Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Wet February

 The Water Year in California is a "12 month period that extends from October 1st to September 30th." "The water year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends." "The current water year is 2024." "In the current water year, the greater Sacramento region has received:

76% of Average Rainfall

41% of the Average Snowfall

0.5% F  Warmer, Daily on Average

Weather data collected here at GBGC tells a slightly different story particularly for the month of February 2024. Through Tuesday 2/20/2024 we have measured a total 5.72" for the month which will make February 2024's accumulation the 4th highest in 19 years of data collection from the GBGC weather station. More importantly then the rain accumulation amounts were the number of rain days and cloudy days in between. We have measured rain on 13 days in the first 20 days of February and 17 days of the 31 in January. So 30 of the last 51 days of 2024 we have measured rain and there have have been very few sunny days in between.

Our record of 19 years of rainfall accumulation measured by the GBGC weather station. 2024 accumulation through 20 days of February ranks 4th in 19 years.

2024's daily records confirm 30 days of rain measured in the years first 51 days.

So our total YTD water year accumulation is less then the historic average of 24",  but the last 50 days have been wet and cloudy and have created wetter then desirable playing conditions. It has always taken 5 consecutive days of clear weather for the golf course to dry out enough after rain events to allow carts onto the golf course, a big satisfaction matrix for course dryness. Unfortunately,  we have  not had those blocks of clear, sunny and hopefully windy days to dry the golf course out yet in 2024. Hopefully the remainder of this week will start that drying trend, however it is still February.

Mid morning on Wednesday 2/21/24 following a 6 out of 7 day stretch where rainfall was measured. Hoping the sun will persist and dry the golf course out.

We will continue to install surface drainage and sand topdress in season which will help when we experience these wet sort of winters. Additionally repairs to specific bad areas such as #2 fairway exit that we recently completed will continue and will help as well. The flipside to the rain the entire State has been receiving in January & February and golf course conditions is  the refreshing of reservoirs and snow crucial for the big picture, irrigation in the summer. Not nearly the abundant water year of 2023, but the last two months are helping to catch-up from a slow start to the water year of 2024. CA current water storage and snow accumulation data below.

Folsom Reservoir from which GBGC's irrigation water originates is in decent shape thanks mostly to record rainfall in water year 2023, but recent storms have contributed to recent gains.

The best water storage for CA has always been in the mountains in the form of snow. 2024 was slow to start with snow but experiencing a little better finish.

Like Folsom, many of our big reservoirs throughout the State are still in decent shape from the  record rain and snowfall  from water year 2023. It will be interesting to see if Shasta & Oroville will fill once the snow starts melting as well as of course, Folsom.


Tuesday, February 6, 2024

February Storm

 As many of us are aware, a Powerful Winter Storm hit California Sunday 2/4/24 causing a substantial amount of damage state wide. Very strong winds caused the downing of trees again here at the course for the second year in a row. We lost 30 trees between mid December & mid January 2022-2023. 

We lost another 20+ trees this time where we  measured 50-60 MPH gusts.  Most of the downed trees were out of play in native areas or walnut shell areas. The only structural damage we experienced was a tree that went over onto the short netting on the left-hand side of the driving range. Wet conditions dident help as we have measured over 3" of rain in the 3 days since 2/1/24. It took us over 4 weeks last year to process and clean up after 30 trees, it will take us at least a couple of weeks to clean up these 20+. Some pictures below.

#18 left-hand side cart path

Further down on #18, closer to green, left-hand side of cart path.

Another on the left-hand side of #18. This one across the left hand driving range net.

Two pretty good sized live oaks in the native area between #11 tee & #12 fairway

This is at the #15 side of the bridge below the tee. Half of it came down last year.

Left - hand side of #16 near the cart path below the green.

#6 tee across the cobble stone wall 

Above is a good representation of the 20+ total that are down. We spent all day yesterday, Monday 2/5/24 doing basic cleanup and clearing cart paths so we all can get around the course on Tuesday. Again, I estimate it will take us a couple of weeks to clean all of this up along with routine maintenance. 

Thanks for your Support!

