March 28, 2011

Etiquette 101

Good Day Golfers, Hack McDuff here to point out some correctable behavior on the golf course. A few weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, I came upon the forth green to notice a significant amount of sand on the putting green surface. I know for a fact the green's crew had earlier in the morning performed their cleaning, mowing and rolling operations so they could not be blamed for neglecting their duties. Clearly what took place was a player not taking the time to knock off the sand from their shoes while they were still in the long grass of the rough. Upon walking out of a bunker a light tap to the sole of your shoe with your club, while you are in the rough, will solve the problem. During the morning hours there is a significant amount of dew throughout the golf course and while walking your shoes become wet outside; as you walk into a freshly raked bunker the sand will attach to your wet shoes and will be deposited on the putting green as you walk. This amount of sand can be a real bother to a ball rolling on the green unless it is cleaned off. Please pay attention to the LPGA and the PGA players the next time you are watching an event on television, they expect perfection at all times and they are very careful not to leave debris in their own way. I am posting this photo because truly a picture is worth a thousand words. See you next time. Fore!

March 20, 2011

A Wet Spring Ahead!

As I write this post, all that comes to mind is rain!  Rain total for this past week is now at 3.5" and the forecast is for more of the same.  We in the turf department, like many of you in the golfing membership are itching to get on with our spring time practices but mother nature obviously has other plans in store. 

Looking at the bright side, we have nearly completed all of our winter time maintenance detail including:

  • painting and re-finishing of all benches
  • oiling and water-proofing of bunker rakes
  • re-finishing wooden flagsticks
  • raising and leveling of fairway sprinkler heads and installation of yardage markers on sprinklers
  • six drainage projects (7, 14, 15 fairway, 18 approach, 8 & 10 green/collar)
  • the leveling and re-sodding of #17 tee.
This winter has been quite productive despite the above average rainfall (23.52" to date) and needless to say, we are ready for the golfing season!!!

I've added a link below to a thread on the discussion board of Golf Club  This website is all about the world of golf course architecture and is frequented by many of the big names in that field.  Last October, the golf pro from Cork in Ireland played the course during the RIX tournament and posted his thoughts along with pictures of the golf course.  Keep in mind, this is a discussion board with many people sharing their opinions, including our consulting architect Jim Urbina.  Many good comments to the golf course and the restoration work done here and all involved should be proud of the work accomplished.

Please enjoy the pictures and commentary on Claremont with the thought of summertime firm & fast golfing conditions planted in the back of your head!,46286.0.html

March 16, 2011

Greens Aeration Update

As per our spring aeration schedule, we went ahead with greens aeration on holes 1 through 9 on Monday.  Despite the forecast for dry weather, we received over .5" of rain throughout the day and were unable to topdress with sand following core aeration.  As we sit now, the forecast is calling for showers and/or rain for nine of the next ten days making it impossible to properly apply sand to the greens and obtain the desired results.  We have made the decision to postpone the aeration until the forecast changes to more of a dry weather pattern.

As you all know, spring weather in the Bay Area can be unpredictable at best.  What is important to the over-all health of the turf is that we pick the right time to perform this important cultural practice.  We in the turf department thank you for your understanding with this process.

March 8, 2011

March Team Member Profile

Juan Berrios

Maintenance Team Member Since 1993
Position: Greenkeeper
Duties: Section Detail
Family: Married, 3 children
Interests: Family, Golf, Raising Border Collies

Juan is a veteran team member who is responsible for section work on holes 14,15,16, and 17.  Section work consists of green & tee set up, all bunker maintenance, handwatering and general detail work within the section.  Juan is one of 5 section members we have here in the turf department and he continues to do great work.  Thanks to Juan!

March 1, 2011

Winter Repair & Maintenance

If you had to guess, what part of the golf course would you say received the most attention from the turf department?  The bunkers here at Claremont are far and away the most labor intensive feature of the golf course.  Making these bunkers look and play the way they do is a major focus year around for the maintenance staff.  During the winter months keeping the bunkers in shape and looking good is even more challenging.



 With the winter comes the rain and it's during these heavy rain events that we see the damage to the bunkers in the form of washouts, puddling, and sand contamination.  What's important is that the bunkers are repaired correctly to avoid a build up of silt and soil in the white bunker sand.  Typically following a rain event the first step is to remove any sand that is contaminated with silt and/or soil out of all the bunkers.  Then the process of putting the sand back up on the faces begins and much of this work is done by hand with shovels.  The last step is to rake out the entire bunker to break up the compaction and help to allow the wet sand to dry. 




This process of repairing bunkers can be quite time consuming and labor intensive dependant on the severity of the storm.  Keep in mind there will be times when we don't have enough staff to properly repair all the bunkers immediately following a given storm.  The staff in the turf department will do their best to get the golf course back in shape following the winter storms and I thank them for their hard work in the bunkers this winter.