July 19, 2016

I am a Greenkeeper

This video was made by one of our seasonal Greenkeepers and it's so cool I had to share here.
So much time, planning and effort goes into maintaining the golf course that it's really difficult to explain. This is a really neat look at just some of the things we are doing out there. Some great pics and video courtesy of Jose De La Rosa. This video is dedicated to the great staff of Greenkeepers at the Claremont Country Club and all great Greenkeepers around the world.

Thanks Jose for putting this together and thank you for your service to our country!

Josh Clevenger, Golf Course Superintendent

The Sandman Cometh

The sandman was back to apply 600 tons of sand to the fairways on Monday. A total of 1200 tons have been applied this season (40 tons per acre). This total is half of what was applied for many years. The years of heavy sand applications resulted in a sand base on fairways of 6 to 8". The fairways were essentially "sand capped" over the course of 15 years and now we have adjusted the program to maintain that sand base. Resulting conditions have improved year around. I hear stories from many long time members about losing shoes in the fairways back in the day. No longer the case! In season, we are able to provide firm and fast conditions in fairways thanks to the sand base. It doesn't take much to dry things out here and when playing firm the character of the course is accentuated big time.

We've reached the mid point of the season and so far so good. About this time each year, I find myself looking through files of pictures titled "winter" or "rain" more and more often. It's been almost 4 months since we've had any precipitation. Rainbows and water falling from the sky would be a welcome sight but in all reality, we've got a long way to go. Football season is just a few weeks away though...

July 12, 2016

Summer Aeration

Following the 4th of July we set aside 10 days to perform cultural practices on the golf course. Cultural practices this summer include things like verticutting, aeration and sand topdressing. While these practices are never popular, the resulting course conditions are. Thanks to a strong program of cultural practices over the last few years, our turf conditions are stronger and  healthier than ever and we expect a speedy recovery.

This summer we chose to add a "Dry-Ject" aeration to our process. This process is performed by outside contractors and involves a machine that injects a high pressure stream of water that fractures the soil allowing for sand to funnel into the void. With this aeration we are able to inject sand to a depth of 5 to 6 inches, just below our typical aeration depth of 3 to 4 inches. Over the last three years we have performed a physical properties test with ISTRC (International Sports Turf Research Center). The results of these tests have helped us to tweak our aeration processes to meet the needs of the soil. After all, we're all dirt farmers out here! See video of Dry-Ject below:

Some pics from the Dry-Ject process:

As you can see, the disruption to the surface is minimal while benefit to the subsurface is great. With this being our last major greens aeration of the year, we will follow the Dry-Ject with a traditional core aeration and sanding. Soil amendments and organic fertilizers are added then we water. With a very favorable weather forecast, we expect a smooth recovery.
Along with greens aeration, all tees, approaches and fairways will be aerated with a solid tine and topdressed with sand. This will be our final fairway sanding of the year and when complete, we will have applied 40 tons per acre for the season. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this process. We look forward to a great summer and fall golf season on the course thanks to the work being completed over these ten days. Football season is just 4 weeks away!