Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Project 2021 - Update #5

Today marks day #16 of Granite Bay Golf Clubs renovation project. It has become very evident to me that this type of golf course renovation and scope of work will inherently create subtle changes to all playing surfaces involved. Our intent is to have these changes flow with the natural land forms but fix the many areas that need subtle change, and address when appropriate the member items brought forth through the Golf Committee. 

We would definitely like to thank Dan Becker for his tireless advocacy for the membership and the golf course. He has the ear of Club Corp Agronomy and has relayed all of your concerns and ideas. Most of the ideas and comments Club Corp Agronomy has already noticed including the items I have been personally told about by members over the years. I can tell you that  most concern's or comment's regarding the golf course that has been brought to me and relayed to Club Corp Agronomy  have been enthusiastically validated and will be addressed in this renovation. Basically they see the same things that you have seen.

 A picture is worth a thousand words so below are some shots of progress since Monday 3/1/21. I'll provide another update by the end of the week.

Thanks as always for you support and patience.

We have made a selection for our new bunker sand. The Bright White bunker sand above and on the left is called Idaho White. Why? Because it is hauled all the way from Emmett Idaho.
It is a superior bunker sand  as it is mostly angular in shape so provides a firm bunker sand 
(4.5 kg/cm2 penetrometer) that prevents the dreaded "fried egg lie"
and it drains well (32.1 in/hr. infiltration). 
This is a very highly rated sand by the USGA and surpasses the USGA guidelines for bunker sand which is >20 in hr. Infiltration & a Penetrometer reading of >2.4 kg/cm2. Regional clubs who currently use this sand are Olympic Club, Lahontan, Castlewood, Silverado, Yocha Dehee.

Stripping off the old green on #1 on Monday. Progress.

We will be expanding patio seating area outside of Tilleys and the cart path coming off the #9 green and will fix the flooding issue at Tilleys when these drains can not handle the shed of water off the path and backs up into our favorite pub.

New "Splash Bunker" behind #9 green hollowed out for new "Better Billy Bunker Liner" or what is known in the industry as "BBB Bunkers". I will chronicle much more on this as the bunkers get completed but in the mean time anyone who is interested in more information click on the below link.

The Better Billy Bunker Method

Saturday, February 27, 2021

The Project 2021 - Update #4

 Today is day 12 of  Granite Bays 2021 course renovation project. Below are some more pictures of progress because as we all know a picture is worth a thousand words. Enjoy.

GCM crew brushing in sand topdressing on the newly sodded chipping green.

A view from 150 yards out of the new "splash bunker" on #9. 

Nice view from the clubhouse roof of the shaping of the "splash bunker".

Close up view of the shaping of the new "splash bunker". Sal wants it to look like a catchers glove aimed at the 150 yard landing area.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Project 2021 - Update #3

Today marks day #10 of our 2021 course renovation project and we are getting our precise scope of work further defined as well making substantial progress on completion of the short game area. We improved the main 3500 square foot, 40 yard chipping area by making it substantially flatter and added an elevated 60 yard teeing / chipping area to the rear of the site. Unfortunately this new attractive tee does not have enough square footage to sustain the amount of activity we suspect it will  receive, so we are going to have to install artificial hitting surface for the area. Additionally we were able to locate some sod for the new chipping green so we can get it open sooner which we are now anticipating opening the short game area by June.

Since our last update allot of progress has been made on the new addition to the #9 green and Tilley's practice green area. We have decided to add to the rear of the #9 green and combine it with a brand new Tilley's practice green which will wrap around a relocated 414 yard combo tee. Enjoy the pictures below chronicling progress thus far.

Thanks as always for your support and patience.

New "Dominator" bentgrass sod being installed on the new chipping green. Dominator is a blend of bentgrass varieties consisting of 007 & 777 bentgrass. This is the bentgrass of choice of ClubCorp because of proven performance everywhere we have grown it. The rest of the greens will be seeded rather then sodded which will give us a much better end product. We decided to sod this green after locating some Dominator Sod because we can get it opened sooner. The down side of sodding a green is the sod inherently comes with more thatch then we want and will have to be mechanically removed via aerification.

