Friday, January 27, 2023

Upcoming Surface Drainage Installation

Something that we already knew, but became even more obvious during ""The Storms of 2022 - 2023", was the need for surface drainage or what is commonly referred to as French Drains in our new Hybrid Bermuda Fairways. We plan to get started on this installation process next week as we simultaneously wrap-up storm cleanup. We will be updating our progress both through this GBGC Course Update as well as the Golf Shop's Daily E-Mail's.

As I mentioned last week, we are repairing damaged cart paths on Monday 1/30/23 as well as processing large tree that toppled on the right hand side of the driving range. After that, depending on where we are with storm cleanup, we will get started on this surface drainage. We have allot of work to do throughout the course, but our initial priorities are on fairways #4, #12 & the front of #18, not necessarily in that order.

The below images represent the worst areas we plan to address first. We will be shifting tee markers forward to various locations in the fairways on the holes we are working on so the work can remain productive, and keep members away from the construction zone. The work on #12 alone is extensive as you will see below. We dont want to get anyone hurt, and we need to stay productive not having to stop every time a golfing group approaches. There will be plenty of signage  that will designate  these temporary forward teeing areas, and we will complete sections that we started early in the week by the weekend so course will play at normal distance's on Saturdays & Sundays.

An overhead drone image taken of #12 during one of our more mild rain events of early January. Great illustration  of the difference's between #13, a right to left sloping fairway, and #12, drainage that moves from Green to Tee. 

The blue and yellow lines above represent approximate drainage pattern of #12 fairway. Blue lines are the main drainage lines and the yellow line represent the herringbone pattern lateral drainage lines. This hole will need approximately 2000 lineal feet of drain pipe or more as well as 100 tons of gravel.

Surface drainage is not complicated. Its a ditch with pipe and gravel for the most part. Its just a load of work as we need to relocate all of the soil from the ditches and haul in rock to replace it. 

This is a closeup of the very beginning of #4 fairway. We installed some drainage in this area back in November, but it wasn't enough. Green lines depict previously installed drainage and blue & yellow depict additional necessary drainage.

Shade is another issue with this particular portion of fairway. Standing water and shade are a bad combo for any turf or plant, but  for dormant Hybrid Bermuda in January,  this combo can be  lethal.

Selective tree trimming will help allot.

This is the beginning of #18 fairway during storm waters. The watershed from the back of the range , #18 ladies tee and the cart path all  head this way. A new surface drain is a must.

Storm Cleanup Continues

Our efforts on storm cleanup have been going well the past few weeks have been going well. As mentioned above we still need to process a large tree the toppled on the right-hand side of the Driving Range as well as a few stumps to remove, but the down trees that impacted golf play have been processed. 

Enrique removed the stump of the toppled tree on #4 and is now smoothing the area getting it ready for some sod.

The large tree on the right- hand side of the Driving Range that we will process on Monday 1/30/23. 

Thanks for your support and patience. The Best is Yet to Come!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Sunny Days Are Here Again

Finally, the wet weather pattern we have been experiencing since the beginning of the year has ended. Extended forecast for the foreseeable future is for sunny skies, no rain and highs in the mid to upper 50's, lows in the mid 30's. These low temperatures could lead to some frost, but this clear, non-rainy weather will allow the course to dry out.

Processing the trees that toppled during the storms is going well. By the end of the week (1/16 - 1/22) we should have most of the tree limbs chipped and the wood moved off the golf course. Next, we have to work on getting the stumps removed or ground, then repairing the scars they left with sod. 

We will work on this stump work next week (1/23 - 1/29) along with prepping cart paths that we damaged during storms that are slated for concrete pouring Monday 1/30/23. In addition to the storm damaged cart paths, we will prep and pour other sections that need repair such as #9 tee & #11 tee. Additionally, we plan to continue surface drainage work in the fairways, if they dry out enough to do so, which became more obvious then already recognized during this extreme rainy period that kicked off 2022. 

We needed a break, so this forecast is good news. There is still a decent amount of rain season ahead of us.

Rain accumulation measured by our own GBGC weather station through 1/18/23 is 8.83". This is the second highest January accumulation in 18 years and December's 12.34" was the most in a December for GBGC maybe ever. We are currently only 1.18" below our regional seasonal average with a decent amount of rain season ahead of us. Interestingly there have only been 4 years out the 18 years represented above that we have exceeded the regional average. 

Although it was still extremely wet from recent storms, we were able to get most of the rough mowed this week. Leaving it un-mowed would have made for nastier conditions then already exist for anyone playing out of the rough this weekend. Additionally, if we waited until Monday for ideal drier mowing conditions, we would have had a clipping mess on our hand with overall conditions still too wet to get sweepers or blowers on the course to clean it up. 

Rough on #18 freshly mowed.

Tree cleanup going well. Above picture depicts Ky working on two large tree that fell on top of one another behind the lower #14 tee's, onto the lower right-hand rough on #14. We still will have work to do next week as previously mentioned. We have stumps to remove, a big tree on the driving range that we won't get to until Monday 1/30/23, as well as wood to remove. 

Chipping the brush on #15.

Granite Bay has received some significant rain in the past, but if we were to look at the last 50 days, we have never experienced anything quite like what we just went through (see above rainfall accumulation data). Over 21" of rain in 50 days, over 30 trees down, all on a new golf course with new warm season Hybrid Bermuda fairways that do not thrive in this type of weather. 

