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.