Above is the freshly sodded chipping green. 

Goodbye old Tilley's. I'm sure many a fond memory. Many new memories
to come.

View from the First tee side of the new Tilly's Putting Green cavity. In the foreground  behind the stakes will be the new location of the 414 combo tee.

View's  from the back of the excavated #9 green looking onto the very beginnings of a new addition to the green which will combine with an brand new Tilley's green. I'll share many more pictures of this area in the days to come as we continue to shape it. 

Newly shaped shallow "splash" bunker behind # 9 green

View from Tilley's patio looking at the beginning of the new Tilley's green site

Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Project 2021 - Update #2

Today marks day #5 of the 2021  Granite Bay Golf Club renovation project and things are really starting to get cooking. Two of  Diamond Golf's best shapers have arrived at GBGC and are getting up to speed. We were unable to locate any of the bentgrass sod  variety we wanted for the short game green so we will be seeding it  next week as well as starting the shaping on the new Tilley's green and #9. 

Unfortunately access to the golf course from the surrounding neighborhoods will be restricted during construction and turf grow-in. Club Corp and Diamond International have had too many safety related incidents and near miss catastrophes that has made this policy non-negotiable. Good news is Kevin Marshall will be setting up guided tours of the construction zones in the very near future. Communication on those tours will be forthcoming. 

More pictures below and  updates to come next week. Thanks as always for your support and patience.

Newly added gates to restrict traffic on the golf course construction zone during the Renovation project. Gates will be installed on #5, #6 & #13 to restrict access from neighborhoods temporarily during construction and grow-in.

Collaboration of GBGC GCM & Diamond Golf on moving sod from #9 surround to new short game area. 

Stripped #9. Moved to short game area.

Things are starting to move.  D4 Caterpillar parked on top of the #9 green. 

The final shape of the new short game green from the bottom of the new bunker.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Project 2021 - Update #1

This is a historic week for Granite Bay Golf Club as we have started a major renovation of all of our primary turf grass playing surfaces. We have been talking about it for years now and it has finally come to fruition and we will be excited to share all the details with our Members as they emerge. Granite Bay Golf Course Maintenance plans to communicate these details and construction processes through this Granite Bay Course Update on at least a weekly basis. Kevin Marshall our new GM is passionate about keeping you all informed along the way and is currently working with Farryl on multiple communication platforms so we dont miss any opportunity to share all of the great things that are happening on the course.

Many of the details are still evolving and will be revealed when they have been fine tuned. However the overall scope of work that we will be addressing are:

  • Putting Surfaces - new bentgrass including all practice greens
  • Tees - including  leveling, expansion and some additions for both men and women
  • Fairway's - conversion from multiple cool season varieties to Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda
  • Bunkers - including some softening and additions and and of course new sand
  • Driving Range - including new grass tee
The timeline we are currently working under is:

  • Preparing & Seeding All Putting Surfaces - April 15th
  • Preparing & Grassing All Fairways - June 30th
  • Opening to Our Members - September 4th
These are our goal timelines and we've been assured they are realistic. However anyone familiar with construction of any sort particularly that which can be affected by weather knows that things can happen to alter these goals. 

Our contractor started with the chipping and short game area so we can evaluate some processes there and we are planning on sodding that green to get is open ASAP which will be dependent on sod availability. Currently the driving range will be open from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM until later in the project when we will have to shut it down to do the tee work and floor re-grassing. 

Much more to come. Thanks as always for your support and particularly you patience right now as we work to make this great golf course greater. 

We are very fortunate to be working with Salvador Rodriguez 
of Diamond Golf International. Sal has been building golf courses
for over 40 years and brings an unmatched level of experience and skill
in every phase of construction and maintenance.

The very first moves was to start flattening both the chipping green and moving that material to soften the actual 30 - 40 yard chipping area. We are looking at creating a better 50 yard approach area as well.

