Saturday, June 29, 2024

2024 Fairway Aeration & The Dog Days of Summer


Remember !
Golf Course Fairway Aeration 
Monday July 8th through Friday July 12th

Golf Course Closed

We are going to take a full week to aerify and sand topdress the warm season hybrid bermuda fairways rather than stretching it out with F9 & B9 closures over a few weeks creating varying levels of recovery and consistency for the Members. A course update on progress and process will be posted early in the week to keep interested Members informed. During the golf course closure, the Driving Range and Practice Greens will be open for Member's as well as Tilley's Pub & Mackenzie Grille.

The "Dog Days of Summer" are traditionally the 40 days in front part of summer from July 3rd to August 11th coinciding with dawn rising of the  Dog Star, Sirius

The official start of Summer marked by the Summer Solstice was  on Thursday June 20th beginning  the 94 day period of Summer leading to the  Fall Equinox on Sunday September 22nd where the hours of daylight equal the hours of night. We have stated on many occasions that the summer months have traditionally been the hardest season on this golf course and most of our preparations throughout the year are aimed at surviving it. 

But since the 2021 renovation / turf conversion we have reduced the stressful part of the Summer by 40% by converting our fairways to Santa Anna Hybrid BermudaHowever the golf course is still 60% cool season turf in the rough which is susceptible to these Sacramento summers. 

We have been adding Tall Fescue to the rough because of its superior heat tolerance to ryegrass, but it is still a cool season variety and therefore susceptible to summer heat and the soil drying associated with it.  As a reminder, hybrid bermuda does not do well in the shade of our tree lined fairways and therefore the best options for much of the rough are the cool season varieties of turf which can handle shade much more efficiently yet can still struggle to handle the heat of summers, especially when the soil get dry and hard.

But even though summer has always been hard on Granite Bay there is much to be excited about. The examples of continued irrigation infrastructure improvements like the right hand side #13 rough, left hand side #10 rough and right hand side of #5 rough to name a few have made a big difference in turf quality in these areas even in the summer.  These completed improvements stand as proof that our plan to improve irrigation coverage for the cool season rough independent of the warm season fairways will put the finishing touches on the renovation of 2021 and mitigate much of the summer threat in the future. 

Enjoy some pictures below of recent activity on the course. 

Some new brush additions to our Fairway mowers we very recently started using. These brushes are called Transformer Brushes and they are very popular for grooming grain out of turf surfaces. We started brushing fairways this spring remove allot of the winter grain in them. We started with our small soft brushes then purchased a new large stiff brush that we brushed ahead of the fairway mowers. With these new brushes we will be standing up the leaf surface ahead of cutting every time we mow promoting new small plants and a dense surface. Again, we have just started with these brushes and predict they will be key in getting these surfaces better and better. 

Nice view after the first use of the Transformer Brushes on #8

This density and surface will just keep getting better and better with prolonged brushing.

Looks like we all have a heatwave to contend with on the very near horizon. These are the times that can test this golf courses soul. What can you do to help? First, recognize that cart traffic is most damaging when it gets hot like this, especially to the cool season rough turf that surrounds our fairways. Secondly enter and exit through the gates on golf holes that are open to cart traffic and drive exclusively on the more durable warm season fairway turf. Thirdly, respect the soaker sprinklers we have going on a few places on the course as well as the rotating cart path only holes designated by signs along the path. If you land in the area with the soaker sprinkler operating, treat it as GUR (ground under repair) and move your ball. 

Above we mentioned the success of improving irrigation coverage giving us the ability to keep the fairway drier and keep the soil adequately hydrated to support cool season turf, particularly on these sun-baked slope's like along the cart path on #12. We haven't addressed this area yet with enhanced irrigation and the entire cart path edge of #12 is high on our list to do so.  In the meantime during the summer months we will employ these lines of soaker sprinklers to keep these areas alive. Again, please treat the area as GUR when you encounter them.

This picture doesn't represent the entire Swan family as the Cygnets are now a big enough for their parents to allow them to roam a bit. We started off with seven babies and now have four. 

And they are now almost the size of an adult goose. 


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