Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 here we come!

2009 was a year of change and 2010 will continue along the path of change. Pete Jenny our Deputy Director of Parks retired after 19 years at the end of August and our Golf Supervisor of 37 years, Tom Massey, retired in November. With these two exiting stage left and my predecessor, Ray Festa, having retired after 34 years in 2007, our program has lost a significant amount of historical knowledge. With change comes fears of the unknown, but change also brings opportunity! Our new parks director is a former golf superintendent and members of my staff are salivating at the opportunity to put their mark on the program as our next golf supervisor. In the meantime I am getting the chance to be more active on the grounds as our lead green keepers and myself absorb Tom's responsibilities and discuss what we want our future to look like.

We also created the SLO GOLF CARD for 2010 and if you have not checked out the benefits of being a SLO GOLF CARD holder please visit one of our pro shops, or call (805) 782-8060, or go online to to find out what you are missing by not being a card holder. Today is the last day to take advantage of a 4th free round with the purchase of your SLO GOLF CARD and our January promotion is "play all three and get one free", so purchase yours today!

During the winter months our grounds staffs evaluate the past year to determine if we can do anything differently to improve upon the golfing experience on the courses. We are continuing to tweak our "new" irrigation system at Chalk Mountain as well as tweaking the system at Morro Bay. We will be doing a few projects at both Morro Bay and Dairy Creek golf courses so stay tuned for those changes. Our main focus this year will be regarding consistency. We want the golfers to experience the same conditions each time out and your input is vital to our ability to achieve our goals. We will be doing periodic surveys on the courses throughout the year so please help by participating in these fact (opinion) finding missions. In addition to changes on the grounds, your ride around the courses at Morro Bay and Dairy Creek will be in brand new golf carts, as well!

We are all excited about 2010 and we hope that you share in that excitement and will help us make 201o a great year! Have a safe and very Happy New Year, CHEERS!

"I couldn't wait for the sun to come up every morning so that I could get out on the course again."
- Ben Hogan

Monday, December 28, 2009

Another ace!

I was grabbing some lunch at The View, the restaurant at Morro Bay Golf Course, when someone asked if I wanted a drink. Come to find out he had aced the 4th hole earlier in the day and he wanted to celebrate after his round. Dave Hodge was the lucky gentleman's name and he is from Fresno. He was with his buddy and they make this trip each year, but this is the first time in his golfing career that he has been able to record a "1" on his score card. Congratulations Dave and thanks for the drink offer, but maybe next time!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is the time for spending time with family and friends. So what better place to spend that time than on the golf course?! After all of the presents are opened and you have your belly full why not head out to the course and bring the family and friends for a friendly little competition with everyone. Santa definitely knows how to relax after a long night of delivering presents to the world.Our staffs at all three course wish you and your families a safe and very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Morro Bay sand trap removal

If you have played Morro Bay Golf Course over the last week and a half you may have been wondering what we are done to the sand trap on the left of #4. Well we are grassing it in as it rarely comes into play and creates work for staff. The good news for the golfer is that a shot to the left of the green will rebound onto the green (this only happens if you have been fixing your ball marks, keeping your carts on the paths when you are supposed to, and posting your scores religiously; Hey the golf gods are watching).

Here are the pictures of the progress and we will see you on the course soon!

The bunker sand is removed and the first load of soil has been added.

Half way there!

Maybe a couple more loads.


Cutting and rolling the sod utilizing the tee box on #4.

The leveling and enlarging of the 4th tee will be our next project.

Rolling out the sod.

One big puzzle. Once the Kikuyu sod is placed on top, this will look great!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What a shot!

