Monday, March 25, 2019

Spring Aerification Update Part III

When I looked at the hourly weather forecast on Saturday morning, I had my doubts that we would be able to aerate greens on Monday 3/25/19 as planned. However when checking again on Sunday I was pleasantly surprised to find the impending storm had pushed to later into the afternoon, and we were just able to get greens 1-18 & Upper PG completed before it started raining. 

The hourly forecast from this AM. Luck of the Irish.
Below is a quick pictorial of the process we just completed. We've provided this step by step pictorial before but for those who might just be starting to follow these updates and are interested, here you go.

First step is to core aerate. This process removes the little core of grass, roots and
associated soil relieving compaction by removing some excess organic matter. These
holes are the avenues that allow much needed air to the root zone of  the putting surface.

 Second step is to remove the cores. We remove the cores with a machine
called a core harvester. This is the machine that allows us to complete
19 to 21 greens in a day.

Core Harvester first lifting, then ejecting cores and soil into the back of a utility vehicle

Third step is to apply sand topdressing. We purchases a very high grade
USGA spec, kiln dried sand  to fill the aeration holes and firm the surface. 
Fourth step for us is another type of aeration called deep tine aeration.
The above mentioned core aeration penetrates to a depth of about 4"
whereas deep tine aeration penetrates up to 8". Even though this process
 does not extract a core it facilitates deep drainage and air deeper in the
root zone hopefully  encouraging deeper rooting.

Fifth step is brushing in the topdressing sand. Since we start this process before sun up,
and even though we use kiln dried sand we normally wait for the morning dew to subside
before we start brushing the topdressing sand into the greens as it brushes in nice when
it is bone dry. Today was a different story as we were racing to beat a rain storm.

#15 green brushed in the dark this AM. A substantial amount of this sand did not
 flow real well into the aeration holes because of the predawn dampness. Good news
is there is close to 2" of rain forecasted for the next three days and that amount of
rainfall will wash allot of this sand into the turf canopy and aeration holes.
Closeup of #16 green that was brushed towards the end of the day today before the
rain started. Much better overall filling of the aeration holes. 
There is still allot of what we call "tweaking" that we do to the greens after this initial aeration to get the holes covered and the surfaces firm, and back to pre-aeration putting quality. These "tweaking" practices include additional lighter topdressing's, fertility applications, seeding, rolling and vertical mowing which helps get the sand into the turf canopy and grass to cover the holes. Weather permitting we can usually get the holes covered in a week to two and back to pre-aeration putting quality in four weeks.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Spring Aerification Update Part II

Our planned putting surface aerification for Monday 3/25/19 is now in jeopardy as the forecast for rainfall has gotten worse. Rather then being sunny and dry on Sunday and dry until the afternoon on Monday, the forecast now is for partly cloudy conditions on Sunday along with off and on showers throughout the day on Monday. Unfortunately, as I stated in the preceding update, this work cannot be done when it is too wet or certainly not in the rain.

Current Weather Underground Forecast

As far as process goes, we are not going to change the process of how we aerate greens because of a setback with spring wet weather. The potential of weather setbacks were always a reality when we moved GBGC's traditional spring aeration dates back to March from April several years ago. Bottom line is we have to take care of the green's and core aerification is one of those necessary procedures that must be done to help ensure  healthy greens during the upcoming Granite Bay summer.

Core Aerfication of #17 Green at GBGC

With fairways, surrounds & rough we can change up our process a little. Rather then coring these areas we can use a solid tine which just pokes a hole in the surface as opposed to removing the core. This "solid-tine cultivation" process can be done when soil moisture levels are higher and require no real cleanup. Therefore we wont need to change our current two week schedule because the solid tine process could be done ahead of golf play and with little disruption of the surface. We relied on solid-tine aeration on the fairways last spring when confronted with the same weather situation.

Solid Tine Aerifyer - Tine Closeup

Solid Tine Cultivation Pattern

So our current plan is to aerate the greens on Monday 3/25/19 as planned if we can. Tuesday 3/26 through Thursday 3/28's current forecast is not much better then Monday. However if it changes we will jump on any opportunity to get the greens done if we couldn't on Monday, or jump on fairways or surrounds if we did. Current forecast is for  clearing on Friday 3/29 through Saturday 3/30 and hopefully that trend will hold. So if we are not able to aerate greens on Monday 3/25/19 or afterwards, we will do it on Monday 4/1/19, one week later. Hopefully.

