June 20, 2013

Summer Maintenance On the Course

Summer is here and as we finish off the Men's and Women's Invitationals that magical date of July 4th is rapidly approaching. For the staff in the Turf Department, this means one thing... Summer Aeration.

Here is the schedule of events for our summer maintenance:

July 8 & 9: Core Aeration & Sanding of GREENS

July 10 to 12: Core Aeration & Sanding of TEES

July 15 to 24: Core Aeration of FAIRWAYS

July 8 to 16: Drainage Installation on 2, 3, 11 & 12 GREENS

**During Drainage work on greens, play will be on a temporary green. Expect each green to be out of play for 2 to 3 days**

Along with the standard summer aeration, XGD Drainage Co. will be installing subsurface drains into the greens on holes 2, 3, 11, & 12. These greens are the poor performers in terms of drainage especially during the winter months and the new drains will help to keep the course playable and healthy throughout the year. The XGD process was on full display last week at Merion Golf Club for the US Open when the course took over 7 inches of rain during the days leading up to the event. Much like Claremont, the greens at Merion are old push up greens that were drained in 2008 using the XGD method which does not disturb the surface of the green outside of the drain channel and does not alter contour what so ever. Each green will be out of play for a maximum of 3 days while the drains are installed and will be ready for play immediately once completed. Below is a link to XGD's own blog:

Any questions or comments on the upcoming maintenance are welcome and wanted. Find me on the course, shoot me an email or give me a call... whichever you prefer I'd be happy to help! Thanks and we'll see you on the course.

June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Happy Father's Day Pop and Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there. My Dad introduced me to the game of golf. He got me me up early in the morning to get in 9 before school. He taught me to leave the course better than I found it and sent me to the car when I got out of line. My Dad is the one person I have to thank for the very rewarding career that I've now gotten myself into. Without his introduction and my resulting love for the game, who knows what I'd be up too!  Father's Day Sunday is indeed a great day. For more reason than one.

Father's Day means US Open Sunday. This year the toughest test in golf lands at Merion Golf Club. A classic gem at less than 115 acres with wild fescue grass areas, roughed-up bunkers and quarry holes. Sound familiar?

As I look across the course at Claremont, I see many similarities to the look found at Merion. The bunkers are wild with minimally maintained fescue grass edges on both properties. Claremont is a charming 18 hole classic laid out on under 100 acres while Merion is a brute set on a small property as well. Both courses ooze character with the select placement of fescue native areas mingling in between lush green fairways and greens. Both very cool tracks with a rich history in the game.

 While the look is similar, it's not the same and for the most part this is due to climate. The fescue at Merion is long, lush and green right now thanks to the climate of the northeast that brings regular rainfall during the season. With the dry season that we experience each year in California, our fescue and native grasses take on a golden hue that resembles the native grass hillsides found throughout the state. Maintaining these areas to look natural and to be acceptable for playing the game of golf is truly an art form. Ask some of the pro's this week how they feel about the playability of Merion for the Open!

A big congratulations goes out to Superintendent Matt Shaffer and all of the staff and volunteers at Merion this year. They received over 7 inches of rain in the days leading up to the event and the course is looking flawless. Nothing short of amazing!

Here's to a great US Open...

Here's to great classic golf architecture...

Here's to a great Father's Day!

June 4, 2013

It's That Time Again!

Boy does time fly when you're having fun... Seems like not to long ago, we were getting ready for the winter that never really happened and then, all of a sudden, it's Invitational Time!

Over the last few weeks all of the staff in the Turf Department have been busy catching up on the many details around the course that we seem to fall behind on over the winter. Due to the dry beginning of 2013, the course has been so busy with member play and outside events that our focus has been on mowing and daily preparation. Thanks to the staff's hard work, we are now caught up and the focus this week will be on the mowing and general clean up of the course in preparation for our biggest event of the year.

The forecast this weekend is for hot weather (for Oakland) and we will have no problem getting the course to play firm and fast. Thanks to Mother Nature, the course is looking and playing different than in years past. To give you an idea as to why, in 2012 between January and June, our rain totals were 12.75". This year, in the same time period we've received just over 3" and no rain what so ever in the last 2 months! The farmer in me says it's gonna be a long season....

All things considered, the course is looking and playing very well and we are looking forward to a fantastic Men's Invitational! Thanks and we'll see you on the course.