Thursday, March 3, 2022

G&G Blog March 2022

Now that you have all had the opportunity to see and experience the Bunker Renovation Project (BRP) and changes to the golf course, we hope you are all enjoying the golf course over the past few months.

It has been a busy couple of months for G&G since we opened from overseeding. After the BRP and the 14 inches of rain from June to October a tremendous amount of things needed to be caught up on by the G&G Dept. We have spent most of the past several months catching up on detail work around the course. We have now trimmed and cleaned all desert areas. All turf lines have been edged. The sucker growth on the trees has been cleaned up again. We continue to dial in the small stuff such as edging sprinklers, cart paths, yardage plaques, polishing tee markers, and many other small items.

The greens have been doing quite well. We have been averaging 12-13 on the stimpmeter consistently since November. The new sodded collars are mending well and beginning to blend in better with the spring growth kicking in. As the spring growth kicks in you will notice the greens begin to get firmer. This is due to a few factors. First, it’s the perfect growing weather. The bentgrass is now growing massive amounts of new leaf tissue and root mass. The new growth packs into the existing bentgrass and creates a much denser and crowded growing medium. Second, the warm air above green expands the cooler soil/sand below the canopy adding to the crowed growing medium. Third, when we begin to verti-cut in late March and April we remove the older leaf tissue which will reduce the “padding” effect the leaf tissue provides. It is important to remove older leaf tissue to help manage the thatch layer and prevent disease and compaction issues. The removal of the thatch and/or older leaf tissue also helps to manage the “puffy” effect the summer stress conditions create. To alleviate some of the conditions, we spray wetting agents, spike the greens, and apply additional calcium products.

Many of the cutting heights are getting to their lowest levels. The tees, approaches, and aprons are being mowed at .250 or ¼ in. The fairways are being mowed at .300 or 3/10 of an inch. The height of cuts on the course is continually adjusted through the calendar and weather changes. We have higher heights after overseed, with subtle adjustments, through the frosty months of December and January. As days get longer and the weather begins to warm, we begin to get a little more aggressive with lowering the heights. This is due to the ryegrass being able to handle the lower heights due to its maturity and it has begun to grow more vigorously. In addition, we want to begin to get closer to the Bermuda grass base to encourage transition as soon as possible. As Bermuda grass begins to wake up from dormancy,  the Bermuda grass will support and grow with the ryegrass. This will make the short grass surfaces firmer and fast as well. In addition to the height changes, we use a combination of wetting agents, foliar fertilizers, and growth regulators to aid in the process.

We continue to see improving firmness in the new bunkers. Time has helped the sand settle more. Additional watering as the weather has warmed up has helped to compact the sand further. We continue to adjust our raking techniques. We have experimented with multiple rakes, materials, and methods. In order to achieve a smoother and more consistent surface, we have experimented with attaching artificial turf, doormats, rubber mats to our rakes. We have tried numerous rakes with different length tines. We are currently waiting for a new rake that has a spinning mechanism behind it to arrive. We continue to try different methods of rolling the faces to create a smooth firm face to get the ball to roll to the bottom of the bunker. Currently, we are using paint rollers wrapped in duct tape. We have tried squeegees, PVC rollers, and smooth foam paint rollers. We continue to work with the staff on raking the fairay bunkers in the direction the hole is played and raking the greenside bunkers towards the cup and/or middle of the green. We continue to tinker and adjust in order to find a method for presenting the best bunker surfaces possible.

You may have noticed quite a few rocks being placed along the cart paths in recent weeks. We have been doing this in multiple areas to help with erosion control during larger rain events. We are protecting some to the cart paths and also to help reduce our labor to clean up after large rain events.

Finally, after 32+ years our Equipment Manager, Jim Pratt has decided to move on. Jim joined the PPCC Green and Grounds Team in November of 1989. Jim has been a large part of PPCC’s success for decades. He has provided leadership, organization, and countless creative solutions to PPCC. We thank him for years of dedication and service. We wish him well!!! If you would like to send a thank-you note to Jim in appreciation of his years of serving our membership you will find a drop basket at the front desk. 

Rocks by 7 Greens & G&G Building for erosion control

Rocks for erosion right of #7 Green along cart path

#11 Tee rocks for erosion control

#16 Tee Rocks work for erosion control

Experimental rollers for the faces and sides of the bunkers

Javier rolling the sides of the bunkers
#2 Greenside bunker rake towards the flagstick

Staff raking bunkers in the dark with portable flood lights

#4 Fairway bunker raked in the direction the whole is played

#12 Approach

#12 Approach with new height of cuts

#7 Approach with new height of cut

#2 after the rain

#15 Approach with new height of cut