As I was inspecting the great job our staff is doing with removing the bunker and contouring on Morro Bay GC's fourth hole(stay tuned for pictures), I was lucky enough to witness this hole in 1! Roger Cripe has never played Morro Bay Golf Course, but this shot hopefully has made the course one of his regular stops. Roger and his two buddies were playing the hole from the white tees at 118 yards. It was a gorgeous shot and tracking the whole way. I did not happen to ask what club Roger hit, but it was a beautiful ball flight nice and high, that landed quite softly and one hopped into the hole! I hope this description helps you to visualize your shot and results Roger. You see, the fourth green is elevated above the tee enough that you can not see more than the first 3-4 feet of the green, so Roger did not know his ball was in the hole until my staff and I yelled in excitement. What a great game!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Frost damage.

Last week we had some substantial frost in the mornings at all three courses and some days the 9th green at Chalk Mountain never thawed throughout the entire day. I posted information about frost delays here on the blog previously and please give that post a once over for more information about the specifics of what frost does to the turf plant.

In this post I ask for your patience as we deal with mother nature in regards to frost. Frost delays are not something we like to impose upon golfers as we understand your desire to get on the course as you all have busy schedules and responsibilities once your round of golf is complete. My staff is also eager to get out and get the day started, but if we are not cautious about what kind of damage traffic, be it by foot or tires, we will all experience the effects for at least 6 months or more. Have a look at these photos taken at Morro Bay last week after a frosty morning.

Notice the gray or off color turf in the form of tire tracks. These tracks were caused by staff doing their routine morning inspections as the frost was beginning to form just before the sun breaks the horizon. These tracks are now more of a brown color and will eventually fill in and regain their green color, but the plant has been weakened and compromised. These plants are having to utilize their carbohydrate reserves to heal themselves as photosynthesis is limited this time of year for Kikuyu grass. Kikuyu grass is a "warm season" turf and requires warmer soil temperatures and longer periods of daylight to remain actively growing, two things we are not currently experiencing.

Now I said that we may see the effects of this damage for up to 6 months, but you know as well as I do that the days begin to lengthen after Dec. 21 and temperatures begin to increase in February if not before. So why the period of 6 months instead of 2-4 months? As I stated the health of the plant has been compromised and theses areas may not be as full as other turf areas surrounding them. This may cause your ball to nestle down in these areas more creating a difficult lie. The other instance that may happen is, since the turf is weak, weeds have an advantage and may out compete this turf and block out the sun from these areas as temperatures rise. These weeds would also cause a difficult lie. Now imagine if these weakened areas of turf were on the greens! Your ball would not roll true and your footprints would be visible for extended periods of time on the greens creating unsightly aesthetics. Take a look at this picture.

This photo shows the actual footsteps from one foursome on an individual green. How would you like to putt through all of those damaged footprints?

I have information posted in each of the pro shops for you to peruse during your next frost delay, so ask the guys in the shop where to find this information. We ask for your patience during these delays and trust that we will get you on the courses as soon as it is safe to do so! Have a cup of coffee, enjoy the surrounding landscapes, and relax because mother nature is in no hurry, but we know that you are as anxious as we are to get things rolling!

"A person will blame all other accidents upon something else, but feels completely responsible for a hole in one." Unknown

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thanks to the Grizzly's!

No not the species of bear, but rather the young men and women from the Grizzly Youth Academy. We were graced with the help of 5 young men who did a fantastic job assisting us with our renovation of the landscaping surrounding the entrance of Dairy Creek Golf Course. Adrian, Chris, Chris, Daniel, and Edgar helped remove old plant material, invading Bermuda and Kikuyu grass, tore out old stumps, and removed overgrown shrubs. The guys then raked and tilled the areas removing debris so that they could amend the soils and plant some annuals and spread mulch for the upcoming holiday parties that will be held at the facilities. This project is no where near completion, but the Grizzly's provided us a great jump start!
This program is a job shadowing program that provides the cadet's exposure to different organizations and careers. Our primary goal was to get started on our entrance landscaping project, but we did attempt to give the cadets a sample of our duties on the courses by talking about our irrigation pump stations, the different turfs that we grow and the differences between varieties, touring the facilities and discussing operations, and cutting some cups (and then reaping the benefits of our work by putting around a bit). Work hard and play hard!

