Tee Tattler

Happy autumn from the Illinois Valley Country Club!
In this week’s action, Todd and Thom punched a few greens and filled in some sparse areas with a nice coating of sand. They used the large punchers that remove a plugs of turf on some areas to help reduce the thatch and then they switched to the “pencil pokers” to do all of the rest of the greens. The pencil pokers make a small hole about a half-inch in diameter and about 3 inches deep. This serves to aerate the green without the need to fill the holes with sand. The little holes heal up in about a week or so but leave a nice hole in which air can penetrate while also disturbing the thatch enough to reduce it a bit. They will do another punching in the spring and use the large punchers and then we will all have to help spread the sand, it takes about three-fourths of a yard of sand for each green, some take a full yard, so you can see how much material has to be moved, spread and massaged into the holes.
Speaking of greens, I finally got the practice putting green seeded! I used perennial rye to stabilize the surface and mixed in Penncross Bentgrass to come in slowly and eventually take over, making a tight, fast putting surface. It took me 65 pounds of seed to cover the 10,000 square feet of surface. Now I hope it rains just enough to allow it to sprout and not dry out—supposed to be 85 on Thursday so I might have to turn the sprinklers on this week.
Sunday I had to finish pressing the wine off of the newly fermented pinot noir that I made last week but I did get a report that Ryan, Todd and Jim won skins that evening.
For Columbus Day, Todd, Jim, Poke, Ty, Troy, Me and Graham all played with Mattie accompanying D’Lynn, Kaylin riding with Jake and Odie running along chasing balls. I struck first blood with a laser shot onto #13 for a nice KP. On #14, we had 5 pars but no skin. Ty was playing poorly for the first 4 holes and said he was just going to go home but since we were way back on the teebox on #15, he would play one more hole. Of course, he birdied and won the first skin with a close third shot and then sunk the putt. Me and D’Lynn were also on but failed to sink our putts. On #16, three of us were on putting for birdie, none of us sunk the birdie putt, although Jake did win KP. No one got on the green on #17 so we pushed the KP to #18 for a 3rd shot KP. We had three of us on again, putting for birdie. I missed mine, Todd missed his but D’Lynn could still win from his KP spot, but he missed too. This gave all of the cash to Ty, ironically after he quit but stayed for one more hole!
On Wednesday we had to cancel our normal super fun league with the rotating format as the punching was going on but Graham called everyone to play the next day on a most beautiful Thursday evening. Skins were won by Graham, James Rossi and Graham’s Dad, James. Rossi also won a KP and the last KP was won on a carry-over to #9 with Graham winning that one as well.
On Friday only five of us showed up on the somewhat soggy evening- Todd, Graham, Jesse and me with Jake making it in time to play the last 6 holes. Todd won skins with a par on 11, a bogey on 12 and par on 16, he also got KP on 17. I had a birdie putt on 14 from 8 feet but three putted for bogey but I backed that up with a birdie putt from 5 feet on the next hole for a skin, I also won a KP on 13 with a perfect 3-wood from the back teebox that dug a hole 2 inches deep and 3 inches long when it landed. I took my $10 winnings out to Bridgeview Vineyards for the Wines in the Vines fundraiser benefiting the little I.V. Hope Village which will be constructing some transitional housing on Schumacher Street.
On Saturday, Poke, Ty, Todd, Jesse, D’Lynn, Troy, Ty, Danny and Graham all traveled over to see if they could take the Applegate guys’ money in a $40 skins match. For the first round, Poke put his drive onto the green on #4 and putted for an Eagle, winning the first skin, then he hit close on #7, and sunk a birdie putt for the second skin, giving him the only 2 skins on the first round, for a payout of about $220. Graham put his drive onto the #1 green at about 30 feet but did not make the Eagle put there, dang it. They all decided to go for another round and Ty won a skin on the second round and Dave Muswieck won the other skin.
The weather is still pretty nice and warm so come on out and enjoy the lovely fall afternoons and watch as the new grass on the practice green battles the weeds!