Sunday, December 24, 2017


After 30 years as golf course superintendent at Whitemarsh Valley CC, this will be my final blog post. Merry Christmas to all of the membership and have a Happy New Year !

Friday, December 8, 2017

Whoops! Somebody missed the road.

A vehicle last night somehow made the wrong left turn and drove across the bench area of #10 tee last night. The ballwasher was completely destroyed, the bench and trash box were ok. Never saw this coming!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Late season deep aerating and sand back fill on the 3rd green.

Special attention is being paid to the green expansions from a few years ago. The expanded areas were aerated 8' deep with a 3/4' hollow tine followed up with a 3" deep 1/2"  hollow tine. The soil brought to the surface was removed and is being replaced with straight sand.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

This may be an old trencher, but it still works for root pruning.

     Tree roots are always growing, so once in a while you have to prune them. The picture on the top has Jerry Stockmal and Nate Rix trenching a line between 10 fairway and the three Red Oaks to the right of the fairway.
     The picture on the bottom shows the results. All those thin roots that were severed no longer will draw valuable moisture and nutrients away from the fairway. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday November 12, 2017 Heavy frost this morning.

Very heavy frost this morning with heavy cloud cover. This may be a long delay so please be patient. Come on over to the club to enjoy a delicious breakfast cooked by Alvarro.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Belgium block being installed at the 5th tee.

Another cart path area being improved with Belgium block! Gary Farrer takes a break from his job to pose for this picture. He is installing the block along the path at the 5th tee to improve the appearance and to make sure carts stay on the path.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Fall is the time for projects!

     You would not know it by the green leaves on the trees, but it is actually November. I can not remember any time is recent years that the leaves too so long to turn.
     Anyway, this time of the year we can concentrate on projects that will make Whitemarsh Valley even better for next year. This picture shows Jerry Stockmal, Bobby Marterella and John Fleming installing irrigation on the middle tee at #15. This tee was constructed in the spring and we waited until now to install the irrigation not to be disruptive during the golf season.
     The new sprinklers will provide even watering coverage on the tee along with the surrounding area.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Catching up on the little things!

We have had a busy fall at Whitemarsh Valley CC. Spending a lot of time Aerating, greens, tees and fairways. During the same time prepping for tournaments and outings. Right now before the leaves really start to fall it is time to do the little things. Assistant superintendents Jerry Stockmal and Bobby Marterella fill in thin spots on the fairway short cut with a special soil and seed blend. These areas were also aerated right before to provide a nice seedbed. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Aerating tees today. Every golf hole will still be open today.

Assistant superintendent Bobby Marterella is seen here aerated the tee at the 13th hole at Whitemarsh Valley CC. During this process, all golf holes will remain open for the golfers.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Greens are rolling smooth after aeration.

The greens have healed up real well after aeration and top dressing. Perfect weather this weekend to play golf at Whitemarsh Valley C.C.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Please rake the bunker after use!

We had just raked this bunker at 7:30am and this picture was taken at 8:30am on Tuesday September 12th. Please be courteous of the next golfer and rake yourself out. Also, don't forget to repair your ball marks.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Please remember to repair ball marks.

     This picture was taken in the morning of Monday August 28th at Whitemarsh Valley CC. Each flag marks a ball mark that was not repaired (we ran out of white flags and had to go to red because of the amount of spots). The greens were aerated last week and are very soft due to the additional watering applied to them. It is very important that every golfer respects the golf course and repairs their own ball mark. We can not blame this on an outing because all this was done on a Sunday.
Sincerely, The green committee

Monday, August 21, 2017

Greens Aeration starting Tuesday August 22nd.
Over the weekend I spoke with a member of Whitemarsh Valley CC on our practice green. He mentioned to me something that I never really though about. "The greens are always slower on the weekend before greens aeration, compared to other weekends" he stated. This isn't exactly music to my ears but it kind of  made sense. Every year for at least the last twenty years we would spray foliar fertilizer on the greens to perk them up and make them as healthy as possible before aeration. If you think about it, the act of aeration may be one of the most aggressive practices we do on the putting surfaces. We core out plugs, drag them around, throw on some sand and grind it all in, all during the pleasant weather of mid- August. Our special mixture of product was like a witches brew of liquid nitrogen, micronutrients and other plant health products to get the plants growing and healthy.
And as you all know....... healthy turf on greens is slow turf !

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Green's aeration starting next week.

     Starting Tuesday August 22nd (weather permitting) the grounds department will be aerating all of the greens. The golf course will be closed both the 22nd and Wednesday the 23rd for this procedure.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Carts are now allowed on golf course..... On paths only !

Please keep you cart on the path at all times!

Thank you.

Golf course carts this morning (will check again at 9:00)

Due to heavy rain that just ended (1"), there will be no carts this morning. The golf course will be checked again at 9:00 .

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday July25

Due to heavy rains last night,the golf course will be closed this morning. It will open at 1:00. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Be careful when driving your cart on a fairway.

Golf carts these days are faster and designed to turn sharper than the old ones. Please remember as you are looking for the sprinkler with the yardage to the green, do not turn the cart too sharp. This donut " as they say in the business" will be with us for a couple of weeks. With the temperatures in the 90's everyday this week the grass will have problems recovering from this kind of damage.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Jim Dennison leaving asst. supterintendent position for head position.