Sal Rodriguez himself shaping a new "Splash" practice bunker 
 at the short game area

Rough grade of what will be our new flatter chipping green and short game area.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

GBGC Board of Governors Minutes January 2021

Board of Governors January 7, 2021 Minutes


Michael Peabody, Dan Becker, Gary Dunn, Steve Hunter Sr., Ed Reeder, Matt Russello, Scott Vanderbeek, Jason Walker


These are the minutes of the first meeting of the new GBGC Board of Governors, chaired by Dan Becker.  Meeting minutes will be published and made available via the Granite Bay Golf Club Course Update and member email distributions.

The Board views one of its important duties is to act as a communication vehicle among the GBGC members, GBGC staff, and ClubCorp.  If you have any issues/comments please address them to a Board member.

This meeting was primarily a kickoff meeting as many of the key agenda items are not yet finalized (expect much more detailed minutes in the future).

General Manager Update

Michael Peabody reported that decisions on the golf course project and budgets were on the verge of being announced.

Membership Updates

The new Membership Director Eric Gray, a PGA Class A Professional, is doing an outstanding job.  Memberships are close to capacity.

Food and Beverage Updates

·         While we have not had a recent Customer Satisfaction Survey reports are that members are very pleased with the food (the last survey had record highs for customer satisfaction).

·         F&B numbers are good and employees are happy.  The employees have been rock stars during the pandemic, wearing multiple hats as needed.  ClubCorp is doing a good job taking care of employees affected by Covid.

·         As needed, we will adapt operations to conform with the current Covid restrictions.

Golf Committee Updates

·         The Golf Committee will be reinstated once the course update plans are finalized.

·         Dan Becker will temporarily head the committee until a replacement is recruited.

General / Other

·         No plans for future meetings and topics could be made until we receive details on the golf course project and budget.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

2020 Fall Equinox

Today, Tuesday September 22, 2020 is the Fall Equinox, the day we circle in our GCM calendar every year as a sort of finish line. It's also a starting line as it is the  official start of fall where day and night are of equal length and the time of the year cool season turf flourishes and recovers from past  summer. 

We have always found this day and time of the year refreshing because summers can be hard on this property. However we now are a bit conflicted with the advent of warm season turf on #17 fairway and our  green surrounds as this turf enjoys the warmer weather and starts to slow down. At some point we will finish what we started,  and when we do the Fall Equinox wont be as special, but for now we'll continue to rejoice that fall is here so we can watch the transformation once again from summer setbacks to fall splendor. 

Below are some wrap up pictures of the 2020 fall aeration & over seeding process that we started just two week's ago. Cart restrictions are necessary to protect the 10 tons of seed we inject into this golf course every fall which requires time and moisture to germinate and get established. Thank you for your patience.

#17 Green two weeks out from core aeration. Holes are covered. Bentgrass seed is coming up all over the surface. Healthy and lush. Putting quality will start to improve as we lower the height of cut (HOC), apply some more light topdressings and apply some growth regulator which we plan to start today 9/22/20. 

Close up of the putting surface's exhibit a very healthy & dense condition only two weeks out from aeration. 

Tees were over seeded only 8 days ago which is why thy appear shaggy. The shagginess is all of the new seed coming up. They will get mowed at a higher HOC then normal tomorrow 9/23/20  which will help the new,  juvenile seedlings establish through next week then the HOC will be lowered back to normal.

The Driving Range Tee was over seeded just yesterday 9/21/20. This seed will need some time to germinate and get established then mowed down just like the regulation tees. We will open the tee for Friendship Cup on 10/7-8/20, only two weeks after over seeding. We might have to close it again after the Friendship for further establishment. 

After greens aeration and tee over seeding this season we started with core aerifying and seeding
the roughs which we completed last week. You can see seed coming up everywhere. Currently we are seeding the  fairways with the Triwave  Slit Seeder in two different directions. This will thicken the fairways up quickly.

Above shows the seeding pattern the Triwave Slit Seeder makes in our fairways. Those slits are full of ryegrass seed that will germinate and fill in quickly.

On top of the seed we typically apply a nice balanced fertilizer at this time of the year. The combination of aeration, seed, fertilizer & fall weather can produce one of those be careful what you wish for moments when we have more grass then we know what to do with.