Is it me or does it feel like springtime out there? The current dry period that we're going through is not uncommon to the area. Climate is certainly one of the things that keeps us here in northern California. Sure we deal with some rain and cold throughout the winter but all things considered, we've got it pretty good.
So, where am I going with this? I got the question the other day about the firmness of some greens and why we had not been watering. My answer was that we would not water until we absolutely have to. It's January still, it will rain again I promise! Soon enough we will be watering every night, but it's now through spring and into early summer that is conditioning time for turfgrass. Much like a boxer training for the big fight, our grasses need to be conditioned and "in-shape" prior to the battle of summer. These extended periods in between rains allow the surface to dry out as water moves down through the soil profile. It's a great time to let roots go looking for water. What we do now as turfgrass managers can and will set the tone for the year.
If you have been on the course over the last week I'm sure you've seen the extensive drain work being performed on #7 fairway. With winter this year bringing an early 12" of rain, the wet areas on this fairway have given us many problems that we are now addressing. A classic "herringbone" drain will be installed at a depth of 18 to 24 inches. The drain work begins with the trenching and removal of the native clay soils and rock. We then line the trench with pea gravel and install the 3" perforated drain pipe. The trench will then be filled with pea gravel to 6" from the surface. The top 6" of the trench will be filled with a mix of sand and compost prior to replacing the sod. The end goal being an area that will drain well during winter rain events and will stand up to traffic from golf carts and maintenance vehicles alike.
All work on this project is being done "in-house" by the maintenance staff here at Claremont. Drainage work by nature is dirty, labor intensive and time consuming. When you see the guys out there in a ditch, don't hesitate to give a wave and thank them!
Well, here we go.... Today is day one for the Claremont Turf Department Blog. The purpose of this blog is to share information on the maintenance of the golf course and grounds here at Claremont Country Club. We hope to, at the same time answer your questions about the methods and techniques we use to achieve the conditions that you as members expect. It is our goal in the turf department to provide the best possible playing experience daily for our members and their guests and we intend for this blog to one day be a part of that experience. We will update the blog at least twice a month with pertinent information. When something comes up on the golf course, we will talk about it here. We will start slow with the blog and work our way into it. Much like the golf course, expect things here to change and evolve as we go.