Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Project 2021 Update #22

The 2021 Turf Renovation Project has been in process for over 220 days and we now have days before we re-open the course to our Members. We in the golf course maintenance department would like to thank all of our Members for their patience during this closure. Additionally we hope that the renovation will have exceeded your expectations both now, and into the future, as the new turf matures and become the great playing surfaces they are destined to be. 

Postcard view of the new #3 green at Granite Bay Golf Club

The course is the same, yet different, as one would expect from any renovation. The green complexes, and the new pure bentgrass greens are in the same locations, but all of the old  green contours are gone and the bunkering is new and different. You will have to re-learn putting on them. The tee complexes are in the same location's but some drastic changes have been made to some, and some are about the same. The big change to the fairways was the switch from cool season turf to Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda. The incorporation of Santa Anna was the most important, and driving aspect of the project. Parts of fairways contours and shaping have opened up and provided some expanded landing areas and  sight lines, and some of the fairway bunkering has created different strategy's for all levels of players. All of the bunkers are different with bright white sand and ribboning texture to their edges. The angularity of the sand will give you a good consistent lie and the new bunkers are not nearly as deep as their predecessors.

Driving Range turned out really nice

All of this said, very few golf courses, either renovated or newly constructed,  open or re-open when they are perfectly mature. Granite Bay Golf Club is no exception. Therefore we have to protect the course while it is maturing. Some steps we will be taking are cart path only rules until we feel the course is ready for cart traffic. Additionally we will be playing preferred lies on the entire course until we feel you can play the ball down. We will all have to be diligent about properly repairing ball-marks on the greens as ball mark damage on brand new greens can be significant. Proper ball mark repair will go along way towards preventing poa annua encroachment as poa annua seed find it easy to germinate in a moist depression. 

First day of the upper practice green being open. 

Other strategies we will adopt is use of a target ring above the edge of the cup to help the young exposed edge of the hole with stability and moisture retention. Additionally we will continue with flag colors of  red, white & yellow for front, middle & back hole locations, but we will not be following the rotation we followed previously, as we will need the flexibility to move hole locations based on wear and health of the putting surface, not a prescribed hole rotation schedule. Expect tighter pin locations  then previously experienced at Granite Bay as well. This is purposeful, as a ball mark mitigation strategy. We hope to maintain speeds in the 9 foot range but will need to continue to feed these young greens to help  them establish and heal from the traffic they are about to endure. And for every action there is a reaction as healthy, growing grass can be slower grass. We'll use different maintenance strategies, such as light verticle mowing and grooming as well as light frequent sand topdressing to help with firmness and ball roll. 

Above image shows the target ring that we will be using in lieu of painting cup edges on our brand new greens.  The rings will  provide stability and moisture retention to the exposed edges of the new holes.

I'm excited about getting our members back on the golf course but at the same time worry about these very young playing surfaces. You can help again by properly repairing ball marks, and keeping you cart on the cart path not pulling partially off the path onto the turf which is all or our inclinations. Thanks again for your patience and help getting our new course through these first few months.


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