If you are unfamiliar with the Grizzly Youth Academy, but may be interested in providing these fine youth a place to learn new skills or hone their current ones, please go to We have experienced excellent results and met some really great individuals and will definitely be participating in this program in the future. The five guys that helped us out will be graduating in December and we would like to say, "thanks again guys and good luck!"

Monday, December 7, 2009

NO NEW FEES!! (well almost)

We are well aware of the economic situation everyone is experiencing recently and to help give people a recreational outlet during these times we have proposed no increases to green fees for next year and only a moderate increase to cart rental fees. The Board of Supervisors approved our lack of fee increases on Nov. 24th.

During these times of economic woe, it is important to relieve your stress with some form of outlet and what better way than smashing and chasing a little white ball with your friends or family! We have a rate schedule to meet any personal budget and these rates get even better with the purchase of a SLO Golf Card at any of our three courses. With the SLO Golf Card you receive even further reduced rates across the board. If you buy before Dec. 31st you receive an additional free round at the course of your choice. To help promote family togetherness, when you purchase an adult, senior, or volume card, you can purchase a spouse card for an additional $50 and get up to 4 junior cards. So for $185 your whole family can be golf ready for 2010! What a great idea for stocking stuffer's for the young golfers on your Christmas list!


Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm back!

I hope that everyone had a great Thankgiving Holiday and got out to play some golf! I must apologize for the lack of posts recently, but I was busy tending to my family's newest golfer. My wife and I welcomed our new daughter, Julia, to the family on November 15th and I have been out of the office until today as we learned our new schedule.

Monday, November 9, 2009

County Women's Amateur Results



1st Gross
2nd Gross
3rd Gross
1st Net
2nd Net
3rd Net

1st Gross
2nd Gross
3rd Gross
1st Net
2nd Net
3rd Net

1st Gross
2nd Gross
3rd Gross
4th Gross
1st Net
2nd Net
3rd Net
4th Net

1st Gross
2nd Gross
3rd Gross
4th Gross
1st Net
2nd Net
3rd Net
4th Net

1st Gross
2nd Gross
3rd Gross
1st Net
2nd Net
3rd Net

Friday, November 6, 2009

Storm damage repair

The netting along the 6th hole took quite a beating from the winds of the storm on October 13-14. Many small holes were ripped open and more concerning to me and my staff was the large hole that was nearly 20 feet high and 15 feet wide. This hole was a particular concern as it Shields the houses from errant golf balls on the right hand side of the fairway. A series of events following the storm (we do not own a lift, public works did not have the equipment available to us in the immediate future due to tree trimming that resulted from the same storm, rental availability, and unsafe windy conditions) prevented our immediate attention to this issue.
Our staff is full of highly skilled individuals that can operate and manipulate various pieces of equipment. In these photos you can see Joe Oles and Morgan Brockman manning the high lift using zip ties to repair all of the openings in the net. These tasks are fun for staff to tackle as it is a change from their normal job duties that they perform on the course.
We are looking into purchasing large areas of netting so that over time we can replace this net in sections. The net has been up for 15-18 years and still repels golf balls quite nicely. However, being a few shots away from the ocean, the salt air has taken its toll. We are looking into adding trees and other deterrents to the course to persuade golfers to attack the 6th hole from a more leftward direction to help protect the houses from any assault.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Morro Bay Golf Course Icon!

If you are familiar with the Central Coast of California, when you hear the name Morro Bay, images of fishing boats in the harbor surrounding the "Rock" immediately come to mind.

Although these views are spectacular as seen from the course, this is not the icon of which I am speaking. I am referring to Tom Massey, our golf supervisor for both Morro Bay and Dairy Creek golf courses.

