Monday, February 29, 2016

Golf Course Maintenance Weekly 2/29/16

Spring has definitely been in the air the past few weeks shifting our efforts from winter projects to spring time tasks. One of those spring time tasks is a process called vertical mowing which is something we do on the greens when growth habits of the turf start to get more active.

Miguel vertical mowing #17 Green early Monday
morning.  GCM staff will come behind him and blow off
the mess then we will apply a light sand topdressing.

This is what a vertical mowing cutting unit looks like.

Vertical mowers sort of thin out the surface of a green eliminating some of the friction and aiding ball roll. If we want to get really aggressive we vertical mow the greens twice in two different directions. Typically we will go in one direction followed by a light topdressing of sand.

You might have seen these lines in the greens before
that were left by the thinning of the vertical mower.

The finishing touches of a vertical mowing operation is a
light sand topdressing. This entire operation is repeated
weekly or bi weekly in the spring and on an as needed basis
summer and fall. 

New Traffic Control Stakes

We recently made a minor change to the relatively  new Golf Cart Traffic Control protocols here at the club, which most everyone who has been taking advantage of the spectacular weather have already seen. We replaced the green and white exit stakes (stakes closest to the green) with red and white stakes. Green and white stakes still indicate where you should enter the golf hole with your cart and the red stakes indicate the area you should exit with your golf cart. Additionally we added one more red and white stake across the fairway from the three red and white exit stakes which delineates a imaginary line of sorts where carts should not proceed any further. 

New red and white stakes for exiting golf holes with
golf carts.

Golf cart exit area clearly defined on #1 with the new
red and white stakes. Green go, red stop. Pretty simple.

Irrigation Work in Progress

We added a few of our smaller irrigation heads on the south bank of the #16 green last week. As Ive mentioned on numerous occasions, these smaller heads dramatically improve irrigation coverage in areas that struggle in the summer months. These additional small sprinklers allow us to adjust the run times of  the large golf course sprinkler heads down so areas don't get to wet all the while providing superior irrigation coverage so soil moisture is properly maintained minimizing turf grass stress. 

#16 green bank getting some added irrigation coverage.

We will be starting and finishing another one of these irrigation projects along the cart path and walnut shells on #1 this coming week.

Gama getting started on adding some smaller irrigation
heads along the cart path on #1 which will extend along
the walnut shell edge today on 2/29/16.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Golf Course Maintenance Weekly 2/8/16

The rainy weather of the last few weeks has changed to spring like the end of last and for the foreseeable future.We only measured 0.09" of rain last week bringing our seasonal total to 10.43" which is -13.43" from the 24" normal for our area. Snow in the Sierras went from 116% of normal last week to 110% this week. These percentages are likely to continue to decrease as extended forecast is dry. 

FR storage increased over 67,000 acre feet
last week forcing the fed's to accelerate
release for flood control. 
The change in weather pattern did not slow Folsom reservoir down as it continued to raise to almost 600,000 acre feet so the Bureau of Land Management and the State began to release higher volumes for flood control. Despite all of this great local water storage news the SWRCB voted last week to extend the drought mandates for another nine months through the summer. Some adjustments have been made for climate that should affect our current conservation mandate of 36% and the water board did state they would re-visit the order in May after the El Nino winter had ended. The San Juan Water District also stated that the water board did mention that some "regional" adjustments could be made for regions such as ours, where storage is looking to end up above normal. Bottom line, we will still have a conservation mandate to adhere to in 2016, but the amount is likely to be less than the 36% mandate of 2015.

A cleaned up view from #17 Tee

GCM stayed on task last week and caught up on the detail work of trimming sand traps and edging cart paths. Additionally we finished the pruning near #17 culminating several weeks of work near #14 green, #15 & #16 bridge, #16 green and #17 tee. Next up for pruning starting this week is the native area along the slope on #5 fronting Roseville Parkway. Additionally we plan on  tee leveling and re sodding  of the Granite Tee on #14 and the expanding, leveling and re sodding of the drop area on #3.

Getting started on leveling and expanding
the drop area on #3 this morning.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Golf Course Maintenance Weekly Monday 2/1/16

We received just over a half of inch of rain last week here at GBGC so I wasn't really paying much attention of what was going on with Folsom Reservoir (FR). I customarily check the reservoir levels every Monday morning as a ritual of sorts and was shocked to see how much it came up last week. It came up 80,525 acre ft. in a week crossing last years level and crossing the Normal level for this time of the year. However it is the only reservoir that is above normal on the State Department of Water Resource's map of Major CA reservoirs. 

On this chart FR is the only CA reservoir
at normal

The weather station measured 0.56" of rain last week bringing our annual rain year total to 10.35" behind a 24" normal by 13.85". We did get some dry weather last week and were able to let the carts off cart paths for the first time in awhile only to have to restrict them again after weekend storm that lingered through Sunday AM. Dry weather forecasted for the week so we will be able to let carts off the path by Tuesday.

What a difference a week makes. FR surpassed last years level and went above normal

Besides mowing the golf course this week since it still will be dry, we will be trimming sand traps along with miscellaneous weedeating and edging cart paths. Trimming sand traps and associated weedeating takes the GCM staff between 80 and 100 man hours depending how we deploy the labor. As in most routine maintenance tasks we are much more productive if we put a  several maintenance staff on the task at a time as well as getting them started first thing in the morning. This job really slows down when we are caught by players which puts a premium on staying ahead of the crowd. Today, (Monday) we don't have a tournament so we deployed 5 GCM guys to get a big jump start. 

Edging Bunkers

The process includes weedeating the edges and banks followed by blowing the created clippings and debris out of the bunker. Next we rake the bunker and check sand depths on the faces. We target one to two inches of sand on the steep bunker faces as we want golf balls that hit in these areas to move down to the bottom of the bunker. That's our intent. It doesn't always work out that way as I am sure everyone has found out on a occasion or two. 

Blowing out the debris

Along with sand trap trimming we made a light application of sand topdressing to the greens this morning and will continue pruning near #17. That's our plan, any major changes I'll let you know.


Checking depth and raking bunker faces