The progress they have made to date is astounding. Really hard to believe that they may open sometime next spring. I drive by there often and this is not just a tee-green-bunker project. They have redone the entire golf course.
We are happy to report that ALL Wissahickon greens have been sodded! Given the full-scale nature of our project, achieving this within three months is a major accomplishment! We are very appreciative of the team we have in place that made it all happen.
Medalist Golf- Members might be surprised to know that each green requires about twenty, 23-ton truckloads of greensmix and gravel. In addition, Medalist has to excavate twenty truckloads of material from each green cavity prior to construction. Balancing the management of all of this activity around the weather, and all the other course-wide activities is quite a chore.
Tanto Irrigation- The sodding of any feature following fine-grading triggers the passing of responsibility from Medalist to PCC Staff. With irrigation needing to be installed between this transition, there is a tremendous amount of pressure applied daily to our irrigation contractor to quickly finish their work so sodding can proceed. Tanto employees have worked feverishly, often times in sync of the contractor, to ensure we transition smoothly from construction mode to course-conditioning mode.
East Coast Sod- Initial communications with East Coast Sod began when I first started at Philly Cricket, nearly five years ago. Last August, almost a year before our project began, East Coast seeded our greens at their farm in New Jersey and has nurtured them carefully ever since. Their specialized staff is the best at laying greens sod, and they have installed all our greens, tee, and approach sod.
Keith Foster- Keith spends much more time on-site than most golf course architects, and the club benefits from that in numerous ways. Regarding greens, there were many days where Keith stayed much later in the evening than originally planned to help us achieve approvals on final grading. This allowed us to sod the very next day.
PCC Staff- It is often difficult for individuals to execute cautiously, yet relentlessly, but this is exactly what our staff is doing in executing our intense greens grooming program.
In particular, I have been very proud of Drew Barnett, our Wissahickon Superintendent. Between sand, gravel, and sod, this project is requiring over 1,000 truckloads of material; and all material invoices are being purchased through the club, not the contractor. Drew and our Administrative Assistant, Patricia Tobon, have done an outstanding job tracking everything accurately. Their skill and discipline allow me to forecast spending ahead of billing, and manage the project with confidence. Drew is also accomplishing this while overseeing all our employees' daily tasks, and performing tasks himself.
Restoration Committee- Dr. Greg Guyer and the Restoration Committee deserve a lot of credit. With weekly meetings, committee members have given a tremendous amount of their personal time to the club to ensure we are restoring the course to a state where members will enjoy it for many years. They are doing this while honoring AW Tillinhast's original design intent, and considering all golfing levels of our membership.
PCC members- Thanks for your patience and cooperation. Allowing us to work uninhibited has allowed the work to proceed at blazing speed while remaining on budget. We expect a very enjoyable fall season as we bring the rest of the project home in the coming weeks and months. Most important, we look forward to handing the course back to you on schedule, sometime in the spring of 2014!
Please feel free to visit our blog at www.philacricketgm.blogspot.com to view updated photos. Members can also follow us constantly on Twitter. Our handle is @PCC1854Grounds.