Many of you who play regularly at Morro Bay are familiar with Tom and what he has done for the golf course, but may not be aware of just how much he is attached to Morro Bay GC. Tom has nearly been raised on this course as his father was the head greenskeeper during his childhood and his family lived in the state parks caretakers' home which was located not far from the current turf maintenance facility. Tom learned his trade by watching his father and later his brother who also worked as a greenskeeper for the course. At the age of 17, Tom joined his dad and brother as a seasonal employee for the Department of Parks and Beaches.

Since that time Tom has been been a permanent structure at Morro Bay Golf Course...that is for the next 8 days. Tom Massey will be retiring from his 37 years of service for the County of San Luis Obispo on Nov. 6, 2009. Our staff and community of golfers owe Tom a great deal of gratitude for what he has meant to our golf courses, golf games, and lives over the years! I have only had the luck to have known Tom for a little over two years now, and I must say thanks for making my job easier by providing a stable staff and operation since I have been in my position as Golf Superintendent. I have enjoyed our many laughs, a few beers, the occasional round of golf, and the exchange of knowledge about the history and memories of this fantastic golf facility! I hope the golfers will take the time to congratulate Tom on his retirement and tell him thanks for all that he has done to facilitate their ability to enjoy a round of golf among the fantastic views afforded to us on Black Hill overlooking another Morro Bay icon. "Thanks Tommy and we wish you all the best!"

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cart Traffic and Ettiquette

While I was at our Parks Commission meeting last Thursday evening I was chatting with members of our golf course advisory board about strange things that golfers do or attempt to do while on the golf course. I told them about one of my experiences as a superintendent at a club in which the following commentary took place.

Me: "Excuse me Mr. Smith, but did you happen to notice the signs, ropes, and stakes on hole #14 directing traffic away from some wet areas in the fairway?" (Mr. Smith was now playing the 17th hole)

Mr. Smith: "No, why do you ask?"

Me: "Because they are missing, but I think that I found them." (I went to the rear of Mr. Smith's golf cart and removed about 25 - 30' of ropes and stakes that were being dragged since he played the 14th hole) "By the way, since we received 4" of rain yesterday we are cart paths only until things dry out. "

The moral to this story is don't let yourself become Mr. Smith, by following proper cart rules and etiquette so that our playing surfaces on our courses are more easily maintained without unnecessary inputs or maintenance. Golf carts have been proven to be one of the most destructive elements to turf conditions as they cause compaction, rutting, and tearing which result in thin turf or instances of total turf loss.

Turf is only as healthy as the soil that it is growing within. The three above elements are caused by individuals not realizing the impacts their actions have on soil conditions. Golf Superintendents hate to use stake and ropes as it creates work for staff because the ropes and stakes need to be moved and reset to mow the turf, not to mention that they break up the beauty of the landscape and clutter up the course. That being said there are few barriers that are as economically efficient at controlling cart traffic.

Thoughtfulness about where you are traveling and would go a long way towards preserving the golf course conditions and minimizing maintenance practices. The next time you are playing golf pay attention to the bare areas just off of the cart paths around tees and greens and I am referring to nearly any golf course. These bare areas are often times unlevel and sunken, which means drainage is an issue, but also that golf carts are being parked with two tires on the path and two tires on the turf. It is best to park all 4 tires on the path and any cart needing to get around can drive around your cart. The 90 degree rule is something that all golf courses promote through signage, but is rarely witnessed on the course throughout the day. The 90 degree rule requires that carts leave the paths at a 90 degree angle to their ball and return to the path at a 90 degree angle to the path. Think about your own cart habits ( now be honest) and I would venture to guess that you hit your shot and immediately drive on a straight line to your ball instead of returning to the path. Pairing up in golf carts is also a large help to reduce costs and maintenance because it simply reduces the amount of tires traversing the course. Not only that, but it aides in the social aspect that golf is known for.

