Friday, July 19, 2019

#17. "Homestretch" Update

We briefly wanted to update everyone on the 2019 phase of Granite Bay's turf conversion or what Mr. Peabody affectionately calls "The Project". We will be using this course update several times a week  to spread the word during the construction process that is getting ready to start on 7/30/19.  A simple web search of will get you to the latest information and if one desires to go deeper into the history of this "in process" turf conversion you can click on the Hybrid Bermuda label and see all that we've written. And if you want to get even deeper into the weeds with this stuff, sign up for email notifications in the top right hand box of  Granite Bay Course Update and you will be notified of any new material. Most of what we are planning will be short and sweet with lots of pictures.

We are committed to communicating  what is going on during this process through 
course signage like above, the GBGC  Golf Shop morning email blasts,
as well as this course update. 

As a reminder the 2019 phase of this turf conversion includes re-grassing green surround's on hole #'s 1-2 & 4,8 & 9 on the front nine, and #'s 10-18 on the back nine. Surrounds on #'s 3, 5-7 were done in 2018. In addition we are converting the entire #17 fairway as a beta fairway for potential hybrid bermuda conversion of the remaining fairways in 2020. The variety of Hybrid Bermuda we have chosen is the California Hybrid, Santa Anna which trial patch is on #12. Again many of the construction details will be shared in advance and in real time for those who are interested. Construction of this magnitude requires a lot of planning and stuff happens that inevitably alters the planned timeline. That being said, below is our broad  timeline so you will know what to expect in the way of partial  hole closures. 

July 8th - 26th     Prep #17 Fairway.  Apply product that will kill the various turf varieties prior to pulverization. This work has already been done and did require closing the hole on 7/17/19 along with some cart path only restrictions.  #17 is now completely open to cart traffic and play until 7/30/19.

July 30th - August 4th     #17 Fairway Pulverization.  Fairway lines will be defined , current irrigation heads flagged and raised,  new irrigation heads installed, 3" sand cap installed, pulverize sand in to 4" of native soil, re-float, re-grade, compact soil.

August 5th - August 18th     Sod #17 Fairway. Strip and Sod Surrounds. Strip sod from identified surrounds, repair & re-shape bunker edges, re-set irrigation, install Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda. 

Closures During Construction

#17 Fairway

As mentioned above #17 fairway is a beta test of a potential 2020 total fairway conversion and as such we will be in no hurry to open the hole after conversion until it is completely ready. The fairway  will be playing fast, firm and brown until  7/30/19 after which it will be closed to golf activities until we feel it is ready. If your handicap is 14 and above you'd score a 1 over par bogie, if handicap is 13 and below  you'd score a par.


To remain productive and get the contractors in and out of here when we are working on surrounds we will close the hole. There will be times when we are not working on a hole and it might be stripped of sod or have new sod installed. During these times, using preferred lies the hole would be open. When the hole is closed due to construction "If your handicap is equal to or exceeds the handicap of the hole, take a bogie. If it is less, take a par." 

 Patches on #17 right now are a great example of what we will have once
the fairways have been converted. Fast, firm, durable and sustainable.

This patch of existing common bermuda has 
received no water  in days.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

REMINDER. #17 will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday 7/17/19 for maintenance.

I wanted to remind our members that tomorrow, Wednesday 7/17/19 that the "Homestretch" #17 hole will be closed while we treat the grass for eventual removal and re-grassing in a couple of weeks.

Since it is the #14 handicap hole at GBGC, if your handicap is 14 and above you should score a bogie (5) on the hole. If your handicap is below 14 your should score a par (4).


#17 on the morning of 7/15/19.
One more treatment this week will put us in good position to re-grass in early August

Sunday, July 14, 2019

2019 Re-Grassing Update

Last Monday 7/8/19 we treated the #17 fairway with the first round of products that will eventually kill the existing grass in preparation for re-sodding in early August. As previously mentioned, the 2019 phase of GBGC's grass conversion plan was and is to complete green surround sodding that we started last year with green surrounds on #3, 5, 6 & 7. In addition to the remaining surrounds we secured funding to re-sod the #17 fairway as well.

The re-grassing process we are planning for the surrounds and the fairways are quite different. Surrounds we plan to strip the existing old sod and then re-sod with hybrid bermuda. The process on the fairways  is to kill existing  grass then add 3" of sand and pulverize the area to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. After the pulverization the fairway is re-graded, re-compacted and re-sodded. 

