April 5, 2014


It's been quite some time since I've updated the blog as Spring has sprung and we've had our hands full on the course. If there is one thing that stays the same, it's change. This saying goes especially well for those of us who've chosen the career of managing golf courses. Here goes for the update on what's been going on and the many changes that have kept us on our toes over the last month or so...

In March we welcomed new Assistant Superintendent Ismael Valadez to the Turf Department. Ismael comes to Claremont by way of Monterey where he spent 13 years working at Tehama Golf Club. His knowledge and work ethic have already made an impact with the crew and on the course. Welcome aboard Ismael!

First Assistant Superintendent Corey Beelke has moved on to a new position in Bend, Oregon. For sure a tough time of year to loose such dedicated employee and a great friend. Corey was with us for over two years and will be missed. Currently, we are searching for his replacement and we wish him the best in his new role at Broken Top Golf Club.


One of the changes I've been looking to make for some time now was in the accessories marking on the golf course. The old look, with the white, metal cart directional signs, green plastic rope stakes and standard yellow rope was kind of tired to say the least. Well, this is what we came up with.

These wooden directional markers can be found at the end of each fairway approaching the green and mark the cart boundary. Once you reach these markers, please follow left or right to the nearest cart path. These markers will be moved daily and help to redistribute wear and tear on the course.

Buzz is checking out the new look rope and stakes. Or, maybe just a squirrel in the distance. Either way, the new accessories are much more appealing to the eye and fit with the natural look we are going for. The staff in the Turf Department has been hard at work rummaging through our dump pile looking for just the right branches to cut and shape for use on the course.


As seen in the newsletter and in many a blog post, we like to aerate the golf course! Well, it might be better said that we like to do whats right for overall health of the turf so that it can withstand the punishment that we in the Turf Department put it through in preparation for daily grind of the golfing season. The actual process of aerating the course is a lot of hard work, long hours and puts stress on the turf and staff alike.

We have made some significant changes to the fairways by being aggressive with the aeration over the last few years. The picture here is from 2012 and you can see the layers of thatch in between the sandy soil in each of the cores pulled.

This picture shows a dramatic reduction of layering in the plugs from the fairways that were aerated a few weeks ago. Really cool to see these kind of changes in the soil and to know what we are doing is paying off. Less layering means better rooting, less localized dry spot and over all improved fairway playing conditions.


We have finally received some much needed rainfall and the timing was just about ideal. In the six week period form late February to early April, over 6 inches of rain has fallen on the course with the majority coming on the tail end of the spring aeration. The staff has had their hands full during this stretch of time and my hat is off to them for a job well done! The Quarry pond is now at full capacity and we will have more than enough water to irrigate the course for the season.

The Turf Department is looking forward to a great season. Thanks and we'll see you on the course!