Monday, April 5, 2021

The Project 2021 - Update #12

 Grassing Begins

"After obtaining a clean seed bed, the greatest preventive of weeds and clover is, - with the aid of  sun, water, fertilizers and suitable seed, -to bring up such a rapid growth of turf  that there is now room for weeds to exist." (The Spirit of Saint Andrews - p.197 Alister MacKenzie)

Forty four day's into our major turf renovation, we started to get some sod installed. Getting started on the sodding for the green surrounds and complexes is essential as we need to get the greens seeded ASAP so they will be ready for play in September. Sodding around the greens prior to seeding the actual putting surfaces themselves is important because once the greens are seeded the amount of irrigation necessary to grow-in the new seedlings  will make the adjacent bare soil too wet to work on and vulnerable to erosion. Our goal is to have six greens ready for seeding by mid-April. We will have greens 1,2,4,8,5 & 11 ready by that goal.

When it comes to actual grassing strategies of the green surrounds we have to take into consideration the diverse environments that our green surrounds inhabit. Some green complexes are in the full sun during the day most of the year, and some receive only afternoon sun spring through fall, and receive hardly any sunlight in the winter months. Therefore different grassing strategies will be incorporated for different green surrounds.

It has been well established that we will be using Santa Ana Hybrid Bermuda in our fairways as well as parts of the green surrounds that are in the full sun. The turf we plan to use in the rough and tying into bunker edges is Tall Fescue. Tall Fescue is moving in a different direction then  perennial ryegrass which was what the course was primarily seeded and recovered with for decades. Tall Fescue is more heat tolerant then perennial ryegrass and consequently its popularity in the golf market has soared. Our plan is to incorporate more tall fescue in our current rough as well during the renovation, tying in the new sod with our current rough. 

Below are some pictures and narrative of new sod and progress this past week. 

New Bunker on #1 surrounded by new tall fescue sod installed last week

Different view of the same bunker with newly sodded Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda in the approach. 

#4 green with new bunker to the right surrounded by newly sodded Tall Fescue and to the right newly sodded Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda. Here is an example of more work that needs to be completed with the next sod install and ty-in work that need to be accomplished with seeding or re-sodding in the future. Again the big push is to get most of the sod around the greens in place so the greens can be seeded and irrigated without eroding the banks and surrounds of the green. 

This pictures shows the new view of the #4 green 150 yards out from the middle of the fairway. The fairway bunker on the left 110 yards out has been removed and a new smaller version shaped in it's place farther to the left. Its hard to see at the moment buts its rough-shape is there. Opening up sight lines is an important design concept for Jay Abbott & Sal Rodriguez. Prior to taking the back edge and land form from the back  of the old bunker and pushing it into the bottom of that old, deep bunker, one could not see the front edge or reach of the right-hand greenside bunker or the entire front edge of the putting surface as they were hidden by the flashing face and landform of the old bunker. All of the irrigation had to be peeled back along with the irrigation control wires but I wanted to show the attention to detail of the design concepts that are being employed here and the extent we are going to accomplish these goals. We would have created a better view it it were not for a 6" water mainline that would have be disrupted by cutting the ridge down further.  I wish I would have taken a before picture of this view as a comparison.  

West Coast Turf installing big roll  Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda in the approach of #1

The above picture shows we have left a gap in sod to facilitate the completion of the Better Billy Bunker Liner as well as the installation of the Idaho White bunker sand. Completion of the bunker was not going to hold up sodding which again was necessary to get the green seeded. These areas obviously will be sodded after those tasks are completed. 

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