Monday, September 26, 2016

Golf Course Maintenance Weekly 9/26/16

The 2016  Fall Equinox occurred last Thursday on the 22nd of September. This day marks the end of summer and ushers in the 90 day fall period which is the ideal a time of the year for growing and recovery of the cool season turf here at Granite Bay.  Fall is the time of the year that the irrigation requirements of the course start to substantially go down and hence the playing surfaces firm up. Additionally it is the time of the year that we can safely start the aggressive cultural practices of turf aerification, topdressing and slit seeding without risking damage.

Mid morning long shadows from the trees on the right hand side of  #1 fairway on 9/22/16, the day of the 2016 Fall Equinox.

We overseeded the tees on the course a few weeks ago. Overseeding our tees is necessary as the base turf in all teeing areas is hybrid bermuda which will turn brown in the winter during dormancy. Overseeding is the process of  slicing and seeding ryegrass into this bermuda before it goes dormant with ryegrass. The ryegrass germinates rapidly during the late summer / early fall and will give us a nice green surface to tee off of this winter. When next summer comes along, the bermuda which loves the heat will dominate the ryegrass then we will start the cycle over again next fall.

Jogi & Miguel spreading seed on a prepared
hybrid bermuda target green in the driving range.

Balander applying sand topdressing to forward target
after seeding prepared surface.

Enrique using the FW topdressor to apply
sand topdressing to overseeded driving range tee.

You probably noticed the tees got a little "hairy" or long a couple of weeks back. That was because after overseeding we allow 14 days for the new ryegrass to germinate and root down before mowing for the first time. When we did mow them for the first time last week, we mowed boxes for a entirely different look for Granite Bay. We still have a little tweaking to do to the new tee box configuration but the look has been well received by the Membership.

New "tee box" on #9

The driving range tee was overseeded this week on Monday 9/26/16 as we needed to have it available for Club Championship the weekend of September 23rd and 24th. We will give the driving range grass tee at least 4 weeks for ryegrass establishment before re-opening  which will bring us to the end of October. In the meantime we will have to use the synthetic tee line mat for practicing at the driving range.

The above course aerification schedule was first published a few weeks ago in these course updates and is worth putting out there arain as the aerification season is upon us. We are going into aerification in pretty good shape so surfaces should bounce back from these cultural practices fairly rapidly. We will be incorporating a lot of seed (10 Tons) during the process into the fairways, green surrounds and rough which will need to remain moist to germinate and establish. The inevitable wet and softness that occurs after aeration as holes are opened, soil exposed and seed incorporated will be short lived. This is because fall weather with its short days and cooler temps creates the best possible growing, recovery and rapid germination weather we could ask for. After the aerification recovery and seed germination occurs we will be able to drastically reduce irrigation and eventually get to the point where we can turn it off. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Golf Course Maintenance Weekly 9/5/16

Resurfacing #9 Tee

We have been resurfacing various tee level's  throughout the course  this season such as Club level's on #7 & #13, Granite level's on #7 & #12, Pebble level's #10 & #17 and Tournament levels on #13. Tees start out flat but become crowned or unlevel over time because of wear and sand topdressing.  Another tee level we wanted to complete this year because of some substantial crowning is the Granite and Tournament level on  #9. Below is a pictorial of fixing this level.

In addition to being crowned this entire tee level points away from the center line of the fairway so we decided to do a little more excavation then a normal re-surfacing. 

After re-locating the sod from the tee on some bad spots on the walk up to #2 tee and below the first tree on the left hand side of #2 fairway we excavating and moving some of the soil on the tee to get the entire level pointing toward the center of the #9 fairway. Additionally we decided to slightly raise the rear tournament creating the customary separation of most of our tee levels se here we are re-locating some dirt to create the raised level. 

Leveling and shaping

Finished grade. We also have been entertaining the idea of making our tee levels into tee boxes. I'll address the process and challenges of this in a separate course update but I personally feel it would be a good look for the club.  It also makes allot of sense to square this one up because of the minor changes we made. 

New hybrid bermuda turf.

Not quite a finished product but a re-surfaced and re-sodded product. The levels have been overseeded, topdressed and fertilized and should adequate for use by the Club Championship on September 23rd.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Golf Course Maintenance Weekly 8/31/16

2016 Fall Overseeding and Aerification Schedule

Twenty two days from today is the beginning of fall marked by an equal amount of daylight and nighttime. We have mentioned many times that this is the time of the year that the cool season turf at Granite Bay thrives and the time that corresponds with the  turf cultivation practices of aerification, de-thatching, inter-seeding and overseeding.  Aerification is when we poke a hole in the turf and remove a small core of grass, thatch and soil. De-thatching is when we run over the turf with machines that have verticle blades that cut a line in the turf removing excess thatch. Inter-seeding is the process of introducing seed into the turfgrass stand using a variety of techniques and methods with the goal of thickening up an areas of turf that have thinned out during the summer season. We will address the specifics of each of these procedures closer to their starting dates but since Overseeding Tees is starting next week we can address some of those details now.

Overseeding is a little different then interseeding. Overseeding is typically done in the late summer early fall to a warm season turf surface such as bermuda to keep it playable during the cooler winter months when the bermuda usually goes straw brown dormant. The tees at Granite Bay are hybrid bermuda which is very durable in the summer months but needs to be over-seeded for winter or they will be brown and more importantly susceptible to wear. Timing on overseeding is important. You need some warm weather to get the seed to germinate quickly but no too hot jeopardizing germination. We consistently start overseeding the tees right after Labor Day which will be next Tuesday 9/6/16. We do not need any course closures or alternating F9 / B9 closures for overseeding tees as we can move tee markers to different levels and work around member play. Below are some pictures of the process.

Not Granite Bay, but a good example of overseeding results. Tees and Fairways are overseeded with ryegrass and rough is not overseeded and allowed to go into complete dormancy.

Above are verticle mower blades which are used to scarify or slice tee surfaces creating a exceptional seed bed for ryegrass to germinate in.

Vertical mowing or scarifying bring up a substantial amount of thatch and organic matter that needs to be cleaned up after the process. After sweeping up the mess (above) we typically mow and then broadcast ryegrass seed.

Ryegrass seed in a spreader.

After applying seed we cover the seed with a sand topdressing.

Timing for overseeding this year will be perfect as our Club Championship will be played two weeks after overseeding. This will give the seed plenty of time to germinate and the tees to be in good shape for the Championship