We need to treat the #17 fairway one more time and the proper timing lands us on this coming Wednesday 7/17/19. The hole will have to be closed that day so we don't transfer product from the treated area onto non-treated desirable turf areas such as the #17 putting surface with shoes or cart traffic. We will have a spotter to retrieve stray balls from #18 and to remind players that it is imperative to stay off the treated area until thoroughly dry so we don't injure desirable turf.

So during this 2019  process of re-grassing during the first three weeks in August we will have to have several  temporary hole closures as contractors carry out their work.. We will communicate these daily closures through the morning email updates and this Granite Bay Course Update.

John Korvin, The Clubs resident rule official states that keeping score during these times of temporary closures is as follows. "If your handicap is equal to or exceeds the handicap of the hole, take a boegy, if it is less take a par." 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Flag Tournament & Summer Solstice Update

July 4th is our Annual Flag Tournament.  The tournament has a 8:30 AM shotgun start where the GBGC flags with be replaced with the Stars & Stripes. Flagstick holders will be placed in collars close the the holes so the American Flag doesn't touch the ground out of respect. I hear there is a BBQ lunch to follow. Good Luck to everyone!

The Summer Solstice came and went on Friday June 21st this year and thankfully has brought with it little summer heat or fanfare so far.  Up till now, the GBGC Weather Station has only recorded three days over 100 degrees and another 4 in the upper 90's (+96) and these events have been surrounded by daytime highs in the mid to upper 80's.  The  Delta Breeze, our savior in the summer, has been very active this year which of course is a blessing unless you are a sprinkler trying to irrigate at night.

Gama, our irrigator here at Granite Bay often tells us he'd rather it was hot then windy as it doesn't take much wind to really affect the distribution uniformity of a underground sprinkler that shoots 60 feet. As I've mentioned before, we target our nightly irrigation amounts based on a calculation called Evapotranspiration or ET. This calculation is based on daily weather data fed to our irrigation system which adjusts automatically, increasing or decreasing irrigation amounts nightly. When wind replaces heat, such as the case when delta breezes are present, our ET #'s can be just as high as when we have heat and no wind. In other words we have to replace just as much water when it's windy as when it hot. And replacing it when it is windy is perhaps even trickier, ask Gama, as the water is not covering as well as when it is not windy. 

Rainbird sprinkler operating pretty efficiently in the absence of wind on #16.

We are not complaining as intense heat has a history of causing GBGC a lot of problems so the next 90 days our priorities are to minimize turf problems from the effects of summer. So far so good but there are 80 days of summer left and we are bound to get some prolonged heat sometime during that period. 

2017 reminder of what happens in the summer here at GBGC

There are a few constants that I have realized in my 12 years here at Granite Bay. First, summers can be hard on this golf course. Second, the fine line between wet and dry is very fine and drying this course down in the summer doesn't work. Third the Golf Course will be wetter in the morning then it is in the afternoon particularly in the summer as more water will have to be replaced during the longer, windier and / or hotter days of summer than needs to be replaced during the shorter, cooler days of fall & spring.   Logically the more water that needs to be replaced, the longer the irrigation system runs  making it wetter in the morning then in the afternoon. However there is a solution on the horizon for our summer time woes.

2019 Re-Grassing of the Surrounds and #17 FW

As a reminder our main motivation for moving towards converting our cool season turf to warm season turf is playability and the second motivation is  sustainability particularly in the summer. Hybrid bermuda is a firmer playing surface that requires less water and loves heat and because of that it is the ultimate sustainable turf in a State and world where water use on a golf course will be a defining issue. 

So here we go. We will start to prepare for the 2019 phase of this conversion next week and are still on track for contractors to start converting the remainder of our surrounds starting on July 29th. In preparation for re-sodding #17 FW we will be treating the entire fairway this coming Monday 7/8/19 in which we are closed. This treatment will kill the existing turf to prepare it to incorporate sand on 7/30/19. We will still be able to play golf on this fairway prior to 7/30/19, it's just going to gradually change color from green to brown as it dies. Additionally it will be drier as we won't have to irrigate it.

#17 Fairway turf  will be getting sprayed out this coming Monday 7/8/19.

