Oct 232013

By Nick Worth
Golfers at Holbrook’s Hidden Cove Golf Course will have some big changes to look forward to, according to City Finance Director Randy Sullivan.
“There’s no driving range right now,” Sullivan said, noting that the addition of a range would be the first project to be addressed at the course over the winter.
Currently, the holes at the course have been renumbered, with the old number four hole becoming the new number one, the old number five becoming the new number two and so forth.
Sullivan said the current tee box for the first hole, a par five that used to be the number four hole, is no longer being used because all the grass in front of it has died off.
“There’s nothing left there but bare dirt,” Sullivan said. “Golfers don’t like hitting off bare dirt.”
Plans call for the stretch just north-northwest of the number one tee box to be converted into a driving range.
Sullivan said golfers have already started using a new tee box adjacent to the number two hole to play the number one hole, so they can play on grass the entire time.
“It will change the yardage on the hole and change it from a par five to a par four,” Sullivan said.
Another change will consist of a grass planting campaign. “In the spring we plan to do a mass planting of grass out there,” said. Sullivan. “We lost a lot of grass.”
Sullivan said the die-off of the grass came from a lightning strike last summer that damaged some of the timers that controlled the irrigation sprinklers. By the time they could be repaired, the damage had been done and the grass had died.
Another change in store concerns winter operating hours.
For winter months in the past, the course would be opened when the frost was off the greens. For the upcoming winter, Sullivan said the course would open only when the air temperature reaches 40 degrees.
“The big reason for that is if there is frost on the grass and golfers are walking on it, it kills the grass,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan also said the golf course will be closed Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 25 and 26, and Nov. 1 and 2, for high school cross country meets.
In other news, Sullivan said city crews are busy winterizing the water lines and well pump houses. Permanent brick “dog houses” have been built around exposed pipes to be packed with insulation to prevent freezing. In the past, they have been built out of wood.
“We’ve built those on all our buildings,” Sullivan said.
He said city crews are also doing cleanup and weed abatement inside the fenced areas around the water tanks and at other city facilities.
Another fall project for the city crews will be sealing the cracks in all the concrete roads poured over the summer.
“The cracks need to be sealed with tar, or water will get underneath and freeze, causing damage to the roads,” Sullivan explained. He said city crews would be working their way through all the newly-poured streets, as well as several older roads where problems have developed, for the next one to two months.