Friday, October 26, 2018

September / October

Welcome back for the 2018/19 winter golf season at the Club.  We’ve had an eventful last 6 weeks to say the least with multiple projects and unprecedented weather.  Since October 1st we have received 7.3 inches of rain which has presented quite a few challenges with over-seed and we would like to fill you in on what has been happening on the golf course and what to expect when we open.

Starting September 17th we closed to prepare the collars for the new bent grass sod. This was a challenging project trying to remove the all the Bermuda encroachment, match the depth of the new sod, and get the edges of the turf in a 3-foot span to match the new grass mowed at 3/16” of inch. To add to the challenge, it would take 10 days because of the ability to only ship 1/3 of the required sod in refrigerated trucks from California every 3 days. The project took 80% of our staff 7 of the 10 days to prepare for the sod. Additionally, not all sod was cut at perfect even depths adding to the difficulty of perfecting a low-cut turf in such a small space. We are still working through some high and low spots and some mending of the seams but overall are happy with the results. The hope being that using straight bent will be a better long-term solution to the collars. Eventually, after some time we will have to re-sod the collars for the bermuda encroachment again and we anticipate that the bent will be much for successful at slowing the encroachment. We will continue to monitor the bermuda grass encroachment and be as pro-active to prevent it as possible.

Overseed has been quite the adventure this year. Overseed preparation started September 24th and took five days. The planned day for seeding was October 1st but with the Hurricane Rosa expecting to dump a significant amount of rain it was decided to wait.  After Rosa dumped 4.5” of rain on October 2nd there was a significant amount of clean up to do before seeding could be completed with wash outs and flooding throughout the course. In addition, the extra delay and rain caused a significant green up and growth in the Bermuda and the course had to be re-prepped. To add to the complications, we lost a motor in our pump station. With no time to spare because of overseeding a new motor had to purchased and installed within several days or risk delaying overseeding even longer. This new motor will be salvaged when the new pump station is installed later this year giving us an emergency backup motor for the future. Seeding was completed on October 5th during a very long 13-hour day for the staff. In addition, Kyle and Nathan from the golf shop came out and gave a helping hand during the seeding.

Unfortunately, a day later on October 7th we received another 1.5” inches of rain resulting in the same washouts as the previous storm and all of the cleanup work to be undone.  This rain also moved a significant amount of seed we had just put down. We spent the next two days walking fairways, raking out debris and reseeding the course. In addition, a lightning strike took out the back nine irrigation system causing significant problems with the central control of our irrigation system.
Once re-seeding and our second round of storm clean-up was completed another storm came through dumping and additional 1” inch of rain and again, undoing all the work from the previous two storms.   Once again, all the storm clean had to begin over again. Through all the storms the bunkers took on a significant amount of damage. Much of the sand was moved causing a substantial effort of clean, fix, and prepare the bunkers for opening.  Through all the chaos of the weather the temperatures have been ideal for the ryegrass and we are quite pleased with where we are for opening day.

We have spent a significant amount of time attending to the greens during the past several weeks. Several staff member have been diligently fixing ball marks, micro topdressing scared ball marks, and plugging damage from the stress caused by our summer temperatures. During the heavy rain the greens became saturated and “puffy” causing some scalping in areas by mowers due to the heavy saturation. Between the rain and trying to achieve the expected speeds for opening day we did incur a little bit of damage from the scalping. These areas will heal, and we will continue to monitor them to ensure a full recovery.

Due to the amount and frequency of rain we have received this October the retention areas between holes 4, 5 and 7 are saturated and muddy.  Until they dry out we are not able to get equipment in to clean them up and repair them.  We will do this as soon as possible but until then please play these areas as Ground Under Repair. 

As the course opens we will be cart path only for the first several weeks to allow the ryegrass to continue to establish and mature. Once the carts come off cart paths you can expect to once again see the rope placed in the fairways to help remind the carts to return to the cart path. We also ask that all push carts remain 10-15 feet from the greens and please do not push carts between greenside bunkers and the greens.

We look forward to seeing everyone around the Club as we begin the 2018/19 winter golf season.

#1 Collar Prior to prep with failed ryegrass

#18 prepped ready for sod

Close up of a prepped collar

#3 prepped for sod

#3 after the sod is laid, the yellow line is the suppressed bermuda to deter the bermuda from encroaching during the grow in

Prepping for overseed

More prepping for overseedin the 2nd time

Wash between the G&G Shop and #2 

Lost tree by #1 Tee

#14 Bunker, and wash out after seeding

South end of the driving range by #13 tee

Granite and Silt washed onto course by #14 bathroom

#14 Fairway and Bunker again...ugh

#4 fairway seed washed out from the water coming off pinnacle peak rd. our drainage project worked perfect and kept the debris and water exactly where we wanted and not down the middle of the fairway.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

We hope everyone is enjoying their summer. We have had several major monsoon storms the last several weeks with a total 3.75 inches of rain since July 9th. Unfortunately, in those storms we have lost several trees. The loss of the trees will be incorporated into our tree plan and reviewed by our arborist and golf course architect to help determine the replacement.

