Friday, September 30, 2022

Rough Seeding Continues

The seeding process of our primary rough with Tall Fescue is going well as we have completed most of the front nine this week, 9/26/22 through 9/30/22. We also conducted our bi-weekly bunker maintenance this week which takes allot of man-hours that will next week be shifted to rough seeding which will allow us to finish over 90% of all the primary rough by weeks end.

We are opening hole #'s 1, 4 & 9 today, Friday 9/30/22 to limited golf cart traffic. When I say limited, I mean;

We Need To Keep Cart Traffic on Fairway's Only, Not in the Rough.

I wrote a course update in April about carts return to the golf course describing entering and exiting through gates and not driving in the rough. I can tell by traffic patterns that the gates are used by the majority of cart's to enter and exit fairways, but I  can also tell that golf cart traffic in the rough is common place. Driving in the rough on these newly seeded holes can compromise germination and establishment, as well as potentially migrating some seed into our hybrid bermuda fairways, which we definitely dont want. Driving in the rough simply cannot happen in the month of October while this new seed establishes. 

We are all used to the gates now. It will be imperative that we use them to both enter and exit any given hole while the Tall Fescue seed in the rough germinates and starts to get established.

Overhead from springtime shows the typical pattern we need carts to take while seed in rough is germinating and establishing.
Do Not Drive In The Rough.

Golf holes that will be cart path only will be lined with multiple signs.

#4 left-hand rough, which is a typical thinning stand that has been aggressively interseeded with Tall Fescue. The timing, weather,  preparation is perfect. It will need to be kept moist for germination as well as keeping cart traffic off of it. 

Look for multiple signs reminding you to not drive in the rough.

We have invested allot of sweat and treasure into this golf course to give us a chance at surviving summers, and have a product that is both  sustainable and something we can all be proud of. The 2021 renovation was the move that made this possible. These subsequent moves of establishing more durable Tall Fescue in the rough and future moves of installing supplemental  irrigation to keep the fescue thriving in the summer will bring us even closer to this goal. I truly believe...

The Best is Yet to Come! Thank You for Your Support and Patience.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Rough Seeding

It was about a year ago, we re-opened the golf course  after going through a major renovation converting fairways to Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda, re-surfacing all putting greens and adding a few more, and  re-shaping all of the bunkers. In fact, at this time last year we were still not open to our members and still under construction. And when we did open in early October, we opened to cart path only and a golf course that was in various phases of growing in. 

A big part of the renovation was converting our fairways from cool season turf to warm season Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda. The rough and new turf around new bunkers remained cool season turf. The primary rough areas were pretty wore out from the construction processes and were in the process of being seeded with Tall Fescue, a durable cool season variety of turf which is the same turf we used around the new bunkers during the renovation.

We had allot of loose ends on many different levels to tie up after the whole renovation process, and re-establishing rough with the aforementioned Tall Fescue was just one of them. Fortunately the cooler weather of fall arrived, and all of the seed we put down germinated and established, but we never had the time to properly prepare the seedbed for wide scale, long lasting success. Never the less, the durability of the Tall Fescue began to establish itself and grass plants from last years seeding are still present today despite another summer of hardship for cool season turf throughout the region. 

Another  reminder is during renovation we chose not to convert our rough to warm season hybrid bermuda like the fairways because hybrid bermuda does not do well in shady conditions. And the trees and associated shade on our Parkland Style Golf Course, hybrid bermuda would not be the right choice of turf in those areas. 

This brings us to today and the seeding once again of our primary rough areas with Tall Fescue. We just took the last two weeks and core aerated all of the primary rough on the golf course in preparation of seeding the rough with more Tall Fescue. This seeding process is starting this week on 9/27/22 and will go through the first week, maybe second week of October. We will update with many specifics the process's we will be undertaking as we proceed, but I wanted to bullet point  some main concepts for us all to understand.

 1. We need to keep the fescue seed out of the fairways.

 2. In order to achieve this we will have to restrict carts to paths only on the holes we are working on which will be more restrictions at any given time then the last two weeks when we were aerating the rough. Cart path only holes will be plainly marked with cart path only signs. 

3. Once we open a newly seeded hole to cart traffic, it will be important to enter and exit holes through the gates and drive carts in the fairway only.

