Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Project at GBGC Update #8

The contractors second day at Granite Bay was a productive one and has given us a chance to predict a tentative timeline of how the work is going to proceed. Sod installation is confirmed to start next Tuesday 8/6/19 and we will be working through this coming weekend to get and stay ahead of them. There will be several stripped surrounds with no grass on them this weekend with drop areas in front of the greens and since we will be working there will be three holes closed at any given time one of them being #17. 

Drop Area in the approach of #18.

Estimated Timeline

  • Thursday 8/1/19 - Pulverize #17 Fairway. Strip Sod #'s 14 & 13.
  • Friday 8/2/19 - Float #17 Fairway. Strip Sod #'s 15 & 10.
  • Saturday 8/3/19 - Compact #17 Fairway. Strip Sod # 11
  • Sunday 8/4/19 - Fine Grade #17 Fairway. Strip Sod # 2.
  • Monday 8/5/19 - Final  #17 Fairway. Strip Sod #'s 8 & 9. Tree Pruning #13-14.
  • Tuesday 8/6/19  - Sod Install Begins. Strip Sod #'s 1 & 4. Tree Pruning #17
  • Wednesday 8/7/19 - Sod Install Continues. Strip Sod #12. Tree Pruning #10
  • Thursday 8/8/19 - Friday 8/9/19 Sod Install Continues.
  • Monday 8/12/19 - Tuesday 8/11/19 Sod Install Complete.

If we are able to hold to the above timeline, and that is a big if,  this coming weekend 8/3/19 - 8/4/19 we would have 5 to 7 holes that would be stripped with a drop area in the approach and two holes in addition to #17 closed while we are working. The following weekend 8/10/19 - 8/11/19 we would have 17 holes open with some sodded surrounds and some stripped surrounds.  And by the weekend of 8/17/19 - 8/18/19 we should have 17 holes open with drop areas in the approach and new sod in the surrounds.   #17 will remain closed until it is ready and it will not be ready by Mini Mac. Again, the above time table is just an estimate. We'll keep you appraised.             

Progress Pictures from Today

Enrique restoring left hand fairway bunker on #17

Restored bunker fingers on #17

Stripping sod on #16

Stripped sod around #18 green

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Project at GBGC Update #7

Everything went according to plan today, Tuesday 7/30/19 as the contractor arrived and got started and we moved most of the sand we needed for #17 fairway (see pictures below). We had holes 16 through 18 closed primarily to accommodate moving sand into #17, but our contractor got started on stripping sod from #18 as well.

#18 surround sod removal in process with approach sod not being replace in this 2019 phase.
This will be where we have drop zones while area is awaiting sodding as well as new sod establishment.

Our goal is to not have any more then three holes closed at any one time during this process and #17 will always be one of them. We are not replacing approaches like we did last year on #'s 3, 5-7 so there will always be a drop area with grass to hit into the green when a surround has been stripped but not sodded yet. Therefore hole #'s 16-18 will be closed again tomorrow as the contractor will be preparing these holes for sod. There is a chance we will start stripping #14 as well tomorrow but will have a drop area open on #18 if that is the case. 

We will communicate  all hole closures during the this 2019 phase of The Project 
through morning email, this course update and on course signs.

Sod is not scheduled to start being installed until next Tuesday 8/6/19 so there will be several holes with drop areas in the approach waiting for sod installation over the next couple of weeks. Below are pictures of today's progress on #17.

#17 Progress

Piles of sand being deposited and spread on #17 FW.

Sand being graded to the proper depth on #17

Contractor working on stripping sod from #17 surround.

Contractor working on stripping sod on #18.

The Project at GBGC Update #6

As a reminder today Tuesday 7/30/19 we will be closing hole #'s 16 through 18 to accommodate moving  all of the sand in the north end of the parking lot onto #17 fairway. We should be able to open holes back up tomorrow barring any mechanical difficulties. Pulverization of #17 fairway is scheduled for the morning of Thursday 8/1/19. Additionally we are have some tree pruning done by Arborwell in conjunction with The Project to create a better light environment for turf and we they are working on hole #2. We  have cart traffic detoured in front of the green and to the left to accommodate this work as well. Below are some pictures of yesterday's progress on The Project.

Routing cart traffic around #2 green to the left to accommodate tree pruning

Newly trimmed tree behind #2 green

Trenching new sprinkler wires on #17 fairway

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Project at GBGC Update #5

Next week we will start the 2019 phase of our turf conversion so want to provide a update for interested members. I'll start by apologizing for unexpected closure to hole #17 again today, 7/25/19. We are doing some vertical mowing work on #17 (see below pictures) that we thought would wrap up before anyone got there. Unfortunately that was not the case so we had to close the hole until 1:30 PM at which time it will re-open to both cart traffic and play through Sunday 7/28/19. After that it will be closed for turf renovation until it is ready to be opened.

Apologies for the unexpected closure on Thursday 7/25/19. 

Below are some pictures of the work we are doing prior to the contractors arrival this coming Monday 7/29/19. We'll have a better timeline when they arrive and we have a chance strategize. As promised we'll share dates and times of processes that might be of interest to our members through this course update. 

