As I mentioned in the previous newsletter that we were planning to initiate a pro-active traffic control program here at Granite Bay. Golf carts are a part of everyday life in golf and with that reality comes a major stress for turf especially as the weather starts to heat up. We have all witnessed what golf cart traffic can do to the turf. We have started this program and have already noticed a difference with turf quality on two of our most challenged areas as far as traffic is concerned, holes #10 & #6. We have alternated closing these holes to cart traffic with success and plan to continue through the summer months.
When we installed the concrete cart path to the left-hand side of the #12 green we never intended to use it 100% of the time. If we did the turf directly adjacent to the entrance of the path would be worn to dirt. This is why we alternate opening & closing that path to keep the adjacent turf from wearing out to dirt. We installed that path because from what I understand the left hand exit was the traditional exit before the installation of the original paths and crossing the fairway with a path then would have been aesthetically unacceptable. The preferable traffic pattern when the left-hand path is closed would be to the right and around the green.
To the left and around the green is also the preferable traffic pattern on #10 where the same original design principles applied, avoiding at all costs crossing the fairway with a cart path. A majority of cart traffic gravitating to the left on this hole is what creates the one of the biggest traffic control issues on the course. The flow of traffic goes to the left to #11 tee, which I also assume was tradition, trampling down a narrow band of turf to the walnut shells behind the tee. The more traffic that can get in the habit of going right and around the green will help this area immensely and potentially limit the hole's closure.
Another traffic control myth, in my opinion is the use of the 90-degree rule saves turf. For one, most people don’t use it and if they do, they go 90 degrees to the rough line and wear out the rough. Scattering golf cart traffic rather then channeling is much better for the turf. I would much rather carts use the simple rules of;
- Using paths as much / whenever possible
- Follow the directional signs
- Avoid driving on stressed turf