February 22, 2011

Meet Hack McDuff

Hello Golfers, players of the greatest game ever invented. Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Hack McDuff. You don't know me but you know who I am. You know the guy who plays at least two times per week but can barely break 120, but that's OK I love the game. I want to talk about how each and every one of you can help to make this game more enjoyable for all players. I will be addressing an issue in need of repair on the golf course, etiquette. Long time players hopefully understand what etiquette is all about but this will be geared to those needing some help. New players beginning the game are typically in such a hurry to learn the game often not enough effort is devoted to etiquette.
Etiquette 101 will become this portion of the blog. I will be making comments on golf course abuse as I see it and from time to time I will provide pictures of some of the abuse I see as I hack my way around the golf course. Please don't be upset be happy, you will learn a few things.
Now I know not many of you have read the rule book, produced by the USGA and the R&A of St. Andrews, Scotland. These two organizations are charged with preserving and maintaining the integrity and tradition of the game. Section I of the rule book speaks of etiquette as the behavior of a player on the golf course. Every player should direct consideration to others on the course at all times. This thought translates to leaving the golf course in better condition than you found it. Think about that simple statement, what can be done to leave the golf course in better condition? You the player has the responsibility to tidy up after yourself; repair ball marks, replace/fill divots and general housekeeping. Should you hire a caddy to assist you along the way it is still your obligation as the player, to ensure that all the proper steps are taken. I have seen lazy caddies and some of them need some coaxing. This etiquette business is brought to the forefront to point out the fact that if all golfers played with it in mind the game would be more enjoyable for all. The rule book can be viewed at for those interested.
Well, so now you have met me and you will see me from time to time in this blog with some very important information.

February 14, 2011

February Team Member Profile

Elio Ledesma Jr.

Maintenance Team Member Since 1995
Position : Greenkeeper
Duties : Irrigation, Project Leader, Equipment Operator
Family : Married, 1 child
Interests : Family

Elio has worked at Claremont for 16 years and always has a smile on his face.  He is involved with many projects on the golf course and during the summer months his primary focus is irrigation.  Thanks to Elio for all his hard work and great attitude.

February 13, 2011

A New Tool In The Arsenal

When it comes to maintaining fine turf for golf courses, all things lead to water.  The intelligent use of water is important to us not just for the environment, but also in developing a healthy stand of turf and up to now, many of the decisions we made were somewhat subjective.  Well, gone are those days.  Meet the TDR 300 Moisture Meter.

This new tool being put to use mainly on the greens will help us develop and fine tune a proper watering schedule throughout the summer.  The moisture meter measures the percentage of volumetric water content (VWC) in the top 3.5" of the soil.  This spring we will check each green daily in the same "grid type" method recording VWC% at up to 12 points on each green.  This information will be stored on computer and mapped to show us how each green dries down from the last rains of the year. 

The information we record will help us determine when to over-head water the greens.  Throughout this process, we can also determine how each portion of a specific green handles the water we give it and then adjust the amount of water applied during each irrigation event accordingly. It will also help greatly in training the staff on how to properly hand water the greens in between over-head watering cycles.  

One of my favorite things about maintaining the golf course is that it's very much a blend of art and science.  The old method of checking moisture was to pull out a soil core and feel the soil with your hands.  Although quite subjective with regard to checking moisture, there is an art and feel to this and it tells us so much more about what is going on in the soil than just reading a number on a screen.  This new tool will help us be better managers of water throughout the golf course and in turn make Claremont more enjoyable for you each time you play!

February 1, 2011

Solid Tine Aeration

Aerification.  It's not a four letter word but to most golfers, it may as well be.  When the topic comes up, members cringe, people think bumpy, sandy greens, poor ball roll etc.  Well, we aerified the greens yesterday and you'd be hard pressed to see the effects today.

Yesterday's aeration was done using a solid tine, meaning that no material was removed and the surface disruption was minimal.  The goal here is simply to get air into the root zone.  It's been about four months since we've done any sort of aerification.  Anytime we have the opportunity to let the greens breathe in the winter good things happen and in the end, it's all about promoting a healthy environment for turf.

There are many different methods of aerification that will be performed on the golf course over the coming year.  The priority here in the turf department is a healthy soil and strong stand of turf that will in turn result in great playing conditions.  Each of the year's aerifications will be profiled here on the blog.