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2020 Spring Newsletter

2019 Recap
 
For many golf courses 2019 was one of the toughest years in a long time due to excessive winter kill from a Christmas rainstorm. The 1.5” of rain formed a thick layer of ice making the gas exchange process impossible. The very susceptible Annual Bluegrass (poa annua) can only withstand 45-60 days under such conditions that remained closer to 85-90 day. Our surfaces here at Pioneer Creek are predominately creeping bentgrass which has a much hardier 90-120 day window before devastation.  Nearly every turfgrass management practice we incorporate is in an effort to promote bentgrass on our greens and the Kentucky bluegrass/fine fescue blend on our fairways. The less annual bluegrass we have on the golf course the less risk we ever have of catastrophic damage.

During the 2019 campaign we were able to accomplish some pretty fun changes to the golf course. The vast majority of the greens we subject to a very noticeable expansion. Many of the fairways are now drastically bigger allowing for more width and angles. Expanded greens have allowed for a more prevalent ground game as the edges of greens come much more into play. Look for us to fine tune a few more greens and fairways.
 
Another project we accomplished was removing the bunker behind the 13 green. The bunker had a spring that constantly drained into the bunker during periods of excessive rain. We took the sand from the bunker to build a new forward tee on #6. While the new forward tee might seem too much of an advantage, with the green perched up on the hill a birdie is never easy.

Look for us to remove several other bunkers this season as well. Many of the bunkers are placed in areas that “double penalize” a player. When a player hits a wayward shot, the initial penalty is being off line and out of position, the recovery shot doesn’t also need to be from a bunker. The left fairway bunker on #4 as well as the bunker on right side of #15 fairway come to mind as perfect candidates to remove. The sand in the bunkers will be harvested and used for other projects.
 

As we look forward to the 2020 look for us to continue to play firm fast and FUN!! We are excited to get the season underway!


2019 Pioneer Creek Collegiate
Our annual collegiate event hosted for the Minnesota Gopher and University of St. Thomas was a fabulous weekend for golf! The University of St. Thomas captured the Team event with very strong play from Emmet Herb who placed 2nd individually. The Individual medalist was won by Brandon Smith of Texas A&M whose three round score was -10. We are excited to host this event again in 2020! Please come out and watch this very talented field.

What's New in the Pro Shop

World Handicap System

The USGA has implemented the World Handicap System that replaces the GHIN handicap system.  You can learn more about the new system on the USGA website.
 
All GHIN handicaps have automatically been moved by the MGA to the new WHS.
 
New Bev Carts with Credit Card Processing
 
We have to new beverage carts this year - no more backfires during your backswing!  We will also be able to start taking credit card payments on beverage cart purchases.
 
 

Leagues/Lessons Open for Registration!

Senior Men's League
  • Description - 18 hole league, various games/events each week, proximities and skins
  • Day - Tuesdays
  • Time - Tee times from 6:30-11:00 A.M.
  • Description - 9 hole league, various games/events each week, proximities and skins
  • Day - Thursdays
  • Time - 4:10-6:20 P.M.
  • Description - 9 hole league, 4 man teams, match play with handicap, individual prizes for most points per individual "Top Gun"
  • Day - Wednesday
  • Time - 4:20-6:10 P.M.
  • Description - 9 hole league, various games/events each week, proximities
  • Day - Tuesday
  • Time - 4:00-5:10, 6:10, 6:20, 6:30 P.M.
  • Description - 9 hole league, vaious games/events, proximities
  • Day - Monday
  • Time - 4:00-6:00 P.M.
  • Description - Combination of teaching/drills and on course play.  Girls and Boys, 2 - 4 week sessions
  • Day - Mondays
  • Time - 8:00 A.M. - Noon
  • Description - Play 4 or 9 holes, family rate, great way to get the whole family on the course!
  • Day - Sunday
  • Time - 5:30-7:00 P.M.
 
We have multiple individual and group lesson options.  Details and signup forms are available on our Lesson Information page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2018 Collegiate Invitational Tournament

We welcome the 2018 Collegiate Invitational Tournament hosted by the University of Minnesota and St. Thomas University on Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th, 2018.  This is our 3rd year hosting the University of Minnesota Gopher Individual Tournament and added this year is St. Thomas University hosting their MIAC Invitational. The field of individual competitors will be comprised of approximately 35 Division 1 players and approximately 50 Division 3 players.  A few of the schools represented are U of Oklahoma, San Diego State University, Michigan St. University, University of Washington, New Mexico State University, Costal Carolina, University of St. Thomas,  St. John’s University, Gustavus, Bethel and Augsburg College.  The field will play 18 holes starting with a 2pm shotgun on Saturday, September 8th and 36 holes starting with an 8:30am shotgun on Sunday, September 9th.  Admission is free.  Spectators are welcome. Come out and watch competitive college golf and see who the 2018 Individual Champions will be!