The project is more than just the right turf for GBGC. It also includes irrigation
modifications that allow us to control the water on the fairway and rough
edges independently. This allows for less irrigation on the fairways which 

hybrid bermuda likes, resulting in a firmer surface with more ball roll

Here is an example of the "in  & out" irrigation head modification in process.

Vertical mowing this morning Thursday 7/25/19 to remove much of the organic on 
#17 FW prior to pulverization. We plan to repeat the process depicted 3 to 4 times.

Sweepers picking up the mess created by the vertical mower

Sand being stockpiled in the parking lot for incorporation into the #17 fairway 
profile. We have to move all of that sand onto the fairway on Tuesday 7/30/19.
Members will play holes on #'s 1-15 on that day and exit back to the CH on #10
cart path that day so we can complete that work uninterrupted.

Monday 7/29/19 -  Mobilization and  Strategy Session with Contractor. 
Tuesday 7/30/19 - Move Sand Cap Sand onto #17. Prepare #17 for Pulverization.
Member play will be on holes 1-15 on this day, skipping #16, #17, #18 so this work can be completed uninterrupted. Hole HDCP on #16 is 6 so players with HDCP's 6 & above score a bogey, 5 & below a par. Hole HDCP #18 is 8 so player HDCP's 8 & above score a bogey, 7 & below a par.
Wednesday 7/31/19 - Complete Irrigation Modifications on #17. 
Thursday 8/2/19 - Pulverization #17.  Tentative

Friday, July 19, 2019

The Project at GBGC Update #4

We briefly wanted to update everyone on the 2019 phase of Granite Bay's turf conversion or what Mr. Peabody affectionately calls "The Project". We will be using this course update several times a week  to spread the word during the construction process that is getting ready to start on 7/30/19.  A simple web search of will get you to the latest information and if one desires to go deeper into the history of this "in process" turf conversion you can click on the Hybrid Bermuda label and see all that we've written. And if you want to get even deeper into the weeds with this stuff, sign up for email notifications in the top right hand box of  Granite Bay Course Update and you will be notified of any new material. Most of what we are planning will be short and sweet with lots of pictures.

We are committed to communicating  what is going on during this process through 
course signage like above, the GBGC  Golf Shop morning email blasts,
as well as this course update. 

As a reminder the 2019 phase of this turf conversion includes re-grassing green surround's on hole #'s 1-2 & 4,8 & 9 on the front nine, and #'s 10-18 on the back nine. Surrounds on #'s 3, 5-7 were done in 2018. In addition we are converting the entire #17 fairway as a beta fairway for potential hybrid bermuda conversion of the remaining fairways in 2020. The variety of Hybrid Bermuda we have chosen is the California Hybrid, Santa Anna which trial patch is on #12. Again many of the construction details will be shared in advance and in real time for those who are interested. Construction of this magnitude requires a lot of planning and stuff happens that inevitably alters the planned timeline. That being said, below is our broad  timeline so you will know what to expect in the way of partial  hole closures. 

July 8th - 26th     Prep #17 Fairway.  Apply product that will kill the various turf varieties prior to pulverization. This work has already been done and did require closing the hole on 7/17/19 along with some cart path only restrictions.  #17 is now completely open to cart traffic and play until 7/30/19.

July 30th - August 4th     #17 Fairway Pulverization.  Fairway lines will be defined , current irrigation heads flagged and raised,  new irrigation heads installed, 3" sand cap installed, pulverize sand in to 4" of native soil, re-float, re-grade, compact soil.

August 5th - August 18th     Sod #17 Fairway. Strip and Sod Surrounds. Strip sod from identified surrounds, repair & re-shape bunker edges, re-set irrigation, install Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda. 

Closures During Construction

#17 Fairway

As mentioned above #17 fairway is a beta test of a potential 2020 total fairway conversion and as such we will be in no hurry to open the hole after conversion until it is completely ready. The fairway  will be playing fast, firm and brown until  7/30/19 after which it will be closed to golf activities until we feel it is ready. If your handicap is 14 and above you'd score a 1 over par bogie, if handicap is 13 and below  you'd score a par.


To remain productive and get the contractors in and out of here when we are working on surrounds we will close the hole. There will be times when we are not working on a hole and it might be stripped of sod or have new sod installed. During these times, using preferred lies the hole would be open. When the hole is closed due to construction "If your handicap is equal to or exceeds the handicap of the hole, take a bogie. If it is less, take a par." 

 Patches on #17 right now are a great example of what we will have once
the fairways have been converted. Fast, firm, durable and sustainable.

This patch of existing common bermuda has 
received no water  in days.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Project at GBGC Update #3

I wanted to remind our members that tomorrow, Wednesday 7/17/19 that the "Homestretch" #17 hole will be closed while we treat the grass for eventual removal and re-grassing in a couple of weeks.

Since it is the #14 handicap hole at GBGC, if your handicap is 14 and above you should score a bogie (5) on the hole. If your handicap is below 14 your should score a par (4).


