightly longer with the cooler temperatures. The aeration holes are completely grown over, but the Turfgrass plant is not as upright and greener where the hole was made compared to the non-aerified turf. This is typical in the recovery process, however these turf conditions have not been seen in almost 5 years since the last Aerification occurred. Most Zoysia golf courses core cultivate annually, I have chosen not to because; organic levels have been low, it is expensive and most importantly it slow to recover in the Northern part of the transition zone. However, this season the fairways seemed softer thus it was time to aerify.


Close up of Zoysia
Wide shot of the 18th

I don't anticipate to aerify the fairways next year, however in the future we employ a couple different strategies

  • Smaller aeration hole to help with recovery
  • Spot aeration of areas that have higher levels of organic matter
  • Solid tine aeration
  • Slightly higher nitrogen levels following the process

Thanks again for the questions and feedback on the course!

Pat O'Brien

Grounds Superintendent


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Seeding Trial
 August is upon us! Hard to believe how time flies, the Grounds Staff and I continue to move forward with many initiatives to enhance the golf course and grounds. The rough still continues to be a topic of discussion with overall good density and a playability challenge. Areas of decline are sporadic and are limited to Annual Bluegrass, nevertheless this is great opportunity to set-up trials for possible future renovation of the roughs to turf type tall fescue at HP. Our goals are to evaluate; seeding timing, seeding techniques, rates and chemical options to remove annual bluegrass prior to and after establishment. The trials will begin the first week of August between the 11th green and the 10th fairway, noted in the photo below.

Other initiatives include:

  • Preparations related to the Northside of the Legacy plan, which include: Construction of temporary parking areas, relocation of irrigation infrastructure and landscape design
  • Aerification of the fairways 
  • Tree pruning and removal of dead trees
  •  Putting green aerification-9.11.17
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or feedback about the grounds at HP.


Pat O'Brien
Grounds Superintendent 

The John Deere Classic: George Edwards

Recently, I had the opportunity to enjoy my first experience at a PGA tournament while volunteering at TPC Deere Run for the John Deere Classic in Moline IL.

During the tournament I was one of 20 volunteers that assisted the Agronomy team with a multitude of tasks ranging from; Raking bunkers, mowing Fairways, changing holes, rolling dew off tees surrounds and blowing off fairways. I really enjoyed mowing the fairways and changing hole locations for some of the best in the world.

Some of biggest challenges as a team was the weather, most days it was forecasted to thunderstorm, Monday morning we had a 3 hour rain delay! Thankfully everything was good and we managed to get out and mow fairways on tuesday afternoon.

I enjoyed every minute of my time, I felt part of the team from the beginning. The highlight of my week was meeting new people from around the world and the networking that occurred. I have to say, even the food was great!

I would finally like to thank Alex Stuedemann,  the Hyde Park Members and the Grounds Team for the opportunity, to volunteer at The John Deere Classic, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and learned a great deal. I look forward to the next volunteer opportunity, hopefully I will make it back to Moline to assist in another John Deere Classic!


George Edwards
Turfgrass Intern
The Ohio Program

Friday, July 7, 2017

Flowers of Hyde Park Golf & Country Club, Part 3

This week's collection of flowers doesn't focus on a certain type of flower, but rather a group of flowers that require little to almost no maintaince and very little water. Some are all foliage with no showy flowers, one with a globe like flower, and another that is very tropical looking. Enjoy!

Caladium 'Red Flash' great container and combination plant. Can be a little vigorous but provides for a fuller look
Caladium 'White Queen' great container and combination plant. Can be a little vigorous but provides for a fuller look
Gomphrena 'Fireworks'
Gomphrena 'Fireworks' good for mass plantings, back of border
Angelonia 'Angelmist Spreading White'
Perilla 'Magilla' Beefsteak Plant, quite vigorous, excellent foliage and good in masses
Mandevilla, very tropical looking. Climbs great if you provide it a trellis or something to climb on


The warm, humid days ahead will only help these flowers fill out the beds even more with the proper care. Have a great day!

Bryan Miller, OCNT



Thursday, June 29, 2017

Flowers of Hyde Park Golf & Country Club, Part 2

Continuing on the photo tour of the summer annuals, we'll visit a few sun loving plants. These plants thrive in sunny conditions, 6+ hours of direct sunlight.

Portulaca, great as a ground cover or container plant
Ruellia, Mexican Petunias. Petunia like flowers but growing almost like a small shrub. Great in masses
Zinnia. A good choice for containers or borders
Geraniums. Excellent color on their own or mix different colors in
SunImpatiens, Sweet Potato Vine, and Thai Plant. Everything you need in a container. Thriller, filler, spiller


We'll pick up next week with some more summertime annuals. Have a great holiday. Happy 4th of July!


Bryan Miller, OCNT