2017 Gopher Individual Tournament

 
We would like to welcome the 2017 University of Minnesota Gopher Individual Tournament to Pioneer Creek Golf Course this weekend!  Good luck players and coaches.  Come out and watch some Division 1 Collegiate golf!
 
 
2017 Gopher

2017 Message from Superintendent - Kyle Kreklow

First and foremost thank you to all of the golfers who made the 2016 season a great success. It is hard to believe that we are talking about the 2017 golf season already. It is even harder to believe that we have already been open for three brief stints. Please give me this opportunity to highlight some moments from last season and inform you of upcoming projects and improvements.

2016 Gopher Individual

September of 2016 was the first of a now annual University of Minnesota Gopher Individual Golf Tournament. Teams who competed in the tournament were New Mexico, Kent State, California, Southern Methodist University, Iowa, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Washington, Arkansas and Pepperdine to name a few. The field also welcomed a few local schools such as St. Cloud State, St. Thomas, Gustavus Adolphus, Concordia St. Paul and Macalester. The two day, 54 hole tournament was won by Bjarki Petursson of Kent State who shot an impressive cumulative score of eight under par.

Fast and Firm and Healthy

At Pioneer Creek Golf Course we are committed to providing the firmest, fastest and healthiest playing surfaces possible. During this past season, we used a record low 5.5 million gallons of water on the golf course. This is less than half of the water consumption of previous years. Studies have shown that deep and infrequent watering results in healthier turf with deeper rooted plants that are much more efficient in terms of nutrient and water updtake. 

You may also have noticed some of the sand that we have applied to the greens as well. This topdressing material is essential to breaking down thatch and aids in firmness and ball roll. According to the USGA, without regular top dressing and aereation, excess organic material will create soft, spongy putting surfaces that hold too much water. 

The combination of deep and infrequent watering with a light topdressing will help minimize pock marks and provide the truest playing surfaces possible.

As we implement these practices, we will be sure to do this in minimally disruptive ways. We understand how important course conditions are to you as a player and are committed to consistently providing the kind of conditions that will make your experience at Pioneer Creek Golf Course a special one.

Mow Lines

We have begun modifying mowing lines to provide more strategy and options to the golfer to play each hole in the fashion which they desire. Holpcgce 17, which is pictured, originally had rough surrounding the entire green. If the golfer missed the green short, they were left with a limited number of golf shots available to choose from. Now that the area is mowed at approach height, you'll find you have more shot options including; bump and run with a lofted iron or hybrid as well as the option to simply putt the golf ball. The ground game that is now created should add more enjoyment and opportunity for players of all skill levels to play the option that is suitable for their game. Look for more changes to areas similar to this both around greens and fairways.

 

Tree Removal

Over the past two off seasons we have completed a fairly extensive amount of tree removal. Tree removal can be received with the most polarizing of results. pcgctreeSome patrons can’t thank us enough, while others would rather tie themselves to the tree in order to keep them from being removed. With that being said, it may be helpful for us to explain the goal and the purpose to help ease some of the concern of some of the removal. The goal of the tree removal covers a few different items. The first is to simply improve the golfing experience. Golf can be a great enough challenge to the majority of players without having a goalie in the way. The second is to improve pace of play. One of the biggest challenges when hitting a tree is trying to track where the ball ended up or even if the ball came out from hitting the trees. The tree pictured had over two dozen golf balls within to hollow trunk. Would anyone like to claim a few? Lastly, trees are extremely well suited for out competing turf, making it very challenging to have healthy turf beneath trees.

 

In closing, thank you for taking the time to read this update and thank you for golfing at Pioneer Creek Golf Course. 

I look forward to seeing you on the course!

Kyle Kreklow

Superintendent

Pioneer Creek Welcomes Kyle Kreklow!

Pioneer Creek Golf Course would like to welcome Kyle Kreklow back, as course Superintendent, beginning this year.  Kyle brings a wealth of education and experience with him. 

Read up on his qualifications, below. Welcome back, Kyle!

Kyle Kreklow: Golf Course Superintendent
Kyle returns to Pioneer Creek Golf Course as the golf course superintendent. While working at Pioneer Creek Golf Course all through high school and even middle school he developed a passion for the golf industry. He went on to receive bachelor degrees in Golf & Turf Management as well as Business Management at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. While at the University of Minnesota, Crookston he played basketball and was the president of the Turf Club. Over the years he completed internships at Friar's Head, Crystal Downs Country Club, and Sand Hills Golf Club. Upon graduating college he went on to be an assistant superintendent at the Maidstone Club and Sand Hills Golf Club.  While at the Maidstone Club and Sand Hills Golf Club he worked first hand with Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw on complete bunker restorations. He has gained a great deal of experience working side by side with some of the best superintendents in the world at some of the best courses in America.

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