Grounds department asst. superintendent bids farewell to Whitemarsh Valley CC.

     With a bit of remorse but full of pride we bid Jim Dennison farewell from Whitemarsh Valley CC. He has tendered his resignation to accept the golf course superintendent’s position at Carroll Valley Golf Course at Liberty Mountain Resort near Gettysburg, PA.

     Jim is a graduate of the Penn State Turfgrass management program and after stints at Centre Hills Golf Club in Pa and Winged Foot Golf Club he started working at WVCC in the spring of 2011.

     During his tenure at the club he was a big help during the flood plain & bunker project taking charge of different construction chores. His fingerprints are on the new irrigation that we have installed over the past seven years. As part of the management team for the grounds the hours that he has logged to benefit the club did not go un-noticed. His professionalism, dedication and positive attitude will be hard to replace.

     Jim’s last day at WVCC will be Friday May 5th. If you see him around the club don’t hesitate to say good bye and good luck in his new position.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Whitemarsh assistant superintendent makes cover of Golfdom Magazine.

Jerry Stockmal, assistant superintendent at Whitemarsh Valley CC shows off his grass growing skills as shown in his picture (2nd from the left on the top row). It was one of those pictures you just have to take. We were doing some bentgrass sod work and Jerry spotted this beard size scrap of sod that would look perfect. Congrats Jerry!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Greens aeration starting Monday April 17th.

     We will start aerating greens on Monday April 17th. Hopefully this task will be completed by the end of the day on Wednesday April 19th. In the spring we will use tines that make a .4"inch wide  hole 3.5 inches deep. The spacing between hole will be 1.75 inches apart.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Fairway aeration starting today.

We will be starting fairway aeration today. During the process there may be signs saying that the hole is temporarily closed (2 hours + or -) . If there is not a sign, the hole may be played.....Please remember to keep an eye out for the ground staff and make sure they know you are hitting.

Thank you!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Wildlife coming out this spring.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Golf course open for walkers only.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

If you are wondering why the pond at #14 is so low.

     The week of April 3rd we have contracted a company to add bentonite to some of the areas of the pond to help seal it. Once the process is complete we can start filling and hope for the water level to stay at the proper level. During the past summers the level of the pond can drop 2" a day, this is why we are having this done.  
     The only source to fill the pond is by our irrigation pumps through the piping installed for this purpose.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday March 22nd 4:30 pm

Most of the snow has melted away but we still have some stubborn material in the shady areas. With a forecasted warm day for Saturday, we have decided to go a head with the breakfast tournament.

Tuesday March 21st 4:30 pm

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Doing what we can!

At this time I am not sure if the course will be open for the breakfast tournament on Saturday. But, we are doing our best to prepare. Doug, Gary and John are seen here shoveling the snow off the back of the 11th green. This green slopes towards the north and does not get direct sunlight in the early spring. By doing this hopefully the run off of the melting snow will not go across the green.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Whitemarsh Valley CC "Blast from the past"

This picture is from 1990 when we were removing Bermudagrass from the fairways and going to Perennial ryegrass as a fairway turf. The amazing part of the picture is the amount of trees on both sides of the fairways. True separation of gold holes.

Snow status Tues. March 20th 4:00pm

     View of our northern facing part of the golf course as of 4:00pm. There was significant melting today and with a warmer day tomorrow there should be more.
     Everyone is asking about Saturday's scheduled breakfast tournament and as of right now it is still up in the air.
     The motto to live by:
" Melting snow is like rain all day, but your hair isn't getting wet."

Friday, February 24, 2017

Three strikes and your out !

This is the Pin Oak that is between the right fairway bunker on the second hole and the second green. As you can see there is significant damage to one of the main leaders. Twice in the last 5 years we have much time and effort to cable and brace this tree to keep it from splitting any more. The high winds over the weekend was the third strike. The damage that was caused and the extensive cracking of the trunk was enough for the final decision.  All other avenues to safety repair this tree have been exhausted and in the interest of golfer safety we will be taking the next step. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Large tree removal at hole #5.

     A large Sycamore tree along Whitemarsh's 5th hole was removed a few weeks ago due to safety concerns.
     The top picture shows the difficult approach to the tree. Each section of wood was dropped into the creek then pulled out to be removed.
     The lower photo shows the condition of the supporting structure of the tree. The cavity was evident in all the wood that was dropped. This was a removal that was needed and the timing was right. I know I can sleep better at night......if this action was not taken now, the tree would of probably fall over member guest week.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

January 21st at Whitemarsh. Shorts weather?

Friday, January 20, 2017

A view of the 17th green in 2005. Where is the clubhouse?

If you were standing on the 17th fairway back in the day, this is what you would be looking at. The 10th green is only 25 yards to the left but it is hidden by the abundance of arbors.  Since then many Spruce and Pine trees have been removed to help produce healthier turf. Double click the picture to get an expanded view. An added feature of the tree removals would be the beautiful views of the golf course.

The topdressing process continues.

This is our #13th fairway after being topdressed with sand. Our target rate is between 17 to 20 tons per acre. This fairway is a little larger than an acre an approximately 20 tons of sand was applied.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A wet but mild day has us out on the golf course.

We know that most of the winter the weather will be too cold to work outside. Our staff took this opportunity during this 50 degree, sunny day to cut down some of the ornamental grasses on the golf course. By cutting back these plants it will allow easier regrowth in the spring.