Black Friday

The Black sand is expected to speed up recovery despite the short days and cool nights.


You will notice the greens are quite a different color when the golf course re-opens on Friday following the four-day closure to complete the fall aeration.  Due to the late season punching, a new technique was used to promote a quick healing with the short days and long cool nights.  In an effort to speed up recovery, we contracted with our sand company to create “black” topdressing sand.  It is the same sand we use on a regular basis, just dyed black.  It is expected that the black sand will increase soil temperatures by 7-to-10 degrees F, offering a greater chance at a quick late season recovery.  The tees, fairways, approaches, and rough were all aerated and all punched areas (except rough) were topdressed with sand to enhance surface drainage and create firmer playing conditions along with smoothing out slight imperfections.  Many weak areas of the rough were overseeded with improved  varieties of grass seed which will help promote denser turf, and better playing condition.  It was a tremendous amount of work that the maintenance crew pulled off in four-days filled with great weather.   Because November is a relatively late month for aerating, please be patient and understand it our goal to return to optimal conditioning as quickly as possible, but with cool nights and short days, the healing is expected to take several weeks.

View of the 8th green complex with the black sand


View from a distance of the 13th green complex with the black sand


Fall Aeration Schedule


Our greens have not been core aerified since November 2011. It is crucial that the weather will cooperate to allow this much needed cultivation practice.



Projected Schedule


Core Aerify Greens 1 through 18 along with Putting and Chipping Greens

Aerify Fairways #1…#9…#10


Tuesday Nov-13 COURSE CLOSED

Aerify Greens that are left if not finished on the first day

Aerify Tees and Aprons

Aerify Fairways #2…#3…#4…#5…#6…#7…#8…#17


Wednesday Nov-14 COURSE CLOSED

Solid Tine Aerify Greens 1 through 18 along with Putting and Chipping Greens

Aerify Tees and Aprons

Aerify Fairways #11…#12…#13…#14…#16


Thursday Nov-15 COURSE CLOSED

Aerify Fairways that are leftover if not finished

Finish aerifying Approaches if not finished

SAND TOPDRESS – All Fairways beginning at 9am


Friday   Nov-18 COURSE OPEN 7:00am

Cleanup and Touchup … Fix any damaged areas



Aerating in November

This schedule is completely dependent on weather.  Because this process will be done so late in the season, there are no make-up dates scheduled.  If it is too wet, we will not do any of the scheduled activities.  We will monitor greens throughout the winter and punch small holes as needed if nothing is completed in November.  The next scheduled aeration will then occur during the week of March 11, 2013.  Additionally, tree work will occur throughout the golf course with the emphasis of pruning many of our prominent oak trees.  Two trees will be cut and removed.  One monterey pine in the 17th rough and one cypress nearest the 6th green.


Fairway Topdressing

Although considered a nuisance by some, the light application of sand on the fairways is extremely beneficial.  Last week we received nearly 7-inches of rainfall, yet the fairways did not play or feel as if that much rain fell.  Part of the reason is the consistent application of sand to the fairways.  Our strategy is to apply 8-tons of sand per acre, four times per year.  Annually, this equates to just over 30-tons of sand per acre on the fairways.  This helps to minimize thatch buildup from an agronomic standpoint, but more importantly it creates a firmer playing surface and better ball roll on the fairways.  Along with better surface drainage, the end result is optimal playing conditions during the rainy season.  This sand is being applied on Friday afternoon and with this weekend’s rain, the sand will be pushed down and very little indication of this process will be noticeable by early next week.

Light layer of sand being applied to fairways

Aeration Week

Unfortunately the rain prevented the fairways from being aerated this spring. However, the rain was definitely a welcome sight as it has been a very dry winter.


The rain prevented many areas of the golf course from being aerified this spring, but due to the very dry winter so far this year the rain was a very welcome sight.  On Monday, March 12 we solid tine punched the greens with 3/8″ tines at a 2-inch forward spacing.  This created thousands of small holes in each green, but without pulling cores.  The process involved verticuting the greens in two-directions and removing as much of the extra spring growth as possible.  Then we applied a heavy amount of sand on the greens, followed by the aerators punching the holes.  This allowed the dry sand to be “vibrated” into the small holes and after the brushing and rolling of the greens, it simply looked as if we just completed a routine verticut and topdress procedure.  With two aerators working throughout the golf course, the process was efficient and the crew finished in one day.


Solid tine punching of greens following the sand topdressing. The sand being used was died a green color.


View of greens before and after punching.


Final process of brushing and rolling created the look similar to the routine verticut and topdress procedure that we do twice per month. Following this weeks rain, the sand is gone and only a handful of small holes are visible.


The tees and approaches were core aerified along with #4 and #12 fairways.  The aeration on the rest of the fairways was canceled due to the weather forecast calling for rain.  The cleanup process would not have worked well and more damage would have been created than it was worth.  Overall, what areas were aerated in the short timeframe we had to work with went well.  The nearly 5-inches of rain that we have experienced this week was a welcome sight and pushed all the sand into the areas that were topdressed.  Once the sun returns, the course will look and play great.

Leaning Tree

The Monterey Pine close to the 9th green and adjacent to the cartpath that separates the 1st and 9th holes will be removed on Tuesday morning.  This tree has been leaning more and more each year and threatens to fall.  It is causing damage to the surrounding turf with its roots lifting up the sod.  It poses a danger to golfers and if it were to fall, would cause significant damage to the 9th fairway and surrounding irrigation sprinklers.  The pine tree is nearing its life expectancy and currently offers little protection from errant golf balls.  Once removed, the stump will be ground out and the area will be sodded with grass.  We are being proactive and removing this tree while the tee time schedule is being modified due to aeration.

This monterey pine near the 9th fairway will be removed on March 13, 2012 as it has continued to lean more and more over the years.


Base of the pine is lifting up sod and creating difficult growing conditions in the rough.

Lighting it Up!

Previous view from the 7th green looking down the tree-lined fairway


Current view from the 7th green looking down toward the 6th fairway


The 6th-7th-8th corridor of Pasatiempo is a stretch of the golf course that is nothing to brag about.  From an architectural standpoint, the trees that line this area of the golf course completely ruin the intended architecture.  The 7th hole is a short par-4 but the tee shot is visually intimidating as a long line of massive cypress trees create a tunnel vision effect in ones mind.  For several years, most tree work in this area has been delayed or pushed back.  However, the aging trees have created a significant shade issue and a potential safety issue with many broken limbs.  From a playability standpoint, the low hanging limbs were impacting golf shots and making the short par-4 play much more difficult.  During the week of November 14th, the golf course was closed due to aeration of greens, tees, and fairways.  It also was an opportune time to complete a massive trimming project in this area without having players to work around.  24-cypress trees were limb up 50-feet and the lateral growth was removed.  This has dramatically changed the view from the tee, the overall playability of the 6th and 7th holes, and has substantially increased the amount of sunlight affecting the 8th green along with the fairways in this area.  No trees were removed during this phase of the project, but there is the possibility of taking some trees out in the future to really improve this area of the golf course.

View from the 7th tee prior to the beginning of the tree work.  Notice the amount of the shade impacting this area along with the “tunnel vision” effect.
The 8th green complex with shade covering the green.  Once the tree work is done, the goal is to dramatically increase the amount of sunlight affecting this green.
Late afternoon view of the tree work that has eliminated a “wall” of green and will allow much needed sunlight to hit the 8th green during the winter months.
Day two of the thinning and trimming process.  Notice the two trees on the right side that were not done.  More sunlight…more air movement…better turfgrass and better playability.