Collier's Reserve irrigation project
Irrigation system deterioration and reliability issues have really given Collier’s Reserve Country Club in Naples, Florida something to think about over that last few years. After 19 years of operation and weekly repairs of PVC pipe and replacing Pierce fittings, the membership stepped up and unanimously voted to replace the entire irrigation system. This 130 acre, Art Hills designed course is getting a much needed state of the art irrigation system this summer. The Club hired irrigation design consultant A. S. Altum to deliver a new system design to them. President Tony Altum had quite the task in front of him laying out a system that will help the Club maximize their water sources. The Club receives effluent water on a daily basis and it currently can’t use what it has contracted because of poor system performance. With that part of the system not working up to par they have to make up the difference with their surface water pump station. The blending of these waters with high pH, high bicarbonates and high Na gives golf course superintendent Nicholas von Hofen a challenge on a daily basis, and then throw in a few massive irrigation breaks a week and poor water quality and Nicholas stays a very busy man at Collier’s Reserve.
Colliers Reserve irrigation project
During the Spring, the Club hired Leibold irrigation to install the new system. Leibold will be responsible for installing 37,000 linear feet of main line HDPE piping, 65,000 linear feet of lateral piping, 1.2 million linear feet of copper wire and 2,237 sprinkler heads. They will be working over environmentally sensitive areas by attaching 2,100 feet of pipe to bridge crossings around the course and 4,000 feet of directional borings through easements. Nicholas selected the new Toro Lynx controllers and a Flowtronex pumping station with two 60 HP motors that will provide 1,200 gallons per minute.
Collier's Reserve new pump station
The project started in March and will be completed by September. The course is open while the work is being done. Bill Berutti, General Manager and Nicholas decided to close only one hole a day so the contractors can get the work done without having to wait for golfers. Both Bill and Nicholas tell me that the members are extremely happy with the progress and they already see improved turf quality on the holes that have been completed. When this system is done, Collier’s Reserve will have the latest technology for irrigation systems and will surely know where every drop of water is going.
Misting heads at Collier's Reserve

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ELYRIA COUNTRY CLUB by Eric J. von Hofen
The club and course first opened in 1905 with only a few holes. In 1925, famous golf course designer William Flynn rebuilt the course and added 9 more holes. Flynn went on to design a hand full of courses in Ohio and also designed Cherry Hills (Englewood, CO), The Country Club (Brookline, MA) and Shinnecock Hills (Southampton, NY). In 1975, golf course architects Jack Kidwell and Michael Hurdzan updated the course and added some new tees. Today the course is a mature beautiful 18-hole course that plays to 6,750 yards from the championship tees. Massive Oak trees line many of the fairways and the clubhouse area. Water is in play on 10 holes with the Black River providing a interesting views on 6 of these holes. The Bentgrass greens, tees and fairways are some of the best around.

Elyria has had only 5 golf course superintendents since the doors opened. It many areas of the country, this is unheard of. I was the superintendent of a course in Naples, Florida that had 12 supers in 5 years. This tells you how special Elyria CC really is and how crazy I was to take the job in Naples. In 1988 and 1989 I worked at Elyria, under CGCS Frank Feck, as a foreman and learned how to maintain bentgrass from a master. It was great to return 22 years later and see that the course is still on track and better then ever. Current superintendent, Pat Rodgers is the one calling the shots these days and he differently has his finger on the pulse of the operation. Congratulations to the member’s and staff for keeping a piece of Ohio history alive and well.

This HD video takes you on a tour of one of the oldest golf courses in Northern Ohio.

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Tif-Eagle Greens Are Growing Again And Ready For A Circle Verticut

Eric von Hofen and Toro
It is that time of the year once again.  Soil temps are up, and  the Tif-Eagle bermudagrass is alive and growing aggressively.  The active growing is taking place on top while the thatch is growing under the surface. Tif-Eagle produces a ton of thatch that has to be removed, otherwise your green speeds will pay the price. To remove thatch, I use a proven method in a Tif-Eagle putting green. I started using this trick back in Naples, Florida, 10 years ago when I grew in the course at Calusa Pines Golf Club. Using this method and pulling cores three to four times a year will produce outstanding results. Remember that you have to feed your greens before, during and after to rip them up. Check out my video below showing my method of circle verticutting on a Tif-Eagle green.

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Turfunderground’s Top Five Public Courses In Naples

Tiburon and Shark Shootout
Heading to Naples, Florida this winter for some sun, relaxation, and golf? Naples is the spot, it has the highest number of courses per capita in the country. You better do your homework if you want to play some golf. Just like Palm Beach Country, many courses in Naples are private and you can’t get through the gates. So if you are lucky enough to have a wealthy uncle or friend from college that lives in the one the gated golf course communities, you will be hard pressed to find a game.

You can experience some of the best public golf in Naples if you follow my list.
1. Tiburon Golf Club designed by Greg Norman. Home to the PGA TOUR Shark Shootout.
2. Naples Grande Golf Club designed by Rees Jones.
3. The Rookery at Marco designed by Bob Cupp.
4. Lely Resort Golf & Country Club designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Lee Trevino.
5. Old Corkscrew Golf Club designed by Jack Nicklaus

While in Naples you better eat dinner early, like before 9 pm, after that many places shut down for the night. Also do not drink and drive. This is very little crime and the police would just love to meet you while you in town.

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