Even though we core aerified all of the rough last week, we plan to hit extremely bare areas in the rough prior to seeding one more time with shallow, solid tine aeration

The TriWave seeder will be just one of the tools we plan to use in the seeding process. Here it is in action in the rough on #1

I'm confident once we get the seed covered with topdressing as well as worked  into the soil with irrigation, the seed will not migrate into the fairways. Keeping rough areas moist while the seed germinates will be another issue we will have to face  as without adequate moisture the seed cannot swell, germinate and establish. 

The timing and our ability to focus on seeding rough aside from normal course setup should elevate our seeding efforts  this year over last. Another reminder however is our renovation converted approximately half of our course to warm season turf that can handle our summers. The other half, the rough, is still cool season turf that will need to survive next summer, and summer is coming. That's why we are promoting Tall Fescue and its's better summer durability and tolerance to other cool season varieties as well as our plan to start adding supplemental irrigation to these rough areas. Our goal is to give us the ability independently irrigate our cool season rough apart from our warm season fairways which should put us in a good spot for all of our turf  to survive summers of the future.

This supplemental irrigation work will not get done over night and establishing our rough to primarily tall fescue will take multiple passes as well. We should however, with our focused seeding efforts this fall  and addition of some supplemental irrigation, be in a better place in fall of 2023.

The Best Is Yet To Come! Thanks for your Support & Patience



Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Rough Aeration Continues

Early this week we received some rainfall that is always welcomed in September, but untimely for our aeration operation as dry conditions are essential for the clean-up process. It rained here at the course all morning on Monday 9/19/22 making conditions to wet to start the back nine  process through Tuesday 9/20/22. Then just when we finished the actual aeration process on holes #'s 10 & 12 on Wednesday 9/21/22, an unexpected two hour steady rain made the aeration cores way to wet to process. We will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to clean them up as well as adjust our plan to stay on track to start seeding rough next week on 9/27/22. Below is our revised plan to get the rough aeration completed.  

 Revised Rough Aeration Schedule for Week of 9/19/22

Tuesday 9/20/22 - Too Wet
Wednesday 9/21/22 - Hole #'s 10-12 -  Rain 9:30 - 11:30. Too Wet to Clean-up
Thursday 9/22/22 - Cleanup Holes #'s 10-12 in the early afternoon
Friday 9/23/22 - Hole #'s 13 , 15 , 17 - Front Nine Start
Monday 9/26/22 - Hole #'s 11 & 18
Tuesday 9/27/22 - Seeding Process Begins

Somewhat unexpected rain hit at the most inopportune time today as we were just 
finishing the rough aeration on hole #'s 10&12.

Even a light rain, like what we received, makes it impossible to clean up the cores.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Aerifying The Rough

We started the recovery process for our rough this week with an aggressive core aeration. Turfgrass aeration is the dreaded but necessary process of punching a hole and sometimes extracting a core consisting of thatch and soil, thus providing passage ways for water and air to the soil and roots of the turf grass surface.  We are planning on core aerating all of the rough on the front nine this week and the back nine next week. Afterwards, the week of 9/26/22, we plan to start seeding the rough we just aerified. 

The process of core aerifying large turf areas like our rough involves using a large Toro Procore 1298 aerifier that penetrates down into the turf area and either punches a simple hole or extracts a core depending on the tine that is used and what we are trying to achieve. Typically core aeration is more aggressive procedure that has the added benefit of removing excessive organic matter from the soil profile. Core aeration for golf course turf requires a lot of clean-up as we need to process and remove the extracted cores which requires dry conditions to do so. Therefore, we typically aerify in the early AM and start cleaning up in the afternoon after some drying has taken place.  Pictures below will tell the story better than I can for those who are interested. 

Rough Aeration Schedule for Week of 9/12/22

Tuesday 9/13/22 - Holes 1-2     Back 9 Start
Wednesday 9/14/22 - Holes 4-5     Back 9 Start
Thursday 9/15/22 - Holes 8-9     Back 9 Start
Friday 9/16/22 - Holes 6-7     Back 9 Start

Since we will be working on the front nine this week, we will adopt a back nine start all week to give GCM a little extra time in the AM.

I mentioned in the previous course update that we would be adopting cart path only restrictions to the holes we were aerifying. Signs will be posted along cart paths and walnut shells as a reminder.

GCM core aerifying around flagged irrigation heads.

Core aerified rough awaiting some drying prior to removal with a sweeper.
Keeping these moist cores from getting smashed back into the turf prior
to removal is crucial and why we need the cart restrictions while we are
cleaning up the mess.

After the cores dry and we process them a bit by dragging or scarifying, we start to sweep them up. This can be a dusty, dirty process. 