We will keep you informed of this fluid scheduling scenario. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Spring Aerification Update

We are scheduled to start our spring turf aerification this coming week on Monday 3/25/19. Our plan is to aerify greens on Monday when the golf course will be closed, then start on fairways and green surrounds on Tuesday 3/26/19 through Thursday 3/28/19 utilizing alternating front nine and back nine closures. The following week we have the same schedule planned of alternating closures Tuesday 4/2/19 through Thursday 4/4/19 to finish fairways and surrounds.  However it looks like the weather might spoil our plans as none of this work can be done in the rain or when it is too wet.

Current Weather Underground forecast

 We are still planning to move ahead with the greens as it is forecasted to be dry all day Sunday then start raining again later in the day on Monday. This could be a big enough window to get the greens done but as we all know, six day out weather forecasts can change. 

We will keep you informed of all delays and  aeration re-scheduling as we get closer to the end of this week.  Thanks

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Spring is in the Air

The Spring Equinox this year is next Wednesday 3/20/19 and will be marked  by a Full Super Moon. Weather forecast for this day is currently cloudy with showers, but we should be able to see this Super Moon the next morning or evening if one is so inclined. This upcoming spring of 2019 was proceeded by one of the wettest winters we have had in 14 years of weather tracking with our GBGC weather station. February of 2019 was the wettest February in 14 years and by all measure's  current Statewide Reservoir Conditions as well as the current Snow Conditions and the reservoir that is nearest and dearest to our hearts, Folsom Reservoir, will all be in good shape for irrigation water this year.

Precipitation Data from GBGC's weather station

Walnut Shell Washouts

Our course actually takes rainfall very well as we are blessed with a topography that allows most of this water to quickly runoff  to our drainage system. Walnut shell areas are a different story as they are unstable and when they wash out,  the native soil becomes exposed and has eroded in may areas along cart paths and turf edges. Our plan is to actually add and compact some decomposed granite in some of these degraded areas prior to refreshing the walnut shells this spring. We are hoping to get this work done concurrently with our upcoming spring aeration.

Walnut shell & soil washout #12 tee

Washout along cart path #2.

Spring Aeration

This years spring aeration is scheduled to start Monday 3/25/19. Current weather forecast is for some rain  ahead of our scheduled start so we keep everyone informed of any schedule changes due to the weather.

Current forecast

Bunker Repair

Fortunately much of the rain that has fallen this winter has been sustained, steady rain with a minimal amount of hard rain events that severely washout our sand traps. Even though we haven't had any severe washouts, it seems like we have been in a state of constant bunker recovery the month of February. Once it dried out this past week we did take a opportunity to do some much needed sod repair around green side bunkers on #1, #4 & #18. We plan to address some more of this work on green side bunkers on #15 next week. 

New sod work green side bunker #4 green

additional sod work # 18 green rear

New Driving Range Mats & Clocks

Last week we upgraded our driving range mats to Turf Hound teeing surfaces. The new mats have better options for hitting off tight lies or a simulated rough cut along with much better options for using a tee. Due to arrive any time are two clocks, one for behind the driving range and another for the #1 tee and practice green. We will install these as soon as they arrive.

Newly installed TurfHound Mats

Similar clock design that will be arriving
to The Club any day

Turf Conversion Project Update

We are currently on track to complete the re-grassing of  the remaining surrounds on the golf course along with #17 fairway with hybrid bermuda starting August 1. The contractor we have selected estimates it will take three weeks to complete the slated work. We will not be completely closed during construction but will be utilizing some temporary greens while working on certain holes and will have to close #17 during parts of the construction process. Much, much more to come.


There will be allot going on at the course this year as we approach spring and commencement of a a turf renovation project later this summer. We will communicate on many fronts from the golf shop daily e-mail blasts as well as the Granite Bay Course Update website. If any member is interested in getting notifications when the Granite Bay Course Update has posted some new information you can "follow by e-mail" in the top right hand corner of the website. My intention is to update more frequently this year as we do have allot going on. Thanks as always for your support.