Timing on completing re-sodding surrounds and #17 fairway is still August 16 - 18. My goal is to communicate progress during the project through the Granite Bay Course Update frequently with lots of pictures and explanations of the hows and whats of the project. Stay Tuned.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

New Granite Bay Golf Club Clocks

Does Anybody Really Know What time It Is? We should now at Granite Bay Golf Club with the arrival and installation of our new clocks. Time is truly on our side as we now have not just  one, but two new clocks. But wait! They are double sided so we actually have four! Hopefully it will be Good times, not bad times in keeping everything synchronized, time after time.

Installing clocks early Friday 5/31/19 morning

Newly Installed Clock on the Driving Range

Newly Installed Clock on #10 Tee

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Spring Aerification Update Part IV

Monday March 25th was at one point forecasted to be raining as I chronicled is our previous Spring Aeration Updates. Fortunately the rain forecast stalled and your ready to go GCM staff  aerated all 18 regulation greens as well as the upper putting green before it started raining. Unfortunately  the subsequent 11 days of weather has produced only 1 day of sunshine. The rain that was associated with these 11 dreary days did help push sand downwards into the surface, but  as we all learned in grammar school science class, photosynthesis requires sunlight to make carbohydrate food for plant growth.

#3 Green 10 days out from core aeration on 3/25/19. With some sun, the very visible
holes would be close to covered by now.

Because of this dreariness, I would say the greens are at least a week behind their normal recovery curve. It wont stay dreary forever so as soon as we get some sustained sunlight those aeration holes will grow over. In the mean time we will continue to roll and mow as well as lightly sand topdress the surfaces to produce some semblance of putting quality.

Close up of a green 10 days out from core aeration on 3/25/19.
We were able to get the fairways aerated with solid tines during this period as well as getting them topdressed with sand. The solid tine pattern recovers much quicker and can be done in cloudy, semi wet weather  as opposed to pulling a core which would have required dry weather to both punch and clean up.

As you can see, we can solid tine aerate when it is a little wet. This process recovers much quicker
but does not remove any excess organic matter.

Solid tine aeration pattern. These holes are about 4" deep. You can see that the fairway
height grass almost hides the opening of the hole. Hence the ultra quick recovery
of solid tine aeration.

So as soon as we get some sun the greens will recover from aeration quickly and we can get our putting quality back in short period of time. Thanks as always for your support.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

New Golf Course Maintenance Equipment Arrives

We recently received a nice influx of golf course maintenance equipment from Toro at Granite Bay and wanted to share it with our members.  You can probably imagine it takes allot of different types of equipment to maintain a golf course and it all eventually wears out. We have mowers and blowers and rollers and aerifyers, just to name a few. It also takes allot of utility vehicles to move GCM workers, tools and materials around the golf course as well as moving debris and such off the golf course.

New Toro Equipment on display on the circle lawn shortly after arrival
This recent influx of new equipment are primarily replacements for older pieces of equipment giving us more flexibility and backup when we  experience unexpected malfunctions which happens more then we would like. Below are some close-ups and descriptions of the recent pieces of equipment we received for those who are interested.

Toro Triflex greens mower. This is our second  new triplex greens mower that will really help when we want to double cut greens. This mower is used exclusively on the putting surfaces.

Similar to the Toro Triflex above is a Toro 3250 triplex that is primarily used on tee's and approaches. This mower is our third "newer"  utility triplex giving us ultimate flexibility as it can operate attachments for vertical mowing and lightweight rolling.

Toro Heavy Duty Workman. These vehicles are the dump trucks of the golf course. They have the ability run many attachments. This is our fourth  however two of the older ones (10 and 20 years old) are used exclusively for spraying and topdressing leaving us two heavy duty vehicles for hauling heavy loads as we frequently do.

Toro ProForce Turbine Blower. This is our second turbine blower giving us backup flexibility as well as two to use in the fall for leaf removal. They are controlled remotely by the operator via radio.

New Toro Medium Duty Workman with new Toro greens Roller. This medium duty utility vehicle will replace one of our older ones and this new style roller will be our #1  greens roller while our older roller will become a backup. Up till now we have not had a backup for our greens roller which is huge. 

Greg operating the new Toro greens-roller today on #15 green.

Most of our equipment is equipped with wireless hour meters that communicate with our equipment maintenance program called MyTurf. It's basically a cloud based record keeping platform that automatically produces work orders for our mechanics so we can easily keep up on preventive services.

Thanks as always for your support as without it we wouldn't be able to continually upgrade our all important golf course maintenance equipment.