So far so good with the entire process through Wednesday 9/14 as we have had no equipment issues or setbacks and have stayed on schedule. Assuming this momentum continues we will proceed with the below schedule for next week. Thanks for bearing with the process.

Rough Aeration Schedule for Week of 9/19/22

Tuesday 9/20/22 - Holes 10-11    Front 9 Start
Wednesday 9/21/22 - Holes 12-13    Front 9 Start
Thursday 9/22/22 - Holes 15-16     Front 9 Start
Friday 9/23/22 - Holes 17-18     Front 9 Start

Thursday, September 8, 2022

End of Summer Update

 The Fall Equinox is only two weeks away, marking the astrological end of summer and where nighttime and daytime hours are equal in length. Granite Bay Golf Course Maintenance will look at this date a little less passionately this year as our new Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda fairways will miss the warmth of summer, but our primarily cool season blend of turf in the rough and around the bunkers will indeed welcome the change.

Currently we are in the tail end of an historic heatwave and we are not experiencing  the devastating turf losses this property has endured over past summers. It is a nice position to be in.   The rough has taken a hit and some spots in step collars will need some re-sodding when things cool off, but all in all we have a  golf course that is alive and very playable. 

Rough Recovery

Fall is a great time to year to recover and grow cool season turf and to germinate seed. Therefore beginning next week on Tuesday 9/13/22, we will start to aggressively aerify the rough on the golf course in preparation for aggressive interseeding with Tall Fescue

Last fall we were opening the golf course after our 2021 renovation and were embroiled in a myriad of tasks left behind in the wake of the renovation and recovering the rough was just one of those tasks. This year, for maybe the first time ever, we will be able to focus much of our fall renovation efforts on the rough aeration and seeding since our cultivation on the new fairways is done until next year. We plan to get aggressive with the rough aeration to facilitate some much needed recovery.

Rough Aeration Schedule For Next Week

Tuesday 9/13/22 - Holes 1-2     Back 9 Start
Wednesday 9/14/22 - Holes 4-5     Back 9 Start
Thursday 9/15/22 - Holes 8-9     Back 9 Start
Friday 9/16/22 - Holes 6-7     Back 9 Start

During the rough aeration process we will close the holes to cart traffic we are working on. We will communicate our progress through the Golf Shop daily e-mail and post adequate signs along cart path's regarding the cart restrictions. I will post another Course Update next week with an updated rough aeration schedule for the back nine based on progress at that time, as well as our plan for seeding the newly aerated rough,  which will require some nuanced cart restrictions to keep seed in the rough and out of the new Santa Anna Fairways.

Thank you in advance for understanding the necessity of this work and co-existing  around these messy and loud non-routine maintenance practices. The only other option would be to close the golf course, and we dont want to do that. 

Aerifying rough. We are starting this process next week and plan to get aggressive. 


Michele McCormick is a Granite Bay Member and professional photographer who really enjoys capturing wildlife images of GBGC, particularly birds. On a recent Monday walk about, Michele had 21 bird species sightings and captured these spectacular shots, one of a White Tailed Kite and another of a Red Shouldered Hawk. Michele had never seen a White Tailed Kite here which makes that image something special.

Not to be out done, Felipe Reyes, a long time GCM staff member captured this image on his cell camera of a White Winged Dove that from I can find out,  is rare in our area. The cactus are out on the Barton Road lot, planted by GCM staff years ago and used in certain Hispanic cuisine. The cactus is used in the cuisine, not the dove.

Fall is a great time of year, and substantially less stressful this year as we have much less recovery then what we have had to endure in seasons past. It will still be busy, as cooler weather and ending vacations will bring members back to the club. We in golf course maintenance are looking forward to getting the rough back to good and starting further irrigation improvements at the end of the year to help us hold onto more of this cool season rough before next summer. Much still to do, but .........

The Best Is Yet To Come

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Fairway Aeration and Sand Topdressing

We started our second heavy sand topdressing of our new Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda fairways following a solid tine aeration this week as scheduled. We aerated and topdressed hole #'s 1 & 2 as well as  #'s 17 & 18 yesterday. Spreading the topdressing sand  is a  time consuming process as we can move and spread only 4 yards at  a time from three locations where we have stockpiled sand. 

