Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Sand, More Sand"

Old Tom Morris
A story is often told of Old Tom Morris when asked what made his greens so good. His reply was "Sand, mare sand and the Sabbath" Most courses today are not blessed with the good sandy links land of St. Andrews, but greenskeepers like Old Tom understand the benefits of sand topdressing for golf playing surfaces. It's common throughout golf to utilize sand topdressing in varying amounts and frequencies for putting surfaces yet the investment to purchase and ship quantities enough to apply to fairways is prohibitive for most operations. 

Spreading sand on fairways at Granite Bay

Light sand topdressing on the practice green

However I am happy to report that Mitch has worked his magic with the powers that be at Club Corp. and secured funding for Granite Bay to start a topdressing program not just for this season but for seasons to come. The results with sand topdressing are cumulative so as the years go by and we continue to topdress, we will  see a progressive firming of our fairway surfaces.  Our plan for this season is to double up in landing areas and around drainage inlets in the fairways which when coupled with continued emphasis on irrigation management, should help produce firmer summer surfaces this year. This is a exciting addition to our maintenance program and  we are looking forward to these multiplying results. 

Core Aeration Progress

Last Wednesday 4/25/12 the weather forecast in the morning had changed from the previous day's forecast of 70% chance of rain to a 30% chance of rain according to the weather channel. A 30% chance of precipitation on many occasions has amounted to nothing and we wanted to get going and complete the core aeration of the rough so we decided to proceede. We  core aerated the rough on holes #1, #2 & half of #4 before it started to drizzle. This drizzle evolved into light showers which stalled our cleanup process. These light showers turned into actual rain during the evening producing 1/2" of precipitation on the extracted aeration cores rendering them impossible to pick up.

Core aerating rough last week.
We actually started the fairway topdressing this morning because of more forecast-ed  rain and I didn't want to make the same mistake twice in two weeks and continue with core aeration in the rough. It is a challenge to get all of this aeration done between weather and spring time golfing events but we'll keep at it and continue to keep you informed of progress and set-backs. Thankfully the crucial areas of fairways, green surrounds and greens are completed thanks to aforementioned alternating F9 & B9 closures.

Wet aeration cores from 1/2" of rain.
Impossible to clean up until dry.

Tee Leveling & Re-Surfacing

We have gotten to that time of the year that golfing events hinder our ability to complete tasks such as core aeration of the rough prior to morning shotgun tournaments so to remain productive this week and next we plan to get some tee leveling done. This work actually works out pretty well because the turf on the tees is in decent shape and we are able to remove it, level the sub grade and put a good portion of the sod back down on the newly leveled tee. We have identified four  tee areas that are in need immediate leveling namely Tournament and Granite on #18, Granite on #13 and the Pebble Tee on #11. We understand that         there are a few more that could use some help, however these are the four levels we will take care of this spring. 

Tournament and Granite Levels of #18 tee in the process of
leveling and re-surfacing

Both levels on #18 are in the process of being completed today, Thursday 5/3/12. We will have to take some hybrid bermuda sod from the rear of Granite #13 to complete them, but plan to completely strip this tee next  week move that sod to Pebble  #11 after leveling, and replace the sod on #13 with new the week of 5/14/12. While Granite #13 is bare players will get a variety of looks with the markers placed at the rear of the club level and the front of the Tournament level.

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