Friday, July 29, 2016

Renovations at Moraine Country Club

Jason Mahl, the Class A superintendent at Moraine Country Club in Dayton, Ohio, has a huge item checked off his to-do list: open the golf course. A project which began with platform tennis construction, practice facility renovations and an extensive tree removal program, also featured a complete renovation of the golf course, including rebuilding all playing surfaces and installing new irrigation and drainage systems. What began over two years ago is now complete.

Jason Mahl (right) was on the first tee greeting those were in attendance for the MCC Media Day

The project originally broke ground in early 2014 when crews began demoing what are now the former tennis courts. Soon after the demo, construction began on the recently completed tennis courts, which includes brand new platform courts, surrounds, and a warming hut. Another large project which was coinciding with the platform tennis construction was the complete renovation of the practice facilities. The original range and tee were treated with glyphosate and the existing range irrigation was cut and capped. A new range tee was installed, including both grass and mat surfaces. The hitting area includes five new target greens, complete with bunkers and a large target fairway. In addition to the range, a short game facility was also added. The new short game facility features a USGA spec'd putting green, practice bunkers and approach area. New irrigation and drainage was installed over the complete range and short game practice facility.

Communicating the proper range tee divot patterns to the MCC members has seen early success.

The project on the golf course itself did not begin until June 2015, which happened to be one of the wettest June months in Ohio history with over eight inches of rainfall in a two-week span. The construction project on the course was a massive undertaking. Every playing surface was to be rebuilt, and a complete redesign of greens, tees, fairways, bunkers, roughs and native areas was to take place. New irrigation and drainage were also being installed at this time. With the record-setting rainfall in June, the project faced considerable delays early, but, Jason and his staff worked additional hours to ensure the project remained on schedule. A huge kudos goes out to Jason and the Moraine turf staff for making personal sacrifices to ensure the project was a huge success.

The ninth hole post renovation. The course looked fantastic.

Moraine Country Club officially opened back up to the members on June 11, 2016, more than two years after the project initially broke ground. I was fortunate enough to view much of the course in late June, and it's easy to see why Jason and his staff are getting such high praise from the Moraine membership. The course looked beautiful and playing conditions were second to none. Not only did Jason do a great job spearheading the two-year project, he kept the membership well informed throughout the entire process, proving the value of communication. Superintendents have come a long way from lurking in the shadows and seen as individuals who just 'mow the grass', and Jason is a prime example of that. His leadership shown on the project includes a website he created to keep the Moraine membership informed and displays just how far our members have come. This is a great example which showcases managing the largest asset of any club is both an art and science which requires a trained, skilled and dedicated individual.

A group finishing up their round on the 18th green (ninth green in foreground).

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