Areas surrounding greens and tees are exceptionally susceptible to cart damage. These areas are smaller and more frequented by all players as compared to fairways. How many rounds of golf do you you hit every fairway? How many rounds of golf do you not tee off or hole out on half of the holes? Greens and tees typically have minimal entrance and exit points and thus have areas of specific traffic flows both foot traffic and cart traffic. Green surrounds receive a lot of play and no one likes to play from bare areas or thin lies any where on the course let alone when you have short sided yourself trying to get close to that pin four paces onto the green.

I just want everyone to think about their own specific golf cart driving habits and try to improve upon them. By being more conscious of how your actions effect your playing conditions and the conditions of golfers to follow maybe the golf gods will smile down upon you during your next round. At least it will reduce the number of times the marshall stops your group or the superintendent contemplates roping off every single hole. If it keeps you out of the ponds I my staff is happy!

I opened my email the Friday morning after my parks meeting and received these pictures from golf course personnel from earlier that week.

This is just a reminder that accidents do happen, but if we are all careful and think about what we are doing many mishaps such as this can be avoided. For more information and videos copy and paste this link to the USGA into your browser and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Drive safely and pay attention to cart etiquette!

"Every day you miss playing or practicing is one day longer it takes to be good." - Ben Hogan

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Upcoming events and Results



This event will be held October 24-25 at Chalk Mountain Golf Course.
The event is a NCGA points event and will be limited to the first 120 players.
Entry deadline is Oct. 16.
Call the pro shop at(805) 466-8848 for more information.


This event will be held November 5-6 at Morro Bay Golf Course.
The field will be limited to 144 players with a maximum GHIN of 40.4.
Entry deadline is Oct. 23.
Register online at: or call (805) 772-3380 or (805) 771-9582 for more information.



On October 8, 2009 the Morro Bay Women’s Golf Club hosted a full field of women golfers in the annual Monarch Invitational Golf Tournament. Following the tournament, participants attended a luncheon where 41 gift baskets were raffled off by president Nancy Brown. During the tournament, Marti Valley, a member of the San Luis Obispo Country Club, had a hole-in-one on the 8th hole of the Morro Bay Golf Course.

The following is a brief synopsis of the results and congratulations to all of the winners!

The winners of the Partner’s Better Ball Tournament were:
Low Gross over the field: Marion Roberts and Arlene Yost with a score of 70
Low Net Over the Field: Pat Dyer and Laura Hersey with a score of 59.

Other winners were:
A Flight: Low Gross: Liz Radvansky and Kathy Toth, 71
Low Net: Vicci Messer and Karen Collins, 61
B Flight: Low Gross: Nancy Brown and Nancy Oliveira, 82
Low Net: Kathy Torcaso and Dede Pestrello, 63
C Flight: Low Gross: Bea Anderson and Debbie Vargas, 86
Low Net: Barbara Perrine and Barbara Wilson, 63
D Flight: Low Gross: Rickie Spitzer and Patti Spitzer, 90
Low Net: Jackie Vaughn and Joan Price, 59

A Flight: Low Gross Leslie Rodman and Lynette Branch,71,
Low Net Betty Willaman and Marti Valley, 62
B Flight Low Gross Winnie Taylor and Mary Bruggerman, 82,
Low Net Jean Wilson and Virginia Woods, 60
C Flight Low Gross Judith Sweet and Shirl Bailey, 90
Low Net Charlie Brandt and Karen Wilson, 61

Rain on the Central Coast!

Mother Nature blessed us with the following rain totals:

6.6" Dairy Creek

2.25" Morro Bay

2" Chalk Mountain

The rain total from yesterday covers more than half of our yearly total from last year! Dairy Creek did not sustain any significant damage. There were a few small trees uprooted, the bunkers are washed out and some are still holding water, the ponds are full, and it looks like some of the pond banks to the left of #1 approach is sloughing into the pond.

Morro Bay was ready to play after the rain subsided. You just cannot beat the playability of Kikuyu grass grown on sand after a rain event. The course is dry and ready to tee 'em up! We sustained a little damage to the newly planted trees. Due to the sandy soils and minimal rooting of the new trees, we had a few blow over posts and all.

