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.

 

Date

Projected Schedule

Monday Nov-12 COURSE CLOSED

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.

 

New Nursery Green

The new sand based nursery green will be seeded in mid-October.

 

Area behind the 7th green is an ideal location for our new nursery green

 

The area behind the 7th green has been designated as a perfect location for a new nursery green.  The existing nursery sits in the shade during the majority of the winter months with the tall eucalyptus trees significantly impacting the amount of sunlight reaching the green.  A nursery green is an important part of the maintenance operation and is maintained just like the rest of the greens on the course.  Typically, the nursery is the best green on the golf course as it does not get the foot traffic from players and damage from ball marks.  We use the nursery to perform test plots when trying new fertilizers and other products and it is used for replacing thin or worn areas of the greens on the golf course.  The new nursery green will be seeded during early October with bentgrass and this will also serve as an ideal test to see how the new varieties of bentgrass perform in our coastal climate.

Preparing the site for excavation

Evolution of the 18th Hole

Previous landscaping behind the 18th green

While the 18th green complex is unique as a Par-3 finishing hole that forces a carry over a large canyon onto a severely sloping green, the landscaping and backdrop has not been very appealing. Two weeks ago, the crew began transforming this area into a much more aesthetically appealing backdrop. The new landscape will consist of drought tolerant native grasses and plants along with ornamental grasses and shrubs that will add splashes of color throughout the back of the green complex. The initial preparation of the area involved cleaning up and removal of the existing plant material and shaping several oak trees that were covered up by years of overgrowth. Selective pruning of oak trees on the left side of the 18th green and removal of fir trees on the right side of the green significantly opened up the view of the entire green complex from all teeing locations. Once mature, the grown landscape will hide the parking lot and traffic above the green all while creating a much more dramatic backdrop for the finishing hole.

View from the 18th Tee during the mid-1990’s

18th Green following completion of new landscape at end of August 2012.

With natural erosion over the past 80-years, the modern 18th Green will never truly capture what was a very  dramatic Par-3 finishing hole.

Back to Basics

The past four years we have tried different systems to help members, guests, and outside play to determine hole locations on the greens.  From the advanced plus (+) minus (-) system to determine how many paces from the center of the green to the four-quadrant rotational system, the daily course setup will revert to the old system of red, white, and blue flags.  This will allow the maintenance crew the most flexibility in determining a hole location for the given day.  It allows the staff to select the best possible location and will create more variety for those who play the course on a frequent basis.  This basic system is used frequently at many other golf courses and the colors represent the following:

RED – Front hole location

WHITE – Middle hole location

BLUE  –  Back hole location

Native Wildflowers

 

Over the past several weeks the putting green surfaces have been relatively clean from seed heads.  The combination of specialized products being applied to the greens to suppress seed head production and regular grooming or verticuting of the greens has created smooth and firm greens.  Seemingly overnight, several greens have exploded with seed head production which has led to spraying another application of seed head suppression and growth regulators.  This is not unusual, the same occurrence happened in late May of 2010 and 2011 with several greens displaying the same issues.  This late spring application should be the final dagger to control the pesky puffy poa.  Similarly, in the past two years, the green have been very smooth with little to no seed head issues throughout the rest of the summer months.  Be patient as the material takes several days to kick in and it will take up to a week for most of the seed heads to be mowed off.

 

18th green with an unexpected outbreak of seed head

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smooth Operation

 

The most basic benefit of topdressing greens is to create a smoother, more consistent putting surface.  We have performed this process over the past several years and use the important practice to fill in the un-repaired ballmarks and other slight imperfections in the putting surfaces.  The primary reason for creating a high-content sand green is to create compaction resistant and well-drained growing conditions.  This helps the greens withstand heavy traffic over the busy golfing season all while creating optimal putting conditions.  From an agronomic standpoint, the timely applications of light sand helps to dilute the thatch and prevents “spongy” green surfaces.   We had not topdressed greens since the beginning of April and you can expect to see this process completed every two-three weeks during the main growing season.  The maintenance crew is accustomed to performing this practice and has developed a smooth operation to ensure there is only minimal impact during the day of topdressing.  Following an irrigation cycle and mow the next morning, most players do not even realize the practice was done.