Now that the humidity has set for a lenghty amount of time we’ve seen a tremendous spike in the soil temperatures which has taken its toll on the ryegrass / bentgrass collars. While a some of the bent has hung on, it is thin and sparse. While the changes we made over the last year have produced progress on the collars we continue to struggle with maintaining a cool season grass in the collars on an annual basis. As you can see, there are white spot of suppressed Bermuda grass in the collars. We continue to address the Bermuda to keep it out of the putting surface. We will continue to evaluate and adjust to find a solution to the collars that will provide a year-round surface and provide Bermuda encroachment protection. Several options are currently being explored. Once the details are finalized the details will come from the club.

The weather has begun take its toll on the greens. We continue to be careful with our practices and watch our height of cut in-order to protect and preserve the health of the greens. While it is difficult to produce high greens speeds we continue to maintain our goal of 9+ on the Stimp Meter during the summer while still protecting the greens from the adverse weather conditions.

During times of stress bentgrass will struggle with 2 processes, photosynthesis and respiration. Photosynthesis is the process of the plant to produce food using sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. Respiration is the ability of the plant to convert the food of photosynthesis to produce energy for healthy growth. As the temperatures rise photosynthesis (food production) is reduced and respiration (food consumption) is increased. Thus, the plant produces less food but consumes more energy. After a period, the plant has depleted the food storage reserves and created an energy deficit. This is the main reason that we see a decline in the bentgrass by August. The betgrass is now deficient from using its food reserves during June and July and consumes more energy than is produces.

We have installed a fan on #3 green. The idea of the fan is to keep the consistent air movement on and above the green surface. The air movement helps to cool and keep excess moisture from the humidity from suffocating the bentgrass. So far, we have seen satisfactory results. We have seen slightly lower soil temperatures and surface temperatures. The constant air movement helps to decrease temperatures and increase photosynthesis and decrease respiration.

We have been very busy with multiple practices and projects. We have finished up the verticutting, aerifying, and topdressing of the fairways, tees, approaches, and roughs. We will now focus on getting the rest of the course healed up and recovered. While these practices are disruptive and impede the recovery of the Bermuda grass, they have very beneficial long term to the overall health of the course. We will start dialing in the heights and increase the mowing frequency now that all the sand has settled. During our last storm we saw the benefit of the sand and cultural practices. After an inch of rain, the golf course absorbed the rain very well and allowed to avoid cart path only.

The remaining projects we have planned will include leveling a couple of harsh depressions in the rough on #4, #18, #17 and a couple of drainage additions on #16 and #17. We still have one more round of trees to plant this season. Now that we have finished up our cultural practices we hope to plant these trees in the next several weeks. There are currently 13 more trees to be added to the course according to the master tree plan. In addition, we plan on getting caught up on the detail work. Cleaning and raking the deserts, trimming tree sucker growth, and edging.  Much of the detail work gets put on hold during the cultural practices due to most of the staff being focused on those tasks.

Lost pine on #4

Fairway before topdressing 3 years ago

Fairways after 3 years of topdressing - almost 2" of sand

Soil Temperature Reading on #17 Collar

Drainage working perfectly between #4 fairway and #7 tee, hold ing the water and slowing draining through the drain pip under the fairway - No debris contaminated #4 Fairway

Lost Tree #11 Tee

Video of the fan on #3

Fixing the sunken finger on the front bunker of #16

Level sink hole #4 - 100 yards from green in right rough

New drain #16

Monday, July 9, 2018

July 2018

We hope everyone is enjoying their summer wherever you may be. Monsoon is definitely setting in. We have seen dew points in the upper 50’s and low 60’s. With the dew points and humidity setting the weather will now play a significant role in our golf course care. It will be especially important on the greens as the soil temperatures rise to a level that is not ideal for the bentgrass. To combat the detrimental conditons we will move to a protective approach to preserving the health of the greens. This includes raising the heights, reduced rolling, and more monitoring. Our goal will continue to provide a great playing surface with a target of 9-10 on the stimp meter. These conditions can be expected to last until early-mid September when the  adverse weather conditions subside.

