Friday, November 18, 2022

Fairway Drainage & Traffic Control

 Fairway Drainage

Last week we received 1.5" of much needed rainfall here at GBGC and lets hope we get more as we move into the rainy season here on the west coast. The amount of rain in a short period time exposed some drainage patterns on the golf course that needed immediate attention, namely the very front portion of #4 fairway. There are, and will be other areas that will need surface drainage installed which is very normal for new fairways that have undergone the renovation and turf conversion ours have. 

Trenching for drainage on Monday 11/14/22. We trenched and installed 300' of surface drainage which involves trenching a 12"- 6" deep trench,  6" wide, remove the soil, add 1"-2" gravel, install 4" perforated drainage pipe tied into existing sub surface drainage system, bury with gravel 1" from top of trench, add sand to top, replace removed sod.

We dont point out enough one of the main issues with all turf at Granite Bay is we are growing grass on top of, in many cases, a decomposing rock. This photo illustrated this realty. The white area is a granite rock that we had to saw through to install the drainage. These type of conditions exist through the soil profile here at Granite Bay.

The finished product after sod replacement and some sand topdressing. Members playing the course had some fun with this drainage work as well as we dident quite finish the 300' of drainage on Monday, so we moved all tee blocks forward 100 yards onto a flat spot in the fairway on Tuesday and Wednesday  so we could finish the work and stay out of everyone's way.

Traffic Control

I know we all wish it were not so, but  reality is golf cart traffic  is hard on a golf course. Therefore is is incumbent on golf course maintenance to develop and execute a golf course traffic control plan that fits the club and protects the turf. Our goal is to elevate our current traffic control protocols in the coming months so we can further protect the course from golf cart traffic.

I would like to thank all of the members who are diligent in following the cart traffic rules we have in place such as entering and exiting through the traffic gates and staying on the cart paths when the hole is closed. During the recent seeding of the course we used signs indicating holes that were cart path only with very good success. Most members and guest abided by the restrictions and we had a successful rough seeding in part because of it. 

Restricting cart traffic on two holes for a week at a time is a traffic control measure we have contemplated doing for quite awhile. We started this past week with cart path only restrictions on #'4 & #17 using the multiple sign approach used for seeding to inform players.  Par 3's are a no cart traffic zone already, so by  adding the additional two holes, members will be able to use carts on twelve holes on the course at any given time and theoretically every par 4 & 5 hole will get a break from cart traffic for one week out of six. The plan is to restrict cart traffic on one hole on the front nine, and one hole on the back nine for a week then rotate to two more the following week. We'll see how it goes.

We are committed to the 2 hole rotating cart traffic closures using multiple signs along paths to inform members, therefore will be updating our signage in the near future.

Ropes and stakes are a big part of traffic control. Additional changes in the traffic control arena is we are gravitating toward these 12" stakes rather then the 18" previously used. 

Gates for entering and exiting the the golf hole will still be used.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Overseeding & Irrigation

Driving Range Tee Overseeding

After a rainy beginning of the week we were able to overseed the driving range tee on Thursday 11/10/22 as planned. As I mentioned in the previous course update, we are a little late in getting seed down on this tee and it will take some time, likely several weeks, before we can use it again. If we opted not to overseed this tee, we would not be using it again until the Hybrid Bermuda came out of dormancy and filled in voids in the spring. This overseeding will give us the option of using the tee to some extent this winter, however until it is ready we will be on mats. 

We plan to transition out the cool season overseed in the  late spring / early summer months allowing the Hybrid Bermuda base to excel without competition all summer and fall.

GCM spreading seed on the prepared Driving Range tee on Thursday morning 11/10/22.

Sand topdressing on top of the seed

Dragging in the sand topdressing

Supplemental Irrigation Install Begins

I have mentioned on several occasions in our course updates recently about the crucial need for irrigation infrastructure that can irrigate our new Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda Fairways independently of our new Tall Fescue Rough. We started this week on what will be the long process of this retrofitting our current irrigation system to accomplish this necessity. I'm going to write and talk allot about this process as we proceed, as it is critical to our success moving forward. Until then, a few pictures are worth a thousand words.