Chalk Mountain sustained the most damage with down limbs and trees, washed out sand bunkers, and various debris strewn about the course. There was no severe damage that will hinder play, but will require some extra effort to get conditions back to normal.

All staffs will be working diligently to get the courses prepped and mowed for play this weekend. With natural irrigation, aka rain, it is a bit tough at times being able to mow areas due to saturated conditions. Greens are usually ok the next day since they are constructed of sand, followed by tees, fairways, and then roughs last. There may be some added thickness to the roughs over the weekend, but we are working hard to get things mowed out as the soils absorb the water. Sand bunkers take quite a while to get back into shape after a substantial wash out and down trees and limbs require much safety, time, and energy as well. Thanks for your patience as we strive to get conditions back to normal as quickly as we can.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Whew, aerification is COMPLETE!!

About a month ago we aerified Morro Bay Golf Course and the results are beautiful! The greens are rolling exceptionally true and quite quick.Often times I hear the question, "Why are we aerifying greens just when they are rolling perfectly?" The answer is that they are rolling perfectly because of aerification and if we waited to aerify until the turf is really struggling it is too late and we would need to re-seed at the same time. For an explanation and turf benefits of why we aerify, see my earlier post titled "Arrrgh Aerification!"

This past Monday and Tuesday we aerified the greens at Dairy Creek Golf Course and I can say with confidence that we are expecting them to bounce back within a week to 10 days. The process was completed without mechanical problems or issues with "mother nature". The holes were filled completely and easily, dragged in with our cocoa mat, and watered later that night. Tomorrow they will be fertilized to enhance their ability to fill in the holes as well as give them the nutrition they will need going into the winter months by promoting root growth and carbohydrate storage.

The following pictures better tell the story about the process that our crews go through during this process. We have such a great group of people working hard to produce quality playing conditions for you our customers. Enjoy the back stage look at the process of aerification!

Yes, it is dark outside! This process begins while the early
birds are still dreaming about the worm.

Almost perfect! We prefer the holes are perfectly round and

if youlook closely they are a bit oblong. Adjustments were

made and we "plugged" along.

The necessary evil of scooping plugs.

Thank goodness for technology, this conveyor throws the cores

into the back of the vehicle and we follow again with a scoop

shovel to clean up any debris.

Sand to fill up the holes!

Dragging the sand into the holes with a cocoa mat.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Frost delays can be expected.

It is that time of the year when we begin to experience the natural phenomenon called "frost". Frost occurs in nature in the same way that your iced beverage sweats on your table or frosty mugs from the freezer are created in preparation for watching your favorite sport event on TV.

Dew is something early morning golfers are familiar with as it covers the turf of the golf course during the first part of the day. Dew is water in the form of droplets that appears on thin, exposed objects in the morning or evening. As the exposed leaf surface cools by releasing its heat, atmospheric moisture condenses at a rate greater than that at which it can evaporate, resulting in the formation of water droplets. When temperatures are low enough, dew takes the form of ice called "frost".

Frost crystalizes on the grass making the plant hard and brittle. In some instances like at Chalk Mountain in the north county, the entire plant can be frozen, as grass plants are made up of about 90 percent water. Walking on frost-covered greens causes the plant to break and cell walls to rupture, thereby losing its ability to function normally. When the membrane is broken, much like an egg, it cannot be put back together.

Golfers who ignore frost delays will not see immediate damage. The proof generally comes 48-72 hours later as the plant leaves turn brown and die. The result is a thinning of the putting surface and a weakening of the plant. The greens in turn become more susceptible to disease and weeds. While it may not appear to be much of an issue if a foursome begins play early on frost-covered greens, consider the number of footprints that may occur on any given hole by one person is approximately 60. Multiply that by four golfers and that is 240 footsteps on a single frost covered green by the first foursome everyday. That is significant damage!