The greens and grounds department is moving full steam ahead with our summer culture practices. So far we have aerified all the roughs 1x and heavily verti-cut and top-dressed all the approaches and tees. After looking at the soil conditions in the fairways we have decided to change our plan. We will be forgoing the aerification on the fairways this year due to the tremendous amount of progress we have made on the past few summer with amending the soil. The amount of organic material and thatch is very minimal. We will instead focus on the canopy of the fairways and perform 2 passes of heavy verti-cutting to help thin the excess amount of leaf tissue.  In short, our soils in the fairways look great, and we have lots of good Bermuda grass in the fairways that needs to be thinned out. However, we will be aerifying high traffic areas in the fairways, specifically next to bunkers. Once we begin the second pass on verti-cutting and the spot aerifying in traffic areas, we will be following up with the sand topdressing program again this year. While the fairways recover we will have to reduce our mowing of the fairways temporarily to let the sand settle into the canopy and also avoid damaging our mowers.

Because we have changed methods we have shifted our schedule around compared to what was previously stated in the June blog. Weather and equipment permitting our new schedule is as follows:

July 2 – July 23 – Vert-icut / Dethatch / Aerify / Top-dress – Fairways
July 16 – August 6th – Verti-cut and Aerify roughs 2nd pass

Once these processes are completed we will shift out focus on catching up on the detail work. We also will have some additional small projects to complete for the remainder of the summer. The projects include leveling areas in the rough that have some “odd” depressions, adding additional drainage, finish submersing the plaques into the cart paths, and general clean-up of the deserts.

The contract tree trimming and removal should be finished up the week of July 9. We will be lowering the oleander hedge next to #10 tee / Chipping green the week of July 16. The oleander hedge is being reduced to help with air circulation and shades issues that effect the chipping green the chipping green.

We appreciate your patience while we perform these processes. The processes can be very disruptive to play but are tremendously beneficial to the golf course. If you have any questions please feel to reach out.

 Graden - Verticut on Approaches
 Graden - Verticut on Aprons
 Topdressing approaches
 Stripping and leveling rough between #5 & #6
 Leveling re-sodded
 Jose verticuting fairways
 Clippings and debris produced from verticuting
 Victor vaccuming up the debris from verticutting
 Contract tree trimming
Spot aerifying along bunkers

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 2018
Transition from our cool season turf to our warm season turf is in full bloom. We are seeing a vast amount of Bermuda grass filling in all around the course with a few slower areas that will need additional attention. We will continue to address problem areas throughout the summer. Ryegrass currently remains throughout the golf course as our transitional herbicide is still slowly removing the overseeded areas. The remainder of the ryegrass should dissipate by the end of June.

With the Bermuda recovering and filling in, we will begin our summer cultural practices. These practices can be intrusive to the golfer, but are much needed practices to continue to improve the health and playability of the course. We will continue to aerify, verti-cut, de-thatch, and top-dress for the next several weeks. We hope to complete the bulk of our summer cultural practices by the end of July to early August. The following is our tentative schedule for the upcoming weeks. Weather, equipment, and unforeseen circumstances can change the schedule if necessary.

Week of:
June 10 – Aerify roughs
June 18 – Verticut/Dethatch/Top-dress – Aprons and approaches
June 18 – Aerify green mounds / Finish Roughs
June 25 – Verticut/Dethatch/Top-dress – Tees
June 25 – Verticut / Dethatch Roughs
June 25 – Contract tree trimming begins
July 2 – July 30 – Verticut / Dethatch / Aerify / Top-dress – Fairways
July 9 – Aerify roughs 2nd pass

You may have noticed around the putting green some grass turning a white color. We have begun to use a new herbicide to control Bermuda encroachment into the collars/greens. We have been carefully experimenting with this product over the last year and have seen positive results. In mid-May we treated a 20-foot section on the chipping greens and saw satisfactory results. After 2 weeks of monitoring we have now applied the same product to the outside edge of the collar on both the putting and chipping greens. We continue to see the desired results thus far and hope that it will continue to prove a valuable tool to keeping Bermuda out of the cool season bentgrasss / rye collars. The 36” collars are meant to provide a buffer to keep the Bermuda out of the putting surface which has proven to be challenging at times. We have altered our approach to maintaining the cool season collars for much of the past year to create a healthier barrier from the Bermuda grass and help the bent/rye survive the adverse summer conditions. So far, we have seen success with the changes but the true test will come during the monsoon months as dew points, humidity, and soil temperatures rise significantly.

The greens continue to mature and create a higher density canopy. We are seeing roots as deep as 11” and thick masses of fibrous roots in the 8-9 in range. This a very healthy spot to be in for the greens as we head towards the adverse summers conditions. Since aerification, the greens have slowed down to the 10.5-11 stimp range. We do anticipate them slowing down to the 9-10 range as monsoon season progresses. This is done in the best interest of preserving the health of the greens and ensuring survival during the summer monsoon.