Sunday, February 4, 2024

#2 Fairway Exit.

We just completed improvement to an area on the second hole that has been historically challenged and long overdue for repair. This area is on the right-hand side of #2 about 135 yards out, adjacent to the cart-path, and an ideal drive-off area for cart traffic due to its proximity to the path. If you don't recognize the area from the prior description, you will recognize it from the pictures below and agree it was one of the worst turf areas on the course since practically day one. Turf in the area struggled from the same common decomposed granite & clay soils that we struggle with throughout the course as well as shade issues and compaction which is a bad combination. Below are pictures that tell the improvement story. 

Above depicts the before image of the aforementioned historically bad area on the right-hand side of #2 along the cart path. This area is a natural drive-off area for carts and has never been good. Its condition is particularly bad in the winter months as the sun hides behind the trees running up the right-hand side of the hole most of the day. Historically the area will get a little better in the spring when the turf fill's in as the days get longer and the sun is higher. But once we start to use the area to exit the hole with cart traffic it gets thin and bad rapidly and the cycle begins anew. 

Circled in red is the specific area addressed and is part of our Master Improvement Plan which now will earn a big red checkmark near this section as we have completed at least this part of the work on the right-hand side of this hole.

Step #1. We did some tree pruning and thinning. Allowing more sunlight into this area year-round will be an on-going need and critical to this areas or any turfgrass areas success.

Step #2. Remove the sod. Very little of this sod was salvageable. We sod cut the area and removed it with the excavator.

More of the crew removing the piled-up sod.

Step #3. Excavating 4" of native soil. Shade and soil were the main things we needed to mitigate if we are to have successful turf in the area.

The entire area scrapped clean after excavating 4" of native soil. 

Step #4. Installing drainage. Above depicts just part of the drainage pattern we installed in the area.

At the upper edge of the cavity, we installed drainage chambers which we hope will aid in removing sheeting water coming off of the fairway slope which tended to settle in the lower area along the cart path. 

To ensure a clear flow of drainage water from the areas new drainage system, we wanted to establish an independent drainage line which meant coming across the cart path providing us with a decisive way to monitor drainage flows. 

Step #5. Filling the drainage lines with gravel.

We estimate we removed over 100 tons of soil from the area and temporarily stockpiled it in the open area between #2 & #12. We have future plans for this soil.

Step #6. Filling the cavity with sand. This will be one of the keys to this area's success. We added 100 tons or 80 yards of tee sand to the area along with another 20 tons of gravel for the drainage ditches.

Step #7. Finish grade and compaction. The planning of this project has been ongoing for some time, but the execution happened rather rapidly between rainstorms. We stripped the sod and dug out 4" of soil on Monday 1/29 with no rain, dug and installed drainage on Tuesday 1/30 and moved 100 tons of washed tee sand into the area on Wednesday 1/31 just before 1.25" of rain that fell Wednesday afternoon into the evening and all-day Thursday 2/1. Friday 2/2, in between and during another .50" storm, we installed the sod.

Step #8. 6000 square feet of sod installed. We had a bit of time to do some fine grading before sod arrived on Friday AM. The sand base was very firm under foot and there was no standing water due to the new sand base and all of the preparation and drainage that was installed.

And here is the finished product. Despite the tree thinning we did in the area that will ultimately contribute to the area's success, there will still always be some shade issues to contend with. This led us to the choice of sodding with Tahoma 31 Hybrid Bermuda. "In up to 63% shade, Tahoma 31 Hybrid Bermuda is ranked #1 amongst other popular bermudas". We will soon be sodding around the tree on #10 which struggles with shade related issues with Tahoma 31 as well. It should blend very well with our Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda and hopefully show to be a great option and companion for some of our fairway edge areas near trees that struggle particularly in the winter months from shade issues.

In the upcoming weeks we plan to address the area on the other side of the cart path from the area we just addressed on #2. Although the area is somewhat out of play, it gets allot of activity by all skill levels and when we are done, you'll still have trees to navigate but an improved lie and better ability to locate your ball and punch out. More to come.

Thanks for your support!