We took a break from drainage and much of last week was spent working on the bunkers repairing the wash-outs that were created by the four plus inches of rain that occurred the last week of December. It was good to finally be able to spend some time on the bunkers, not only repairing them but adding some much needed sand to the bottoms of many. The course continues to play well. Aside from a quick quarter inch of rain we had early one morning, we are still enjoying some great golfing conditions.
Wednesday was such a nice day, I even got in a rare eighteen holes with the Men's Club. I hadn't played since my memorable round at Pinehurst #2 in November but am glad to say that my driver was in full swing and I actually kept it in the fairway (most of the time). I really need to play more often in the winter, I can appreciate how well this course plays year around.
As I drive around the course I try to look at it with many perspectives in mind. When I have my camera I tend to see things differently and am able to capture some of the views that we may not pay attention to when we are playing. Last week I noticed the big rock on eleven. We have all seen it, it is usually our aiming point off the tee box, but this time I noticed the growth on it. The rock was left there from construction simply due to the fact that it was much to large to deal with and it was mostly out of play. Over the last 12 years the rock has grown some mosses and lichens which really stand out this time of year. In addition to the rock on eleven, Above, I also included a picture of the rock pile near the fourteenth tee within this post. The rocks have finally begun to take on a mossy character which is much nicer than the plain fresh-out-of-the-ground look.
If the current weather pattern holds true, it is looking like we are in for another stretch of dry weather. The seven day outlook looks like a lot of sunshine with the morning lows in the 30's and the daily highs in the upper 40's. Unfortunately this means a good chance of frost. As a reminder, if you are playing in the morning it is a good idea to call in first even if you don't have frost at your house. It is common to have frost at Stone Creek and have none at all three miles down the road in Oregon City.
We will be beginning the drainage project on the third fairway this week so there may be a temporary on that hole from time to time. We will keep it open as much as we can but don't anticipate this project taking long at all.
Finally, as I was playing on Wednesday I saw a small flock of Western Bluebirds! As many of you know, I used to work at The Oregon Golf Club as Russell Vandehey's assistant and while I was there the bluebirds became a permanent resident there. To this day Russ continues document multiple successful nesting pairs and we have yet to have one pair here at Stone Creek. Even though we are only five miles as the bird fly's from The Oregon Golf Club and we have placed 24 bird boxes throughout the property, it must just be a matter of time. I have threatened to kidnap one of his pairs but since this sighting I am hopeful that this is the year. Here is a photo of the Western Bluebird, so if you happen to notice one, please let me know when and where so we can track their status. If you click on the link above it will take you to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology which will give you a complete description including the sound of their chirp.