By Lydell Mack
We know 2021 will be a year of rejuvenation, for the Creek golf course, at least. After four years of planning and promoting, the Creek nine-hole course will close this month to begin the year long process of infrastructure improvements. You may have noticed some of the initial work has been going on since early December as the Golf Course Maintenance team has been conducting tree removal and bunker demolition. We have accomplished roughly half of what we committed to undertaking on our own to reduce the overall scope of work for the contractor.
You may have also noticed unfamiliar faces carrying clipboards, paint guns and ribbons while roaming around Creek these days. These folks include the course architect, Bill Bergin, the environmental engineers from Cor Blue and the contractor, Cole Sanders. Each is making their own plans and markings to ensure the work is carried out efficiently and safely.
What’s next, you ask? The most obvious sign of work taking place will be the erosion fencing popping up all over Creek, and then you’ll notice Lake Sconti’s water level has severely dropped. We are lowering the lake level so the bottom can be dredged down to the original depth and the soil deposited there over many years can be used in the project as fill dirt.
The spoils will be stored on Creek #2 fairway until they dry, then the mound of new soil will be used there and in other areas of the project as it is required. There is no need to completely drain the lake, therefore the aquatic wildlife will still have plenty of water to use and the irrigation pumps on Choctaw will still have enough water supply for drawing. As soon as the dredging is complete, we will close the lake valve and allow the water level to return to full pool as quickly as possible.
While that is taking place you’ll see Sanders Golf staff navigating their heavy equipment around working on removal of old pipes and the installation of new drainage catch basins and pipes. Their bulldozers will be pushing soil everywhere to create water collection areas, new bunkers, new greens and new forward tees. After the rough grading is complete, the new irrigation pipe will be trenched in and the sprinkler heads installed. After that, it’s just grassing and growing.
With good weather the whole process will take Sanders Golf about six months and then about four more months is needed to grow-in the new turf. We’re hoping for a mild fall and winter so the greens are ready for play roughly one year from now.