I know with more surface drainage work as well as sand topdressing and tree pruning to mitigate winter shade issues, our fairways will be better set up to handle future winter rain events as we just experienced. The drainage and tree pruning work will continue as soon as we dry up a little, and complete cleaning up after the Tree Toppling of 2023. 

The Best is Yet to Come!

Saturday, January 14, 2023

2023 Winter Storm Cleanup


"Truer words have never been spoken" when it comes to what Granite Bay Golf Course Maintenance had planned for the winter of 2023. We had big plans to get started on irrigation improvements to water our cool season rough independently of our Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda fairways. We had pruning and tree trimming areas designated to work on, continuing the theme of opening up views throughout the course and expanding sunlight to the turf. 

These plans will have to wait as we find ourselves once again reacting to what nature has in store and reminding us that planning and reacting play equal parts when managing and maintaining a golf property. 

As I mentioned last week, we lost over 30 trees since Christmas and are still in process of cleaning up after 20 of those 30 that blew over a week ago. Amidst the wind and tree toppling was rainfall, which makes everything wet, limiting equipment access to areas as well as slowing processing efforts down. We have the resources to bring in additional help, but tree companies are swamped as you can imagine with real life emergencies that take precedent over cleaning up after tree loss on a golf course.   Below are some pictures that tell the story well. 

GBGC rainfall data through Friday 1/13/23. December was a record for GBGC and January still has a chance to eclipse 2017's 10.91". YTD through early to mid-January we have measured almost 21", only 3" off the average for our area. Bigger news then our rainfall is snow accumulation in the mountains remains very impressive.

Toppled Tree's

We closed the B9 last Sunday 1/8/23 because of all of the down trees blocking cart path access. On Monday we spent the day just clearing cart paths. We finished clearing cart paths on Tuesday, then started processing all of the wood and brush focusing on areas near cart paths first as access to centers of the course with equipment such as woodchipper and tractors to remove wood would cause more damage to the course.  

We made some progress despite continued inclement weather and early morning noise restrictions, but we didn't finish, and likely won't finish completely for another few weeks as access issues remain, at least for next week, and we have the stumps and cart path damage to deal with. Below are a few pictures of the 20 that came down last week.

Cart path crossroad #15 Tee and #16 Green

#18 cart path.

#17 walking path. Moved tee markers forward for the time being.

Digger pine next to cart path #18. Damage to be repaired in the coming weeks.

Same Digger Pine before we cleared cart path.

This picture was featured in last week's course update as the only tree to topple
 so far this year that changed a golf hole. This is a multi-trunk live oak 
on the left-hand side of #4 about 220 yards out. Brush is still out there as 
it is difficult to process without causing turf damage until it dries out a little.

Weather forecast is for a few more days of this and then some clearing. 

An ironic rainbow Sunday 1/8/23 hours after the trees came tumbling down.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Looking Like a Wet Year

Rain, and plenty of it, has been the story of 2023 so far. The GBGC weather station has received 8.22" of rain since Christmas and recorded 2.90" on New Year's Eve alone. We recorded 12.34" of rain in December, the most ever for GBGC, and have recorded 2.90" through the first 5 days of January. 

When it gets this wet it's hard to play golf as well as get anything meaningful done on the golf course. We can't do the kind of work we had planned, such as supplemental irrigation or surface drainage work because it is too wet and this type of work cannot be done in wet weather. Even the tree pruning and brush clearing we had planned is being replaced by the need to process trees and parts of trees that continue to come down during the storms. Until Saturday night we had not lost anything that would affect the integrity of the course. However, during the windstorm of Saturday evening 1/7/23, we lost the multi trunk live oak on the left-hand side of #4, 200 yards out. (See picture below) 

For the big picture all of this rain is good news. The rain will stop at some point, and the course will dry out. Until then, we'll keep reacting to what nature brings us. Below are some pictures of the weather story of the past couple of weeks.

Overhead showing the flow lines of #12 during storm last week.

Upper practice green during rainfall.

18 years of GBGC weather station rainfall data. December 2022 was a record. The 2.99" shown for January 2023 is through the first 6 days. 

Folsom Reservoir (FR), the reservoir that supplies a lot of the regions water as well as the irrigation water for GBGC is filling up fast. Notice the vertical line heading up then down on this year's graph line. FR operators started releasing water to keep the  primary purpose of the reservoir intact, which is flood protection.

Snow in the mountains still currently holding up well, especially for the Central Sierra which feed FR.

Although FR is filling up quick, The States larger reservoirs up North are taking longer. FR fills fairly quickly because of its size and relation to a very active watershed, but these larger reservoirs take longer and are key to ending the drought we are officially still in.

The forecast continues to call for rain and if the forecasted amount of rain comes to pass, we could be close to surpassing 2016 - 2017 GBGC rainfall record for January.

So far this winter we have had well over 30 trees or large portion of trees that have come down from weather related storms. The multi trunked, Interior Live Oak on the left-hand side of #4, just over 200 yards out will be the first one that will change the hole opening up the approach shot on the left-hand side of the hole. This one came down during the windstorm of Saturday evening 1/7/23