"This picture shows the actual foot print pattern of ONE foursome playing the hole like normal. Multiply this a couple of times and you can see that when the ground is soft <or frozen> it doesn't take long to produce sever irreversible damage to a green."

As golf enthusiasts superintendents, like myself and my staff, do not like to delay play, we are more concerned about turf damage and the quality of conditions for the golfers. Frost also creates a hardship on a golf facility's staff as all course preparations are put to a halt until thawing occurs. Golf carts can cause considerable damage, therefore personnel cannot maneuver around the course to mow, change cup positions, collect range balls, etc.

One technique employed to reduce possible frost damage is to water the greens to knock off the frost. One problem with this technique is the water could then refreeze and take even longer to thaw or the interior cells of the plant may be frozen too. It may also be possible to reroute play to holes where the frost melts more quickly. But regardless of these methods, the best medicine is for all to understand the hows and whys of the delay and in turn gain a greater appreciation for the golf course. Here on the central coast frost is not a huge problem and usually takes no more than 30 minutes for maintenance and play to begin. When I was in Indiana, it was not uncommon for rounds to be halted until 11 am; we are blessed to live here! If you have any concerns it would also be wise to give the course a phone call before heading out to play to see if tee times have been pushed back due to frost.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Get your "NEW" SLOGolf Card!

Come out to one of our courses or go to and receive the ability to play 54 different holes of golf on the Central Coast. There are no other memberships that afford you 54 holes of golf for such a GREAT price!

If you purchase your card by Dec. 31, 2009 you will receive an additional free round of golf good for any of the three courses. This is in addition to a free round at each of our courses (3 free rounds!), a guest pass good for 10 guests to play with you at your rate, exclusvie monthly tournaments, specials, and promotions, and of course the most affordable greens fees on the Central Coast!

Sales start October 1st and the card rates are available immediately and continue until Dec. 31, 2010. Don't waste time waiting for other courses to offer a special rate, come get your SLOGolf Card and have the best rate everyday of the week. Visit and buy your card now!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Student golfer program at Chalk Mountain Golf Course

Chalk Mountain Golf Course participates in the Life Fitness program hosted by the Atascadero High School. The Life Fitness program is designed to introduce students to sports which are not typically part of the school team sport experience. Golf is a team sport for many schools across the country, however many individuals never become exposed to the game of golf and Chalk Mountain is glad to be able to provide this experience.

Through the program students, mostly juniors and seniors, are taught the basics of golf and career opportunities over the span of 3 weeks. The program starts with putting, chipping, and full swing where the students practice their grip, posture, and swing mechanics. This is followed by a walk through of all of the golf facilities available at Chalk Mountain including pro shop, cart barns, restaurant, and turf maintenance. The next step is getting out onto the course to discuss etiquette, golf course behavior, golf course set up, the areas of the golf course (greens, tees, fairways, bunkers, and roughs), and strategy of playing the game.

The staff and volunteers that are given the opportunity to help with this program truly enjoy being able to give back to the game that has given them so much. Through junior programs we hope to instill the morals and values that can help an individual be successful in life by simulating those difficult experiences on the golf course. Golf is truly one of the greatest sports as YOU are responsible for the situations you will encounter, good or bad, and YOU are responsible for getting your ball out of trouble and assessing penalties or celebrations along the way!

"The great thing about golf is that it's not a fair game. At one point or another it's unfair to everybody. But you know what? There's nothing wrong with having a game that's unfair."
-- Ben Wright, Good Bounces & Bad Lies

Monday, September 21, 2009

San Luis Obispo Men's City Amateur

The SLO City Amateur Championship was held again at Dairy Creek Golf Course over this past weekend and there was definitely some great golf on display. We would like to congratulate our Champion Brian Wiggins who pulled it out after the 2nd playoff hole of the sudden death playoff. Brian won with a final score of 145. Mike Rockenstein won the 1st Flight (Net Scoring) by shooting a 141 and after winning the first hole of a sudden death playoff. Our 2nd Flight (Net Scoring) winner was Bill Miller with a 133!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Arrrgh! Aerification!

