April 26, 2011

April Team Member Profile

Jesus Frutos-Victor "Chewy"

Maintenance Team Member Since 2006
Position: Greenkeeper
Duties: Equipment Operator, General Labor and Detail work
Family: Single, 1 child
Interests: Long distance running, work

Chewy started here at Claremont as a seasonal staff member in 2006 and was promoted to the full time staff in 2009.  Over the last year Chewy has taken on many new job assignments with great enthusiasm helping the entire operation become more efficient and cohesive.  While being a quiet person, he always comes to work with a great attitude and leads by example with a tremendous work ethic.  Thanks to Chewy for a job well done!

April 13, 2011

The Taming of the Fescue

One of the things that makes Claremont so special is the bunkering.  The classic style, the way the bunkers just fit where they are and look as if they'd been there forever really gives us the sense of working on a 100 acre art piece.  One that is continually evolving, growing and being beaten up by golf carts, animals, tractors and the like.  This place just has it.

A major feature of the bunkering here at Claremont is the Fine Fescue "eye brows."  Fine Fescue is a grass found growing native in California and other parts of the world and is truly a poverty grass, meaning it does best with little to no water and fertilizer and infrequent mowing.  Coming out of winter, the fescue is long, lush and hard on the golfer.

 So, today we tamed the fescue around all the bunkers on the golf course.  Ten team members armed with weed eaters, rakes and blowers.  The guys bounce their weed eaters against the fescue to beat it up and give it that natural, rustic look that I think is so cool.  The end result is what I like to call Weed eater Art.  Plus, now you may find your ball!

Last fall, our consulting agronomist and friend Dave Wilber made a visit just as we had finished the new bunkers on 1 & 18.  Below is a link to his blog that is posted on where he discusses that visit.  Dave is brilliant, a great writer and has some very nice things to say about Claremont.  Enjoy, and we'll see you on the course.

April 6, 2011

Greens Aeration Step 4

Step 4 is the dragging and brushing of the sand.  Once the sand has dried on the surface of the greens, we pull a mechanical drag brush behind a small turf vehicle.  Typically, we'll make two passes over each green with this unit attempting to work the sand into the hole.  This can be quite stressful to the turf so after a few passes, we stop with the drag brush and go to our hand brooms to do the finish work.  Getting the sand right is the most time consuming process of the aerification and is critical to the over-all success of the project.  Over the next few days, we will go back on some of the greens to add sand to some greens to completely fill the holes.

April 5, 2011

Greens Aeration Step 3

Step 3 is a deep, solid tine aeration using our tractor mounted vertidrain.  With this piece of equipment, we are able to punch a 3/8" hole to a depth of 9 inches.  Really, we are aerating the greens twice this spring, all in one process. 

As you all know, the greens here at Claremont are native soil (clay) greens that have been modified with sand topdressing over many years.  The sand layer is anywhere from 2" from the surface up to 6" from the surface and varies on every green.  With the deep aeration along with the traditional core aeration we will, over time even out the current inconsistency in the root zone resulting in better playing conditions year around.  Please enjoy the following aeration footage!

April 4, 2011

Greens Aeration Step 2

Here is step 2 of the greens aeration - a heavy sand topdressing.  Sand is applied to each green following core aeration.  Once the sand is dry, we will drag the sand around with a mechanical brush working sand into the holes. 


Greens Aeration Step 1

Here is the first step in the aerification process, the coring & clean up.  This step will take 12 staff members approximately 6 hours to complete. Enjoy and check back later for step 2!

April 3, 2011

Spring Aeration

Spring is here and finally, it's time to aerify these greens!  I sure that's exactly what you've all been thinking for the last month or so, right?  Maybe not.  Well, the clouds have parted and we've been given the green light from mother nature to get on with our springtime aeration.  The schedule is as follows:

Monday 4/4 - Back 9 greens & putting green

Tuesday 4/5 - Front 9 greens & chipping greens (front nine closed this day)

Wednesday 4/6 to Monday 4/11 - Tee, collar & approach aeration & sanding

Monday 4/11 to Friday 4/15 - Fairway Solid tine aeration (no disruption to play)

Monday 4/18 to Friday 4/22 - Rough core aeration

We will do everything possible to get the greens back into exellent condition and with our current forcast being ideal, this should be no problem.  We will be posting to the blog throughout the next few days detailing the aerification process for our greens.  There will be multiple posts and no email notice will be sent out so those of you interested, please check back here for the latest updates.  This is the most important time of the year for us and a succsesful aeration will set us up for great conditions throughout the year.

Thank You all from the Turf Department.