The first dirt to be moved in what will be a lengthy endeavor to retrofit our irrigation system with the ability to deliver the very different irrigation needs of our cool season Fescue and warm season Hybrid Bermuda as independently as possible. We started here on the bunker of #8 because it is one of the worst areas on the course where the Fescue adjacent to  the steep banks of the bunker faces orientated to the southwest really struggle in the summer. If we irrigated to meet the demands of the Fescue around the bunker, the Hybrid Bermuda around the area will get soft which is one of the main reasons we changed to Hybrid Bermuda, namely firm playing conditions and water savings. 

Its allot of work to add a dozen or so little pop-up sprinklers to an area, but it will be worth it. Above picture depicts the scale of this work well after layout and trenching. However by Friday you'll hardly be able to tell we were there. Prior to the 2021 renovation we did have small pop-up heads around the bunkers that were removed during construction of the new bunkers last summer. The nature and pace of the project dident allow for these small sprinkler's to be replaced at that time, although we knew we would have to at some point, so here we are. Again this is just the beginning of this retrofit.


After trenching and plumbing new irrigation lines it is important to compact the soil so there no settling under the sod. 

Above depicts a trench section that has already been compacted over the new plumbing, fine graded and ready for sod replacement

End result is is a pop-up sprinkler that will add supplemental irrigation to the steep cool season Fescue banks independent of the irrigation heads watering  the adjacent Hybrid Bermuda. The big "golf course" sprinklers that water the large scale areas will still apply  irrigation to these Fescue areas, but these new pop-ups will add extra water to an area that needs extra water. This allows us to reduce the time of  irrigation with the big heads keeping the Hybrid Bermuda drier, firmer and happier, and supplement  extra irrigation where it is needed on these steep cool season Fescue banks with these pop-ups.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Overseeding Tee's

Our teeing surfaces have a base of Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda on them,  just like the fairways, including the driving range tee. The Hybrid Bermuda growth habits have already started to slow down with the advent of fall and will continue to do so as we transition into winter. Our plan is to never  overseed the fairways as dormant bermuda can be a very good playing surface. We have some things we can do to keep the fairways aesthetically green, however at some point the recovery of divots and growth in general will cease altogether until the hybrid wakes up again in the spring.

The decision to not overseed fairways  is becoming very common on warm season golf courses for a multitude of reasons. But for our tees at Granite Bay, its not really an option, because of the overall size of our teeing areas and the activity they get all winter long. 

The new tees on the golf course were overseeded last year but we did not overseed the driving range tee because of its youth at the time. Last week we overseeded the golf course tees on Monday 10/24/22 which is a little late in the season. However we did not overseed the driving range tee because of Jones Cup the following week on 11/3 through 11/4.

Even though it is even later for the driving range tee, we plan to overseed it this coming week of November 7. Unfortunately, or  fortunately depending how you look at it, we have rain forecasted for  Monday 11/7/22 when we are closed, so will likely not be able to do the work then. Next forecasted clear day is Thursday 11/10 so we will tenitively plan to overseed the tee that morning.

 Bottom line, timing of the driving range tee overseeding will be weather dependent and we will do it at the very next opportunity as time is of the essence. We will communicate through the golf shop morning e-mail the precise morning we plan on doing the overseeding. Range will be closed the morning of overseeding and we will be using mats until the new seed establishes properly which will take a bit longer then if we were to have overseeded in early October. 

Driving range tee picture taken in the morning on 11/3/22. Color is still good but the turf is not recovering from use as the days of fall are much shorter and temperature's are much cooler.

Close-up of the divot patterns which are not recovering. If we have any hope of using the tee this winter we have not choice but to overseed it. And because we are doing the overseeding process late. we likely wont get on it to use  the grass until sometime in December.