#17 on the morning of 7/15/19.
One more treatment this week will put us in good position to re-grass in early August

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Project at GBGC Update #2

Last Monday 7/8/19 we treated the #17 fairway with the first round of products that will eventually kill the existing grass in preparation for re-sodding in early August. As previously mentioned, the 2019 phase of GBGC's grass conversion plan was and is to complete green surround sodding that we started last year with green surrounds on #3, 5, 6 & 7. In addition to the remaining surrounds we secured funding to re-sod the #17 fairway as well.

The re-grassing process we are planning for the surrounds and the fairways are quite different. Surrounds we plan to strip the existing old sod and then re-sod with hybrid bermuda. The process on the fairways  is to kill existing  grass then add 3" of sand and pulverize the area to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. After the pulverization the fairway is re-graded, re-compacted and re-sodded. 

We need to treat the #17 fairway one more time and the proper timing lands us on this coming Wednesday 7/17/19. The hole will have to be closed that day so we don't transfer product from the treated area onto non-treated desirable turf areas such as the #17 putting surface with shoes or cart traffic. We will have a spotter to retrieve stray balls from #18 and to remind players that it is imperative to stay off the treated area until thoroughly dry so we don't injure desirable turf.

So during this 2019  process of re-grassing during the first three weeks in August we will have to have several  temporary hole closures as contractors carry out their work.. We will communicate these daily closures through the morning email updates and this Granite Bay Course Update.

John Korvin, The Clubs resident rule official states that keeping score during these times of temporary closures is as follows. "If your handicap is equal to or exceeds the handicap of the hole, take a boegy, if it is less take a par." 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Project at GBGC Update #1

July 4th is our Annual Flag Tournament.  The tournament has a 8:30 AM shotgun start where the GBGC flags with be replaced with the Stars & Stripes. Flagstick holders will be placed in collars close the the holes so the American Flag doesn't touch the ground out of respect. I hear there is a BBQ lunch to follow. Good Luck to everyone!

The Summer Solstice came and went on Friday June 21st this year and thankfully has brought with it little summer heat or fanfare so far.  Up till now, the GBGC Weather Station has only recorded three days over 100 degrees and another 4 in the upper 90's (+96) and these events have been surrounded by daytime highs in the mid to upper 80's.  The  Delta Breeze, our savior in the summer, has been very active this year which of course is a blessing unless you are a sprinkler trying to irrigate at night.

Gama, our irrigator here at Granite Bay often tells us he'd rather it was hot then windy as it doesn't take much wind to really affect the distribution uniformity of a underground sprinkler that shoots 60 feet. As I've mentioned before, we target our nightly irrigation amounts based on a calculation called Evapotranspiration or ET. This calculation is based on daily weather data fed to our irrigation system which adjusts automatically, increasing or decreasing irrigation amounts nightly. When wind replaces heat, such as the case when delta breezes are present, our ET #'s can be just as high as when we have heat and no wind. In other words we have to replace just as much water when it's windy as when it hot. And replacing it when it is windy is perhaps even trickier, ask Gama, as the water is not covering as well as when it is not windy. 

Rainbird sprinkler operating pretty efficiently in the absence of wind on #16.

We are not complaining as intense heat has a history of causing GBGC a lot of problems so the next 90 days our priorities are to minimize turf problems from the effects of summer. So far so good but there are 80 days of summer left and we are bound to get some prolonged heat sometime during that period. 

2017 reminder of what happens in the summer here at GBGC

There are a few constants that I have realized in my 12 years here at Granite Bay. First, summers can be hard on this golf course. Second, the fine line between wet and dry is very fine and drying this course down in the summer doesn't work. Third the Golf Course will be wetter in the morning then it is in the afternoon particularly in the summer as more water will have to be replaced during the longer, windier and / or hotter days of summer than needs to be replaced during the shorter, cooler days of fall & spring.   Logically the more water that needs to be replaced, the longer the irrigation system runs  making it wetter in the morning then in the afternoon. However there is a solution on the horizon for our summer time woes.

2019 Re-Grassing of the Surrounds and #17 FW

As a reminder our main motivation for moving towards converting our cool season turf to warm season turf is playability and the second motivation is  sustainability particularly in the summer. Hybrid bermuda is a firmer playing surface that requires less water and loves heat and because of that it is the ultimate sustainable turf in a State and world where water use on a golf course will be a defining issue. 

So here we go. We will start to prepare for the 2019 phase of this conversion next week and are still on track for contractors to start converting the remainder of our surrounds starting on July 29th. In preparation for re-sodding #17 FW we will be treating the entire fairway this coming Monday 7/8/19 in which we are closed. This treatment will kill the existing turf to prepare it to incorporate sand on 7/30/19. We will still be able to play golf on this fairway prior to 7/30/19, it's just going to gradually change color from green to brown as it dies. Additionally it will be drier as we won't have to irrigate it.

#17 Fairway turf  will be getting sprayed out this coming Monday 7/8/19.

Timing on completing re-sodding surrounds and #17 fairway is still August 16 - 18. My goal is to communicate progress during the project through the Granite Bay Course Update frequently with lots of pictures and explanations of the hows and whats of the project. Stay Tuned.