Friday, August 12, 2011

Practice Area Progress

We are excited about the progress that has been made on the renovation of the short game practice area between the range and #7 green. As I mentioned in the last update, the project is the brainchild of our own Craig Johns, and he has been working closely with the Granite Bay Golf Course Maintenance Department with design specifics. It is obvious that Craig has given the area allot of thought , contemplating the different  short game shots that Granite Bay provides and trying to replicate them into the limited area we have. It is also apparent that he has been consulting with anyone in the membership that has opinions on the area making this a truly collaborative effort on all fronts.  

Granite Bay practice area prior to renovation

Its hard to see from this picture but the area below the
actual usable area below the green has been brought up
over 24"We estimate we have hauled in close to 200 yards of "old
bunker sand" to this area alone

We are trying to progress as quickly as possible not only to get the area back in play but also get some warm season turf established ( hybrid bermuda ) which will provide durability to the area which I believe is important. Hybrid bermuda sprigs are to be installed on Wednesday the 24th so we have only next week and a couple days of the following to wrap up. Below is a re-cap of progress prepared by Craig for the Granite Bay Golf Committee which details progress to date.

                       Granite Bay Golf Club
Short Game Practice Area Remodel Project
Golf Committee Update – August 8, 2011

                      Submitted by Craig Johns

(1) Removal of the three, scrawny blue oak saps previously located below and to the right (as one would look from the lowest topo point, away from the Club entrance road) of the chipping green;
(2) Cut and fill of the practice bunker area closest to #7 Green and substantial grading of entire left side of practice green area to create ‘softer’ slopes and enlarged area from which to practice downhill chip and pitch shots;
(3) Import and distribution of many hundreds of cubic yards of fill soil on and around the shallowest areas of the "fairway" and "rough" hitting areas, thus raising the overall level of the entire practice facility;
(4) Grading areas above the existing green to create ‘softer’ slopes and enlarged area from which to practice downhill chip and pitch shots;
(5) Grading of areas to the left and in front of the existing green in preparation for expansion of green overall;
(6) Cut and fill of practice bunker area to the right side of the existing green (closest to the Driving Range) in preparation for creation of two (2) new practice bunkers, both located on right side of green, and creation of large ‘median’ between two anticipated bunkers that will be seeded to fairway height to provide new variation of side hill chip and pitch shots.
There still remains much work to complete before the Remodel Project can be declared complete. Some of the major items remaining include:
(1) Final shaping and completion of the two new practice bunkers, including sub-drainage system similar to on-course bunkers;
(2) Bermuda seeding of entire practice area upon final grading of lower green and bunker surrounds;
(3) Installation of expanded irrigation system to accommodate expanded green complex
(4) Installation of higher protective nets along entire length of Short Game Practice Area.

Santiago shaping the area around the new bunker's
on the right hand side of the green. Upper bunker will
be a shallow bunker, the lower one will be a deep one.
Hauling in soil to shape the new bunkers.

Excavating the green cavity for expansion. A layer of gravel
will be placed in the bottom of this cavity followed by 
twelve inches of a 80/20 mix of sand and peat moss.

Jackson Johns doing a little shaping
with Santiago.

Summer Course Conditions

Course conditions have remained good through the summer so far. The weather has been very kind for cool season turf although it is still summer and it is a constant battle between too wet and too dry. I am particularly happy with our green surrounds this year as we have put allot of effort into those areas to combat the mediocrity we experienced in summer's past. Irrigation enhancements, different fertility regimen's, preventive applications for our chronic southern blight problems. e have grass is areas where there typically was very little in summers past and can look now at these important areas as a Granite Bay sucess story.

Putting surfaces are much healthier then last year. Improved root depth, overall lack of anaerobic black layer and dense stand of turf are all indicators of conditions that are improving. This improvement has allowed us to employ some strategies that can with diligence reduce our poa annua populations on our greens. This will hopefully create more  putting consistency, an area I believe needs to be improved upon.

Prepping a new on #5. Has since been re-surfaced
with hybrid bermuda stripped from the old
short game area.
Ten years ago we started replacing the bentgrass turf on our tees with  more durable, summer tolerant  hybrid bermuda. The practice area renovation had allot hybrid bermuda in and around it and during initial stages of renovation we we able to move this sod to some old bentgrass tees. All of the  tee surfaces on the west side of Linda Creek & Georges lake have now been replaced with hybrid bermuda and we hopefully will have the remaining tees finished by the end of summer. Tees left for resurfacing are #2 Tournament & Club, #4 Club & Pebble, #11 Club, #12 Tournament, #17 Tournament.

We went into 2011 with a plan prevent mediocrity on and around the greens, finish the renovation of the bunkers and finish the re-surfacing of the old bentgrass tees. Renovation of the practice area got thrown into the mix at some point but we are still tracking to meet  initial goals. There is still much to do in the way of tree pruning and brush clearing  starting in the triangle of native that skirts #13, #14 & #15. We have our sights set on more irrigation system enhancements of the same type we installed around greens throughout the course to improve  irrigation coverage. These enhancements have proven to create better environments for turf health and playability because soil moisture is easier to maintain at perfect levels rather then too wet or too dry. Additionally we hope to get some capitol funding approved for some cart path curbing around greens and tees which protect the turf in these areas and allow the elimination of cumbersome stakes , chains and those ugly traffic blocks. Even more importantly were hoping to get capitol for more practice area / driving range enhancements in 2012. More details on these improvements to come, but as you can see the plan is to continue to move the course and club forward. We couldn't do it without your support.  

Thank you.

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