February 22, 2013

New Hole Signs, And A Salvaged Piece Of History

Finally, the last old relic of 1980's golf course accessories has been replaced!  The old green-painted, rotten wood, out of date, inaccurate hole signs that were taken down and sold off last fall have been replaced.  The new cast aluminum plaques that I ordered a few months ago arrived on Monday.

The new plaques are a 3 part system.  The top plaque is the GFCC leaf logo, the main plaque in the middle features the hole number and par, and the bottom plaque is reserved for corporate hole sponsors.  Currently we have only 5 of those, so we are in need of picking up some more sponsors in order to complete the look of the rest of the signs.

I started the process or designing and pricing out hole sign replacement options back in November, and once  I finally had the signs picked out, the next question became how to mount them and display them on the golf course.  Originally I had intended on mounting them to a 4x4 post, but then in the end of November with our bridge plank replacement project on #17, the idea came to me to use the old planks from the suspension bridge to mount the plaques onto.

The old planks that came off of the bridge on 17 were anywhere from 10-40 years old (I think).  Some were fairly solid wood, others had decayed to the point where I could kick through them.  I went out and dug through these piles of planks buried in snow back in December, and took a chainsaw and carved up 18 of the nicest, most solid pieces of wood I could find.  Andy and I then went through a fairly extensive restoration process this week to bring the old and weathered pieces of wood back to beauty.

Yep, these bridge planks (pictured here after the spring flood of 2009)
will be used to display our new hole signs.

Planks piled up on the creek bank this fall after the bridge renovation.
Cutting the planks to length in the shop.

Andy spraying wood cleaner on the planks with a backpack sprayer.  They
were all then taken outside and thoroughly pressure washed to completely
restore the wood to its original color and character.

After the planks were completely dry, two coats of stain were applied.

Last step, all the planks were drilled in the appropriate locations in order to
bolt the plaques to them.  Pictured here are the 5 holes with the complete
sponsorship plaques on them.

I will have to admit, there are certainly more ornate ways to display the $5000 worth of new plaques out on the golf course than by using a 40 year old piece of bridge decking.  The bottom line however, was that not only were these planks free, but each of them tells a very unique story of the timeline and history of the Grand Forks Country Club.  When you are out playing this coming summer, look at the back of some of these planks, lots of them are covered in spike marks from when one of you walked across that bridge in the 80's and 90's with an old pair of metal spikes.  Each plank has endured the history and fury of the Red River throughout the years also; likely in 1997 when the majority of the city of Grand Forks was under water, these planks were suffering under the same catastrophic flood waters.  While these pieces of wood were to the point in their life where they were unable to safely support the weight of a cart on a bridge, I hope that their stories will continue to be told by our members while they are on display for a few more decades at GFCC.

Lastly, thanks to all the members to stepped up and purchased the old wooden signs last fall when I sold them off.  We were able to raise $4500 from the sale of those signs, considering that the new signs cost us about $5000, and the posts were free, we only had to put up about $500 to buy these new signs.  Not a bad deal for a way to totally update the look and feel of the tee boxes.  Coupled with the new cedar wood tee markers we made last winter, the new cedar benches and trash can holders we made this winter, and the freshly powder coated black ball washers and their new logoed towels, we are going to have a completely different look on the tee areas this summer.  Not to mention that come this spring two-thirds of the tee boxes will have been totally renovated, I feel like we are finally starting to make some solid strides forward on this golf course....


  1. Thanks for providing us some keen information abut the Grand Forks Country Club.I'm a high handicap player, but im able to hit this far and straight. Its EXTREMELY easy to hit.Yes, extremely easy to hit. I would say high to mid handicapper can use this club.The shaft is very"
    Skycaddie Golf .

  2. Wheres the yardage on the signs?

  3. The decision was made to keep the plaques very basic and clean, so no yardages. All the tees will have a plaque with a yardage on them set into the tee surface by the end of this summer.

  4. Very helpful post..I love different types of plaque with metals and stainless steel products.
    Cast aluminum plaques