Tuesday, August 29, 2017

23 Days Left of Summer

New Assistant Superintendents - Miguel & Ryan

We began the search for Jogi's replacement immediately after he announced he was leaving Granite Bay to take a new Golf Course Superintendent position at Empire Ranch Golf Club. We didn't have to look far as Miguel Machuca was already in place and eager to accept the added responsibility. Miguel and I have been working together for 15 years taking care of golf courses locally with Club Corp and he joined the staff here at Granite Bay in 2010. Miguel is well respected by the GCM staff as well as the GBGC Membership and has a "lead by example approach" to training and instructing young greenskeepers. I refer to him as the "meticulous one" because of his tireless attention to detail.

Ryan Mooney & Miguel Machuca
To fill Miguel's spot we went outside of the GBGC golf course maintenance department and were fortunate to land Ryan Mooney from most recently Woodcreek Golf Club in Roseville.  Ryan worked summer jobs at Cobblestone Creek CC in Victor, NY while pursuing his BA degree in History from St. John Fischer College. He couldn't get golf out of his system while pursing a teaching or museum position to go along with that history degree, so  he decided to go back to school and get a turf degree and pursue a career as a Golf Course Superintendent. His Turf Certificate from UC Riverside lead him to a internship at the Riviera CC for a couple of years and a season at Valley Hi in Elk Grove. One of  Ryan's primary task's will be selective perennial weed control here at GBGC so we are very much looking forward to his success in this area and his addition to our GCM staff.

Summer Blues - Only 23 Days Left!

Jogi's has always said that 1996 was the hottest year we ever experienced here at Granite Bay Golf Club logging 35 days over 100 degrees. However by all measurements 2017 has been the hottest in at least the last 9 years.  Our weather station here the the club has recorded 24 days above 100 degrees so far. Of those 100 degree days 7 were 105 degrees, 1 was 106 degrees and 3 were 107 degrees. What made these numbers even worse was the intensity of two distinct heat waves. The first one was in the very first part of June (6/18 - 6/23) where we had 6 days where the average high temperature was 106 degrees. There was somewhat a reprieve through the rest of  June, then we got hit with the second distinct heat wave in early July (7/6 - 7/10) which lasted 5 days that averaged 103 degrees for the high. 90 degree Summer heat records were set in Sacramento and reflected at the course as there was not one day in the month of July where the high temperature was below 90 degrees. In fact the lowest high temperature we recorded in July was 93 degrees on 7/1. It never got any better then that.

Above is a synopsis of summer heat weather data compiled from our weather station for the last 9 years. The data for 2017 YTD is through August 28. Accuweather forecast for Granite Bay has another 6 days of triple digits in their forecast which will move 2017 numbers even higher. 

Everything we do in the summer is a reaction to heat and what it does to our cool season turf. Heat is what drives us to rope off areas to mitigate the effects of traffic. Heat is the main contributor of weeds, disease and insects thriving in the summer and the reaction from GCM to mitigate their damages despite all of our proactive measures to prevent them. It is unfortunate that the effort to hold on to what turf we have through the summer conflict with fast and firm playing surfaces that golfers desire. However finishing up the summer with a viable stand of turf where we don't need to do massive amounts of reseeding is in everyone's best interest.

Summer Weeds

Last year in July, I wrote about  Granite Bay Golf Club Perennial Weed Control and have linked those articles above. The details regarding perennial weed varieties we battle here at Granite Bay and options for control  were actually outlined pretty well so if you are interested in those details click on the link.

Some weed control updates are worth addressing however that reveal more insight into the control task at hand. The Knotgrass mentioned in the above updates has gotten worse, not better this season likely due to the intensity of the summer, fertility levels and moisture content. We are currently using the same strategy of spot treating areas with a selective herbicide  however we are going to step up application frequency's and rates. This might seem like the "definition of insanity" but it is all we are resourced to do at the moment. Hopefully the intensified strategy will push this weed back enough to mitigate the amount of re-sodding we plan on doing next season, which is the strategy we will be budgeting for in 2018.

Recent selective herbicide application on Knotgrass is doing it's job.

Dallisgrass is another perennial weed we fight here at GBGC however I'm not as concerned about it as it's somewhat slow to spread. Still difficult to control with selective herbicides but we don't have large populations in the primary playing surfaces and Typically control it in those areas by just digging it out and covering hole with divot mix and seed. We do apply the same  herbicide strategy for Knotgrass to Dallisgrass in the periphery and have had some containment success.

Dallisgrass at GBGC

Goosegrass being controlled selectively

Only 23 More Days!

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