May 29, 2011

Ball Mark Repair

After seeing the greens this morning I thought it would be appropriate to re-post the video on ball marks. We found many ball marks that were not repaired this morning with #7 green having a total of 17. Something to keep in mind is with the firm condition of the greens, many times your ball mark is well short of where your ball may come to rest. The 7th green is a good example of this as many balls will hit the green and end up just off the back.

My Dad taught me as a kid to always fix my ball mark and one other with the idea being to leave the golf course in better condition than I found it, thinking about the players that follow me. Little did I know that one day I'd be blogging about this lesson learned from Dad!

Please pass this around, tell a friend and don't forget, there are free ball mark repair tools in the golf shop. Thanks and we hope you enjoy the course!

May 26, 2011

May Team Member Profile

Richie Pilat 

Maintenance Team Member Since 2003
Position: Greenkeeper
Duties: Equipment Operator
Family: Single, son Elvis
Interests: Biking, snowboarding and IPA

Richie spends most of his time here at Claremont mowing Tees & Approaches.  He is part of the weekend crew and helps with mowing and rolling of the greens and general set up of the golf course.  Richie's easy going attitude and good sense of humor keeps everyone in the turf department smiling.  Keep up the good work Richie!

May 21, 2011

Golf Course Maintenance Update

As we approach the summer growing season many important practices are being performed by the staff in the turf department.  I want to take a minute to update you all on what has been our focus over the last few weeks and where we're going as we lead up to the men's and women's invitationals.

  • If you have played the golf course recently I'm sure that you've noticed the greens being faster than usual.  This is directly related to the new greens mowing equipment that has been put to use over the last month.  These new mowers are fantastic and we are seeing the results already with smoother and faster greens.  Setting them up to achieve what we want will take some trial and error as we are seeing the greens a bit faster than our target speed.  The goal for green speeds are 10 on the stimpmeter for weekday play and 11 on the weekends. 

  • We have finished going through all of the bunkers on the course.  Each bunker is inspected for the proper depth of sand and adjusted accordingly.  Dirty or contaminated sand is removed and new sand is added to "freshen" the look of the bunkers.  Finally, the sand is turned over throughout the entire bunker to relieve the compaction that we see as a result of the winter rains.  The bunkers will be a bit inconsistent for a period of time as the newer sand will settle and keep in mind, a bunker is a hazard!

  • The bare areas in the fairways have been re-sodded as of last week.  The bare spots are a result of heavy traffic throughout the rainy season.  Many of these areas become to wet in the winter and struggle to survive as we continue to keep the course playable.
  • All fescue areas and "native grass" hillsides have been mowed down for the final time this season.  Soon these areas will dry up and brown out to create a nice contrast from green maintained turf to the brown natural look found on hillsides throughout California in the summer.
  • Greens, Tees and Approaches were verticut and sanded in the last two weeks.  The process of verticuting helps to remove thatch and "true" the surface and combined with a light sand topdressing, is an important cultural practice for healthy turf management.  This will take place every 3 to 4 weeks throughout the growing season.
Please remember to leave the golf course better than you have found it by doing these few things:

  • Fix your ball mark and one other
  • Rake out all foot prints and scars once leaving a bunker
  • Tap the excess sand off of your shoes before walking onto the green
  • Please use sand and seed for all divot repair
 Thank you all and we'll see you on the golf course!

May 11, 2011

New Divot Repair Policy

As you may have noticed we are keeping the golf course firm and fast this spring, a practice that will continue throughout the summer.  One result of the drier conditions is the inability for divots in the fairways to re-establish as seen in the picture below. 

The new policy we'd like you all to follow is simply to use the sand and seed mixture to repair all divots.  Please do not replace the grass divot as it will not have a chance to survive.  There are sand and seed bottles provided on all golf carts.  For those of you who walk the course, please take with you a bottle from the box at the first tee.

There are re-fill stations at the tee on holes 2, 6, 10, 13 & 16.  When you run out of sand and seed in your carry bottle, we ask that you place the empty container in one of these stations and take a full one with you.  This will help us greatly in keeping a sufficient amount of full bottles at each station.  Please remember to fill the divots level with the surrounding turf and step on it to tamp it down.  Thank you and we'll see you on the golf course.

May 5, 2011

It Feels Like Summer Out There!

Things are heating up and the staff in the turf department has been very busy for the last few months prepping for the upcoming growing season.  With temperatures in the low 80's for the last few days it seems as though spring is gone and summer has officially arrived.  Our main focus for the next six months will be the proper irrigation of the golf course.

The climate here in California, with the extended dry season makes proper water management essential to providing outstanding turf.  There are many things to consider with regard to irrigation, it's much more than just turning on the sprinklers.  The varied soil types, many different grass types and the amount of elevation change here at Claremont present a challenge to say the least.  We have a good irrigation system over-all but no system is perfect and to provide the turf conditions that you expect throughout the summer we will need to hand water portions of the golf course.  At times you will see the staff pulling hose and hand watering areas on the golf course that do not receive the proper amount of water via the irrigation system. 

This winter, we've built a few "micro sprinkler" sets that the staff can easily carry around course to set up in rough and out-of-play areas to help the efficiency of our program. 

Micro Sprinkler Set on #5
One thing to remember, when you are out in the morning you may see sprinklers up and running throughout the golf course.  This is the only time of the day that we can efficiently test and inspect the sprinklers and this process is critical to maintaining the system.  These sprinklers will only run for a few minutes and we will do our best to monitor for any golfers around this work.