Thursday, April 28, 2022

Golf Carts Return To The Course in Early May

Brian Whitlark is a USGA Agronomist and a colleague whom I have worked with for years. He recently paid us a informal visit to check out our renovation progress. His overall impression was very positive on where we were relative to the scope of work accomplished in 2021 and related maturity of the turf grass playing surfaces. He was impressed we were able to keep golf carts off of the course for over six months after re-opening. The two major takeaways I took from him during our meeting were related to the greens and to cart traffic returning to the course.

On the greens he was impressed with current density and root development stating that year two of a putting surface's life "not the year for speed" but continued root development. On cart traffic returning to the golf course he warned that "whatever you do, dont allow more then two carts per foursome on the turf."

Golf Carts are a part of the game, but to pretend that driving on the turf does not effect health and quality would be a mistake. Cart traffic can be very hard on the turf playing surfaces, and that is why we are going to re-open the course to cart traffic with some very specific rules to follow while driving on the course. 

Golf Cart Rules

  • When feasible, utilize cart paths rather then driving on the course.
  • Enter & Exit the course through  "gates" designated by the white tipped, tall black stakes. (see below pictures)
  • No more then two carts per group allowed on the turf on any given hole. 
  • Travel in the fairway hybrid bermuda turf as it will take the traffic better then the cool season rough turf.
  • Do not use a cart on any par 3 hole. 
Granite Bay Carts will be easier for us to manage as they will be Geo Fenced to keep them off  and out of areas we do not want them to go, and we can insist on players pairing up. Private carts are a little harder for us to manage, so we will have to rely on the honorable nature of the game as well as our private cart members to do the right thing. 

Examples of entrance gates on #1

Examples of exit gates on #1

Example of a the typical traffic pattern we would like carts to follow when carts are allowed back onto the course. Stay on the cart path until the first "entrance" gate. Drive on the fairway turf as it is more durable then the cool season turf in the rough, and finally exit between the "exit" gates further down the fairway. 

We would like to thank everyone for the diligence shown during the past seven months while we have been cart path only. The course benefited immensely. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going by following the rules and limiting cart traffic whenever possible. Lets keep in mind that Granite Bay has very young  turf grass surfaces that still need time to grow in and mature. We are grateful for your support and patience while this grow in process and maturation continues and promise that patience will be rewarded. The best is yet to come.


Friday, April 22, 2022

New Fairway Topdressing

Our new Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda Fairways will start to get sand  topdressed for the first time since construction starting this coming week, 4/25/22. Sand topdressing will be the secret to the success of these fairways moving forward and accumulation of this topdressing will continue to make them better and better. We plan to do this level of topdressing twice a year for the next few years.

We will be applying a rate of 50 tons per acre per application which amounts to about 1/3 of an inch of sand. That seems like allot, but its not and once dry it will drag right into the turf canopy. A 50 ton per acre rate amounts to 1500 tons on our fairways or 57 truck and tailor loads or three million pounds.

The process of receiving and spreading the sand takes some time. It will take us the better part of two weeks. We have to spread the sand in the AM and allow it to dry then we have to drag it in, and moving all of that sand in one morning with our 4 yard fairway sand topdressor is impossible as it will take over 300 trips to complete the job. Look for some back nine starts next week as we strategize on keeping the disruption to a minimum while getting the sand on the course. Morning golfers will have to coexist with us and the process and we'll do our best to stay out of everyone's way. 

Thanks in advance for your understanding.

Topdressing sand being spread on a newly sprigged fairway in 2021.

Just some of the topdressing sand being stored on corner of Barton and Roseville Parkway

More sand stored in the parking lot. We'll move this first.


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Tying Up Loose Ends - part 6

There will be continued tie-up activity this week on the course requiring some temporary detours for golfers that will minimally effect play through Saturday if all goes according to plan. We are cleaning up a curbing project adjacent to #1 & #10 tee's, doing continued electrical conduit installation along #3 green, #3 tee and now heading across #12 fairway. Additionally we are putting the finishing touches on our new pump station installation and have completed the new stairwell leading down to the cart barn area. These stories are much easier to tell with pictures.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

In the spirit of celebrating a completed project, above shows the new stairwell down to the cart barn.

Almost completed is the installation of our new irrigation pumpstation. We still have to replace the old motors which appear in the background of this picture with new ones which are caught up in  the supply chain and wont be here until June. More importantly we have divers arriving Thursday 4/21/22 to inspect and remove silt from our wet well and intake pipe, along with inspect and size up the intake's pipe screen which is out in the lake irrigation lake on #9 that needs replacement. I plan to do a full on pump station replacement update in the future for those of us who geek out on this stuff.

Taking advantage of our last closed Monday for awhile we replaced the curbing around #1 & #10 tees that were severely impacted by construction traffic in 2021. We have more of that to do on the course, and it will all get done in time, but these highly 
visible curbs were always a priority. 

In addition to replacing all the existing curbing on #1 & #10 tees we added a section adjacent to the upper practice green. This area has always been bad  and hard to grow turf because of allot of parking traffic. In addition to keeping the the traffic off of the area, the curb gives us an opportunity to add good soil and re-sod which will make the area substantially better. We will have this area re-sodded and the practice green open by Thursday 4/21/22.