We topdressed only three holes yesterday but will topdress another four today. We have the front nine tomorrow to continue  and because of the specific holes proximity to sand, we are shooting to get another 4 completed, almost finishing the front nine with #7 & #6 left. We will complete these along with back nine par 3's on Monday 8/29/22 when we are closed. That will complete the FW aeration and topdressing process for 2022

Thursday 8/24/22 we will have to topdress the back nine hole's of #15 & #16 and the entire course is scheduled to be open. Playing off of the topdressing is one thing, but we need to drag the topdressing in on these holes  after it has dried.  We will start this dragging process around 10:30 AM  and it will be a dusty mess, as evidenced by some of the below pictures. We don't want to expose our members too this dust,  so when we start this dragging and blowing process at 10:30 AM we are going to ask members to skip these hole's after playing #14 and head straight to #17. 

A picture is worth a thousand words. Above depicts how dusty it gets when we drag the topdressing in. It has to be dry to get it to move so Thursday 8/24/22 between approximately 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM we are going to post the above sign on #15 tee 

Conditions are never perfect when we are executing any of these necessary cultural practices, but the only other option then F9 & B9 alternating closures  would be to close the golf course for 5 days to complete the process. Below are as promised, some pictures of the process that is currently underway.

Step # 1 -  We flag all the sprinkler heads, valve boxes, yardage markers  etc. so the operator can lift aerifyer over the object and not destroy it. 
Step #2 - Aerify fairway. We chose solid tines this application which requires no cleanup of cores or debris prior to topdressing.

Aeration pattern directly after aerifying.

Step #2 - Applying topdressing at the rate of 50 tons per acre. That's 1500 tons which equates to over 50 truck and trailer transfer loads. We stockpile sand prior to this operation in the maintenance yard and adjacent to #12 green, as well as  the corner lot on Barton Road and in the back corner of the parking lot.

Another cool shot of Enrique topdressing #12 fairway with lake in the foreground and bunker in the background.

Step #3 -  Initial dragging of the dried topdressing into the fairway aeration holes and turf canopy

Closer look at the dragging process

Step #4 - More subsequent dragging, blowing, mowing with an old mower, whatever it takes to get this volume of sand incorporated into the turf canopy. Typically we would irrigate heavily after aeration and topdressing to get the soil profile evenly wet facilitated by all of the aeration holes, but then we need to dry the area out to do the extra dragging and blowing necessary to move the sand deeper into aeration holes and turf canopy. 

This sand will dissipate after a few days while it gets further worked into the turf canopy and soil via aeration holes. This leaves us with a week to catch up on some details and then as I indicated earlier, we will start to aggressively core aerate and seed our rough areas. More on the specifics of that process next week.

Thanks for Your Support

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Upcoming Fairway Aeration

Starting next week on Monday 8/22/22 we will be aerating and sand topdressing the Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda fairways here at GBGC. Our new fairways will benefit greatly from a aeration, allowing air and water to move deeper into the native soil profile. Immediately following the aeration process we will sand topdress with our second 50 ton per acre topdressing of 2022. This topdressing sand will work it way into both the turf canopy as well as the aeration holes and help to continue smooth, level and dry out these one year old fairways. Mid August weather will facilitate very rapid recovery.

Keep in mind, all of our cultural processes we did to the course this year, and the sequence in which we did them, were somewhat out of the norm because we are still are growing in  these turf grass surfaces. As an example we topdressed fairways early in the season as soon as the hybrid bermuda woke up  as we desperately needed to fill in the many surface inconsistencies of the previous years sprigging. A few weeks later we verticle mowed, which in normal practice would be done in conjunction with sand topdressing and aeration. The aeration we ae planning next week moves us closer to normal routines and provides us data for future planning.

We have all day Monday to start  the process and will have alternating F9 & B9 closures Tuesday and Wednesday to complete it. Below are older pictures of fairway aeration as well as some repeat pictures of our initial topdressing of the Santa Anna this past spring. I'll provide real time pictures and updates as the process unfolds next week.

Monday 8/22/22 - F9 & B9 FW Aeration      Course Closed

Tuesday 8/23/22 - Complete B9 FW Aeration      Back 9 Closed

Wednesday 8/24/22 - Complete F9  FW Aeration      Front 9 Closed

Old picture of Enrique aerating our old fairways

Applying 50 tons per acre of sand to our new Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda fairways just this past spring.

Dragging in the topdressing sand after is had dried

Closeup of the fairway after initial pass with drag mat. The visible inconsistencies are not necessarily a thing of the past but continued topdressing at the 50 ton per acre rate will in time smooth them out. 

Thanks for Your Support