Friday, September 22, 2023

Fall Equinox 2023

 This week on Saturday 9/23/23 at 02:50 AM, the 2023  Fall Equinox will be upon us. 

"During an equinox, the Sun crosses what we call the “celestial equator”—an imaginary extension of Earth’s equator line into space. The equinox occurs precisely when the Sun’s center passes through this line." (Farmers Almanac September 19 2023)

The fall equinox is significant for GBGC as it is the best time of the year for our cool season rough to recover from summer stresses as nighttime and daylight hours are identical and  temperature's are typically cooler. Conversely our Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda will start to slow down as the days get shorter and  winter approaches. The hybrid bermuda will remain green for quite awhile, but recovery from divots will start to get slower and slower. 

Rough Seeding

In  the previous GBGC course update we addressed getting started on our fall  rough seeding early, and the late summer weather forecast  which was projecting some cooler then normal temperatures conducive to successful cool season seeding. The forecast held and we had  success getting some seed germinated in some of the worst areas of our rough that were impacted by yet another Granite Bay summer. We have a lot more seeding to do in our rough and this combined with this seeding we started in August should have us turning the corner on yet another summer at Granite Bay. 

This is us getting started with the seeding process late summer on Thursday 8/24/23. August would  be considered early for cool season turf seeding.

Here is the same area 27 days later, although the photo was taken at a different time of the day. I think getting started early paid off as many of our bare areas at least had some turf started in them 30 days before the equinox when cool season turf really starts to get going. 

We had our final seed delivery this morning 9/22/23. Above represents 5 ton's of  Tall Fescue seed on top of the 6 tons that has already been seeded into the golf course rough. It has been our observation that Tall Fescue germinates relatively quickly but takes a little longer to thicken up and establish as compared to Ryegrass.

Cart Traffic & Seeding

The more golf cart & vehicle traffic we keep off of the rough the better success we will have with the seeding process. Thank you for using the gates and driving only on the fairways. Pass the word, avoiding driving golf carts in the rough will be extremely beneficial to the  germination and establishment of the fescue seed we have been and will be putting down the next few weeks. 

Good image of #12 and where we should be driving carts and where we should not.

Greens Spiking

This coming Monday we will be spiking and topdressing the greens. As planned, we have been implementing the strategy of  timely, small hole frequent aeration events on our new greens in conjunction with frequent light sand topdressing. This Mondays event will be the the same small hole event we have been implementing, but the hole pattern will tighter then what we have utilized in the past. The holes will still be 6" deep and this tighter pattern will require more sand to fill them up which is precisely what we want. Deep holes equal deeper roots, and more sand equals firmer conditions that are less prone to ball marks and need less irrigation. The process could have a temporary minimal impact on putting quality mostly because of the extra sand to fill the additional holes, but aggressive rolling will provide a smoothness, however the pace will be slower for a few days. 

We made a practice run with the new tine configuration on the nursery green this week prior treating all of the greens on Monday 9/25/23. Picture depicts the tighter pattern with no sand or greens rolling yet. After a greens-roller rolls the surface, the holes will  hardly be noticeable and will not interfere with putting quality.

Above is the same green still not rolled or topdressed. We are excited about this new aeration configuration and the  process over time being transformative for our greens.

Winter Forecast

Dr. Daniel Swain is a climate scientist at UCLA and the 2022 co-author of the thought provoking  Climate change is increasing the risk of a CA megaflood, Dr. Swain has been our go to resource for long term weather prognostications long before his infamous article, and he has recently made a prediction for the upcoming winter.

Where Granite Bay positions in this Pacific SW or Pacific NW is anyone's guess.  What we do know is wet winters affect golf course playability as well triggering cart restrictions, nothing new here.  The drainage work we did last winter should serve us well in the event of another wet winter, but if its anything like last year it really limits what we can do on the golf course, so part of me is hoping for dry conditions so we can get more done, and part of me thinks, let it rain as we always could use it here in the west. No use wishing or worrying. Onward, forward.

Thanks For Your Support. The Best Is Yet To Come!