Special Thanks goes out to Todd Johnson, Roy Sampson & the entire crew at J&S Asphalt. These guys are a joy to work with.

We are continuing to install electrical service along the cart path on #3. We have been strategic on the last two closed Mondays to get the area's near #3 tee as well as #3 green. We have a 200' section to tie into between the #3 ladies tee and #3 pond edge which we will be completing  Wednesday 4/20/22 & Thursday 4/21/22. Cart traffic on these days will be detoured in front of the back tee on #4 and the tournament tees on #4 will be moved forward.

After crossing in front of #4 tee, we have setup a little turn around as carts will temporarily be restricted from turning around near the green. These detours should only be in place through
Friday 4/21/22 at the latest, weather permitting, although it is supposed to be raining on Thursday.

When we are finished with electrical install adjacent to #3 we will need to move across the very beginning section of #12 fairway. In order to be efficient and at the same time stay out of golfers way, we have constructed a small tee across the cobblestone creek

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Tying Up Loose Ends - part 5

Diamond golf put the  the finishing touches on the bridge abutment on  #14 green bridge by end of last week on Friday 4/8/22. The finished product incorporated native cobbles and rock which I think looks good. Additionally they wrapped up sod repair on #13 tee.

J&S Asphalt formed the new stairwell at the cart barn on Monday 4/11/22 as planned, but dident get the concrete poured because of light rain, so are going to pour the stairs today Tuesday 4/12/22. 

Along with the concrete being poured at the cart barn, we will be working on installing some electrical service through the edge of #3 tees this week. We have set up the  teeing area away from the work to keep the distraction to a minimum. 

Additionally the heart of our operation, the pumpstation , will be replaced starting Tuesday 4/12/22. This work is in the far northern end of the parking lot, so it wont be a distraction to members, but definitely worth mentioning. I will be doing some ongoing pump station replacement updates this week for those who are interested. 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Bridge abutment on #14

#13 Tee

Stairwell at cart barn. Formed and ready to be poured Tuesday 4/12/22.

Electrical conduits being installed adjacent to #3 Tee. We will be working on some additional sections along cart path the week of 4/12/22 through 4/15/22. 

Associated work with replacing pump station includes intake screen replacement and cleaning around associated intake pipe. Picture above depicts our diver, Gary Borton, who does this kind of work for golf courses all over Northern California.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Cart Barn Stairs & Rough Aeration

 We have some out of the ordinary maintenance tasks  and circumstances happening this week on the course that I wanted to communicate them to the Membership. 

We are aerating the rough as well as replacing the old cobblestone stairs leading down to the cart barn. The aeration process hasn't produced allot of cores this go around, but the sweeping of them is always a dusty mess that has to be done during dry daylight hours or else the cores will not pick up and make a muddy mess. 

The stairs at the cart barn ramp depicted below are in desperate need of replacement. We will be able to work around golf activity so there will be no disturbance except some noise, we just wanted to communicate what was going on.

Additionally, I mentioned in a previous course update that we were in the process of replacing our 26 year old pumpstation. Supply chain issues have stalled the delivery of our turbine pumps for the new pumpstation, but we are still able to irrigate  at half our original capacity. What this means is the total amount of time we have to irrigate, or our water window , is extended. How this translates for the golfing member is that conditions might be wetter in the AM because the entirety of the irrigation cycle ran longer into the AM, as well as we will have to start irrigation earlier then normal. 

Good news is our new pumps are almost here and ready to install. We still have irrigate but desperately need the  replacement so coordination of  both the irrigation needs of the course and shutting down of the pumpstation for replacement will be essential. In the mean time we ask your patience as irrigation will be running earlier in the evening as well as later into the AM. I will be doing in depth course updates throughout the pump station replacement process for those who might be interested.

 A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Our rough took a beating last year during construction and although it has recovered nicely, a good aeration will do it wonders. The areas are so compacted and hard we are pulling very small cores. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding if you were playing this week and we were both aerating and sweeping up the core debris. This is a dirty, dusty process and it has to be done when it is dry. The only option to getting this process complete while open for member play is closing the course or part of the course and nobody wants that. Through Wednesday,  aeration process on the front nine is complete as well as #17 & #18 on the back nine. Thursday we will continue on the back nine, then finish up remaining holes on Monday when we are closed.

This stairwell will be replaced on Monday 4/11/22, although the process
will start with Enrique doing demolition on Friday 4/8/22. J&S Asphalt 
will start forming stairs on Saturday, finish forming as well as pour the 
stairs on Monday 4/11/22.

The four turbine pumps in the background here are the heart beat of our operation and are currently working at half of their original capacity. The pumpstation and irrigation system are designed to operate at 1800 gallons per minute (GPM) and are currently operating at 990 GPM. We have made adjustments so irrigation coverage is not as compromised, but the adjustments extend our water window proportionally. And it is going to get warm (85-90) for a couple days coming up. This is why you might notice irrigation running longer in the AM and starting sooner in the PM until we replace the pumpstation.

Thank You for Your Support