We have now completed the in-house tree trimming and are moving on to some other drainage and leveling projects. Several small drains have been added to #4 approach, #12, #14. A large depression has been leveled on #12 as well. There are several more areas that we plan to address throughout the summer before fall overseed. In addition, we have begun to sod some poor areas under trees, high traffic areas by cart paths, and bunker faces.

An additional project that has begun is the removal of the cart path yardage plaques adhered to the top of the cart paths. We have begun cut into the concrete and submerge them flush into the concreate. Plaques were continuously coming loose and / or damaged to cart and equipment traffic. This will take some time to complete among all the cultural practices and projects. Our goal is to finish before overseed. So far #7 and #8 have been completed.

Once again, we appreciate your patience and support as we work to provide the best playing conditions to the Membership year-round. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out and we hop you enjoy your summer wherever you may be.

#1 Bunker before

#1 Bunker after

Sod along #6 cart path under large pine trees

Planting tree #8

Large depression #12 cart exit point

Level depression #12 cart exit point

Juan aerifying rough

Plugs to expect from rough aerifying

Drain #1 fairway

Bermuda grass suppression in collars

Cart path plaque submerged in concrete

Friday, May 4, 2018

April / May 2018

As we approach the end of the winter/spring season and begin to look to summer transition we wanted to inform the membership of several up-coming items.

May 7 & 8 we will be aerifying greens. The greens will be aerified with a small ¼” tine. The holes will be small but there will be much more holes that when a larger tine is used. Upon aerifying the greens, we will topdress the greens with appropriate amount of sand to fill as many of the holes as possible. The sand will be brushed in and followed by several amendments. Once the amendments have been applied we will “flush” the sand and water in with a heavy amount of water. The heavy amount of water will last approximately 2-3 hours to help flush salts, sodium, chlorides, bi-carbonates and any unwanted elements from the soil that can accumulate over time. This flushing practice is done several times a year to accomplish this task, in conjunction with soil testing to guide the process. You can expect the greens to remain sandy for much of the week of May 7. With the temperatures projected to be very warm during this week it may be required to run the overheads sprinklers during the day to keep the sand from getting to hot on the surface of the green and causing damage.

As we enter the summer months the green speeds will begin to decline. We will raise heights and reduce some practices such as the frequency of rolling in-order to reduce additional stress on the bent grass during the adverse summer weather. We will increase the brushing of the greens to help reduce the potential of swelling or puffy conditions during the monsoon season. In addition, we will be increasing the frequency of light top-dressing during the summer monsoon to help alleviate puffy or soft conditions that can be created due high soil temperatures, high air temperatures, humidity, and high dew points. Our goal is to continue to provide the best possible playing conditions during the summer that are conducive to the health of the bent grass.

On May 14 we will spray out the winter ryegrass using an herbicide that targets only the ryegrass. The herbicide will turn the ryegrass off color the first week but will green back up shortly after. The herbicide will then slow remove the ryegrass over the next several weeks creating room for the base Bermuda grass to begin to fill in. Due to a warm fall and spring we have experienced a natural accelerated transition already. The mild winter has advanced the natural transition 4-6 weeks earlier than we typically expect. This has shown optimism for a good transition but we could still see some areas transition poorly and will require addition work during the summer.
As many of you may have already noticed we have begun to trim the smaller trees around the course that can be done in house. The in-house tree trimming will hopefully be completed by the end of May or early June. We know that our chipper can be loud and inconvenient to play. We ask for your patience during this period.

During the summer months there will be summer outside tree trimming performed on the larger trees that we are unable to trim. This will begin in late June and will be performed primarily on Mondays while the course is closed. we anticipate that the large tree trimming will be completed by mid-August.

We will be performing several major cultural practices throughout the summer that will begin in mid-June. Many of these practices will be like the practices we have performed over the past several summers. We will continue to top-dress fairways, tees, and approaches to help increase surface drainage and playability. While these processes are an inconvenient they due play a key role in improving the overall health of the course long term. We will continue to use club email and our blog to further inform and communicate processes on a regular basis during the summer.

Greens and grounds has also begun implementing the tree plan that was developed with a certified arborist and Rick Phelps our golf course architect. Several trees have been planted already. There will be 2 more waves of tree planting in the upcoming months.

We wish everyone a great summer wherever you may be. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the greens and grounds department is we can provide any other information during the summer months.

Jose holding the tree in place during planting

Planting Summer Annuals 

In-House Tree Trimming #8

In-House Tree Trimming #8 

Different Shades of Green Show The Recovering Bermuda

1/4 in. quad tine

Size of holes to expect on the greens

 Topdressing Greens

Brushing sand into the holes