Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Is Here





The Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is next week on Wednesday June 21, 2017. This marks the beginning of the most difficult time for the cool season grasses which is the type of grass playing surfaces we have here at Granite Bay. Things can get interesting during this time which stretches from the Summer Solstice to the Fall Equinox on Friday September 22, 2017. Why this is the most difficult time for our course is in part due to:

  • Extensive heat causes cool season turf to be more susceptible to disease & insect damage, weed infestation & heat stress and wilt.
  • It is a challenge  to keep the course as firm as we would all like it because of the amount of irrigation required to keep it viable and alive.
  • It is a time of year of high golfing activity which compound the above mentioned stresses.



What Are Our Plans?

We are in pretty good shape going into this stressful summer season and that can go a long  way towards our inevitable success. Currently however there is a heatwave forecasted during 2017 Mac Cup that has six consecutive 100 degree days predicted. Those kind of stretches have always left a mark on this golf course.  So sucess will be sustaining as much turf  as we can through the  summer so as to minimize our recovery efforts in the fall. The plans to achieve this success is twofold: Manage Irrigation & Control Cart Traffic

Manage the Irrigation

Irrigation management is constant. We make daily adjustments to the individual sprinkler head control that has been recently expanded. We treat areas of the course with surfactants or wetting agents that aid in both water movement where where we need to move irrigation into the soil,  as well as retention where the soil needs some help in holding onto the irrigation that has been applied. We shift GCM personnel resources into hand watering because no matter how sophisticated a irrigation system is, there is no substitute for a guy on a hose.  


There is no substitute for a man on a hose


We understand the traditional inconsistencies with areas of the course that can get soft and we are ever striving to improve them as well as micro-managing of the irrigation system in these areas. Our decomposed granite soil's and cool season grass varieties make this a ongoing challenge but I believe we have made progress over the years. That being said it is inevitable that the the ups and downs of a summer season will lead to periods of the course getting on both the wet & dry side. 



Control Cart Traffic

Granite Bay Golf Clubs Scatter Definition is:

Golf Carts can scatter on the course by entering by entering at designated entry points defined by green and white stakes. Once in the fairway you are free to scatter while in and among the fairway. Please exit the fairway or rough at the designated exit point designated by red and white stakes.


Enter



Exit

Additional precautions and strategy's to protect the course besides the scatter rules include restricting traffic to entire golf holes although limiting this practice when we can to only one hole per nine. Additionally when temperatures are forecasted to be over the century mark, we will call for cart path only in the afternoons.


Results of golf cart traffic driving on stressed turf during the summer.

How can Members Help?

By understanding that cart operation on the turf surfaces during the summer months is stressful. Please utilize cart paths as much a possible.  Additionally follow the scatter rule and drive on green healthy grass avoiding brown, stressed grass.


The Drought is Over 

One thing we wont be talking about is drought restrictions in 2017. Due to almost record rainfall  & snow accumulation in most parts of the State, our reservoirs and aquifers have been replenished. However the drought of 2013 has changed the way many of us look at water policy and use. The State will continue to exert it's authority over water purchase and use and we at Granite Bay will have to stay on top of these inevitable changes. We are currently forecasting to be 25% below a State calculated MAWA Water Budget (maximum allowable water allocation) for the 2017 season and have had a good conservation story since this game changing drought of 2013 started.

Current Folsom Reservoir level. 2017 was one wild graph line !

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