Saturday, March 20, 2021

The Project 2021 - Update #9

 "What matters most is not the size of the green versus the length of the approach, but the size of the hazard-free area around the hole versus the difficulty level of the approach. If this is properly balanced, the course will remain fair for all players, and be more interesting to boot..." (Tom Doak 1992 - quoted in Golf  As It Should Be - Mark Parsinen 1996)

Greens Restoration

One of the things that we will be addressing during our ongoing golf course renovation is what can only be described as a restoration of our putting surfaces. Changes that occur gradually over a 27 year period are very subtle while they are happening, but fairly profound when analyzed after almost three decades. This course update is the first in a series of updates aimed at showing what has changed over time to our greens and how we are restoring them close the their original state. There will be tweaks in the surfaces mostly designed to facilitate surface drainage, but other tweaks that will provide strategic options to getting to the hole. A picture is worth a thousand words, so enjoy the first part of this series with other editions to come as we progress through the "finishing", "seeding" and "growing in" process's of our new putting surfaces at Granite Bay.

Above photo is a picture of the putting surface liner on #5. Putting surface liners are used to separate the edge of the green's sand mix from the native soil outside the green for numerous reasons, one of which  is to identify the original edge and shape of the putting surface. During original construction the top of this liner was very close to the surface. As you can see the top of the liner is a full 12" below the ground 27 years later. This picture was taken on the left hand side of the green between the sand trap and the putting surface so much of this buildup can be attributed to sand splash from bunker shots but we are finding liners down anywhere from 8"to 12". This is normal from sand topdressing over the years but a little surprising when you first uncover it.

If you look close at the previous picture you will see a wire at the bottom of the frame that was placed there during original construction. This wire can be traced with a wire tracer when dug up and the above picture depicts the results of this original perimeter of the green on #2 with the hashed red lines. Notice how far the green has shrunk at the back. This is not unusual as perimeter issues on a putting surface are not un-common and when they are experienced  the first thing that happens is you stop mowing the area. This shrinking was likely due to shade issues caused by the large Blue Oak that is directly behind the green.

Above is a traced perimeter of #3 green. Notice the shrinkage on the left hand side walk-up to the green where we have experienced perennial issues.


Step #1 in the restoration process is to identify the perimeter edges of the original green which we have done and shown examples in the pictures above. After determining this original shape, step #2 is to sod cut the area which is depicted above.

Step #3 is removing the old sod and associated top 2" to 3" and burying or stockpiling. This material is not to be used for fill or plating as is is all soft organic and loaded with poa seed.

Step #4 is to start to remove the next 3" to 4" of mostly sand mix. This material is not ideal to seed into as the poa contamination can still be present at this level, but it is great material for sand capping surround areas where sod will be placed on top of it

Diamond Golf Currently has 8 greens prepared to this level and will have another two or three at this level by next week. Next big move to these green complexes and subsequently to all of them, is to re-shape bunkers and install BBB liners,  restore irrigation that was removed to facilitate new green complex and bunker shaping, along with the "finishing" of the greens. The finishing process will be chronicled in the next  part of our "Greens Restoration" series of the 2021 Project. Next update early next week will cover some of the new bunker shaping along with overall pictorial progress report. Stay tuned.

Thanks as always for your support.

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