Monday, March 14, 2016

Golf Course Maintenance Weekly 3/14/16

Spring Aerification Schedule

After two weeks of rain it now looks like as though the weather is going to cooperate with our aerification schedule for next week. After receiving over 4.5" of rain here at The Club over the past 10 days, the extended forecast is for dry weather with some days in the 70's. This forecast will likely bring the necessary dry conditions for putting surface aerification next week. Fairways might still be a little wet in spots but we should be fine. Below is the aerification schedule for the next  two week's.

To get all the holes filled with sand during the
aerification process we typically follow
mechanical brushing with 

Another labor intensive task of the aerification process
is the removal of the aerification cores during core aeration.

Tuesday 3/22/16 - Putting Surface Aerification Course Closed
Wednesday 3/23/16 - Fairway Aerification Front Nine Closed
Thursday 3/24/16 - Fairway Aerification Back Nine Closed

Tuesday 3/29/24 - Surrounds Aerification Front Nine Closed
Wednesday 3/30/16 - Surrounds Aerification Back Nine Closed
Thursday 3/31/16 - TBD Aerification TBD Closure 

Driving Range Improvements

The driving range has some improvements slated for 2016 and we are planning to get started on some of it this week. The overall scope of the improvements include a short fence along the left hand side of the range near the treeline to catch a large portion of range balls from proceeding past the OB line into #18. Additionally to solve the synthetic tee line drainage issues we need to reconfigure the irrigation of both driving range tee sprinklers and the turf area behind the driving range. Additionally we have some drainage panels to put under the synthetic tee line that will raise the mat slightly and allow for drainage from irrigation drift, (now that we have reconfigured direct irrigation) and rainfall. Also we have new bag stands coming which will add to the entire refreshment. 

We need to aerify the turf on the range as well along with other maintenance items which are impossible to do when the range is open. Therefore we will need to close the range at some point for a day or two which has yet to be determined but we will communicate far in advance. The work we hope to get started this week is the irrigation reconfiguration which no closure will be required.

Five gates still open this morning (Monday 3/14).  Reservoir is coming up
a little according to below FR chart.

Drought Update

There is really nothing to update other then believe it or not we are still technically in a drought despite all the rain and decent snow in the mountains. This drought has allowed  the State to move to a new normal in CA water use and I still believe it is and will be the defining issue not just for GBGC but for golf in the entire state moving forward. That being said you would think we would get some relief in the coming year when you look at the data below.

Slight up tick after the weekend storms 

Shasta now 103% of historical average and Oroville at 97%.
Great news for the State of CA.

Snow is slightly up from last week as well.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Golf Course Maintenance Weekly 3/7/16

Upcoming Golf Course Aerification

Spring aerification this year is scheduled to commence on Tuesday March 22nd weather permitting. The process of aerification and its associated cleanup cannot be done in wet conditions. Typically we would need a few days of dry weather to start the process on the greens and up to a week of dry weather before we can attempt starting  the fairways. Fortunately for now the extended forecast has wet weather through this coming Monday 3/14/16 then a dry, partly cloudy to sunny pattern through Monday 3/21/16. This should be perfect if it holds up, however we need to remain flexible if the forecast changes. I will update status, aerification details and course closures next week.

It needs to be dry to clean this mess up properly.

Drought Update

Our weather station here at GBGC measured 1.72" of rain from last Friday 3/4/16 through the Sunday 3/6/16. This brings our rainfall seasonal total here at GBGC to 13.16", over 11" behind the seasonal average of 24" for this area. The CIMIS weather station in Fair Oaks (#131) has recorded 13" through 3/7/16. I check this station frequently as a comparison and calibration to our on course weather station and there are storm events where we measure more precipitation here and others where the CIMIS station measures more. But as you can see, our totals are pretty close.

FR level as of 3/9/16.  I dont know if the level is an all time high for this
time of year but it has surpassed the 1982-1983 wettest year mark for March 9th.

Five flood gates open at FR releasing over 15,000 cfs. First time they have
been open since 2011 according to news reports.

Although our local rainfall accumulation is not overly impressive, I am hopeful other events statewide will bring us closer to easing drought restrictions in 2016. The reservoir near and dear to our hearts, Folsom Reservoir (FR) opened 5 spillways on Wednesday releasing over 15,000 cubic feet per second (cfc) for flood control. The politics of FR's release protocols are complicated however despite these releases the reservoir is now forcasted to be at capacity  after the Sierra snow melts this spring. Will FR's filling be enough to ease drought restrictions in 2016? Only time will tell.

State lake levels as of 3/9/16. Shasta and Oroville are almost
at historical average.

Best news for this drought is the snow water content
 is just below historical average.

GCM Working On More Irrigation This Week

We got started on another little irrigation project this week as well as cleaning up after trees the fell during last weeks storms. We needed to move some irrigation heads near the Granite tees on #13 to improve coverage in the area which we walk up to this teeing surface. After the irrigation improvement we plan to do some soil modification and re-sodding making this summer eye sore disappear.

Gama and his crew working on moving a
sprinkler head near #13 Granite Tee.

The walk-up area to #13 Granite Tee gets a little suspect
in the summer months. First things first, get the
irrigation right, a little sod, we should be good to go.

Walnut Shell Maintenance

In the spirit of proactive communication I wanted to address our walnut shell areas breifly. One unique feature of GBGC is the 5-1/2 acres of walnut shell areas under many of our native oak trees. These shelled areas are can be very attractive and a decent surface to play out of, but can get sparse and displaced particularly during the winter months. This is because walnut shell material it self is pretty unstable during rain events which is why refreshing them during this time of the year is counter productive. We have to purchase the shells early in the season as that is when they are available, however if we spread them out on the course at this time of the year we run the risk in a moderate to heavy rain event of having them all wash out onto the course. This year we are hoping to get the shells out in April sometime.

Walnut shell areas do get thin in the winter. The unstable nature of the material
keeps us from refreshing before the rainy season is over.

Walnut shells are already on the ground for 2016.
Once the rainy season is over, we will
put them out.