Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friendship Rain

We finally got some  rain on the first day of the GBWGC 2014 Friendship Cup. The rain started falling around 7:30 AM and when when it finally stopped the Granite Bay Golf Club weather station measured a 1/2" of much welcomed rain. Maybe not so welcome for the Ladies, who were delayed for a couple of hours and had to keep carts off the course for a day, but welcome for fire fighters and drought watchers and really all of us in Northern California. 

This 1/2" that we received will bring  our 2013-2014 (Sept.- Oct.) rain season total to 16.40". This will leave us (7.80") below the annual average for our area of  24.20"and more importantly (14.13") below the cumulative 3 year drought  deficit. Folsom Reservoir will finish off the season slightly lower then it did in 2013. There have been various forecasts predicting a La Nina Weather Pattern forming in the pacific this coming rain season. Currently the The NOAA's National Weather Service is forecasting a "65% chance of El Nino emerging in fall and early winter. Forecasters favor a weak event." Any of us who pay any attention at all to weather forecasting know that the predictions are often inaccurate and realize that we are just going to have to wait and see. That being said, this current drought will change the way all of us in Northern CA are going to look at water use moving forward. Broad bi-partisan support of upcoming Water Bonds and Historic Groundwater Legislation along with substantial movement on the California Water Plan indicate that even when Folsom is full again, it wont be business as usual when it comes to water use for all of us in this area.

Granite Bay Golf Clubs 2014 Conservation Efforts

The Clubs efforts in water conservation this year has been successful for all of the water meters we manage on the property. The San Juan Water District (SJWD) had a mandatory 25% reduction in water use in place since the beginning of the fiscal year. We have purchased 31% less non potable water  for golf course irrigation at this point in the season then we purchased in 2013 along with 31% less potable water used in the Clubhouse and Golf Shop. When we compare our 2014 water use to a State of California Maximum Allowable Water Allocation (MAWA) water budget, our golf course irrigation use will be 25% to 28% lower at the end of the year.

Dog Days of Summer

We have spent a lot of time and effort on irrigation management in response to this drought this year and with the help of slightly milder then normal weather this summer the golf course seemed to get through it pretty well. We didn't experience any major health issues with the turf, however conditions at the end of September are still a little summer worn. We did experience some inconsistencies with putting surface performance which we will continue to work through. Perennial weeds such as Dallas Grass and Knotgrass are weeds that we persistently fight at the end of the season because of their perennial nature to reemerge every year from their roots. We have been substantially more aggressive this summer with late season treatments yielding some success and plan on the same continued sustained battle for as long as it takes us to control & eradicate  these nasty weeds.


Treated Knotgrass fading

Dyeing weeds surrounded by good turf

Another late summer pest we have to contend with is Skunk & Raccoon damage. These night feeding mammals are primarily going after White Grubs as a food source, which we annually treat the golf course to prevent. Most of the damage we are experiencing this year is in the fairways and from skunks. Its standard operating procedure to check for insect activity when Skunk or Raccoon damage is evident and when checking this year we are finding none. Yet the almost nightly damage continues. We displace the skunks that we are able to catch but more just seem to keep coming. I suspect there are a lot of hungry skunks out there with a limited food and water source's due to three years of drought so our course is the best place to forage.

White Grub
Skunk Damage

Upcoming Aerification

We have been aerating and over seeding tees around club events for the past two weeks since mid September. Now that the Friendship Cup has concluded we can finish the forward tees and hybrid bermuda approaches on #14 & #16. Along with completing the over seeding, below is the 2014 fall aerification schedule.

Week of September 29.          Aerification & Over Seeding of Forward Hybrid Bermuda Tees
Week of October 6.                Greens & Fairway Aerification
                                                              10/7/14 - Putting Surface Aerification
                                                              Course Closed
                                                              10/8/14 - Back 9 Fairway Aerification
                                                              Back 9 Closed
                                                              10/9/14 - Front 9 Fairway Aerification
                                                              Front 9 Closed
Week of October 13.              Completion of Fairway & Green Surrounds Aerification
                                                               10/14/14 - Front 9 Closed
                                                               10/15/14 - Back 9 Closed
                                                               10/16/14 - TBD       
Weeks of October 20 &27     Core Aerification of  All Rough Areas
                                                               No Course Closures

Smoky sunrise above a freshly over seeded Granite tee on #10