This process is a necessary evil that is no more enjoyable for maintenance staff's to perform than it is for golfers to play through. Maybe it's not too bad to play through them if you aren't expecting a terrible experience. Consider the fact that PGA Tour legend Tom Watson shot a sizzling record 58 at his then-home course, Kansas City Country Club, just days after the greens had been aerified. Consider also that aerification is merely a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits for the course. When you see them, remember that without those little holes, the greens would eventually die.

Like so many things, the quality of a good putting green is more than skin deep. In fact, the condition of a green has a lot to do with what goes on below the surface. In order to keep grass growing at 1/8-inch you have to have deep, healthy roots. Good roots demand oxygen. In good soil, they get the oxygen from tiny pockets of air trapped between soil and sand particles.
Over time, the traffic from golfers' feet (as well as heavy mowing equipment) tends to compact the soil under the putting green - particularly when the soil contains a lot of clay. When soil becomes compacted, the air pockets on which the roots depend are crushed, and the roots are essentially left gasping for air. Without oxygen, the grass plants will wither and die.

Aerification is a mechanical process that creates more air space in the soil and promotes deeper rooting, thus helping the grass plants stay healthy. In most cases, it's done by removing 1/2-inch cores (those plugs you sometimes see near a green or in fairways). The spaces are then filled with sand "topdressing" that helps the soil retain air space and makes it easier for roots to grow downward.

We typically perform our core aeration in the spring and a deep tine aerification during the fall, but this year we utilized a new service called Dry-Ject in the spring to help minimize the disruption to golfers and we will core aerify this fall. Actually we just completed our fall aerification at Morro Bay this week and the process went very smooth and smooth is now the goal! There will be some sand and bumpiness for the rest of this week with the greens starting to fill in by the weekend and by next weekend they will be back to normal.

During our process we fertilize the greens to help speed up the healing process and also inter-seed the greens with bentgrass to help increase our bentgrass populations on the greens. This is a time and labor intensive process that starts around 3 am and finishes up 11-12 hours later only to come back the next day and start over on the other nine holes!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Irrigation - can't live without 'em, but somtimes you wish you could.

Irrigation is the heart and circulatory system of a golf course, at least this is true for most areas of the U.S. Scotland and Ireland, the birth place of golf, have the correct conditions in regards to rain, temperature, soil types, and turf types, that many courses can manage without added irrigation systems.

Irrigation systems are a must here on the Central Coast to maintain quality playing conditions. These systems, however, are not fool proof and require contant tweaking and maintenance to ensure even coverage or in some cases regular operation.

A couple of weeks ago staff found that the irrigation on a few holes was not watering properly. Unfortunately this was pointed out by our greens as they began to stress and wilt due to lack of water or uneven distribution. The problem was determined to exist at our 12th hole. This photo shows an extension of pipe staff added to help blow out some debris that was clogging up our irrgation lines and not allowing water to flow to other areas of the course as well as plugging the irrigation heads surrounding the 12th green. What kind of debris you ask?

These rocks were found inside of our irrigation lines in the 12th hole. "Yes, that is a quarter sitting on the rock in the middle of the photo!" The 12th hole is the lowest point of the golf course and evidently this "sediment" had found it's way there over time. We are unsure how these rocks entered the line, but it could have been during the repair of a 10" mainline near our pump station on the 8th hole last winter or a smaller repair involving our booster pump on the 17th hole a couple of months ago. However they got there does not matter, we just need to get them out. We have installed a gate valve in the line below the 12th green to allow staff to flush out the line and rocks periodically. This will also allow us to drain the system when we need to repair areas of the system in the future.

"Start each hole aware that there may be subtle, mysterious or even hidden elements waiting to sabotage your game."

-Robert Trent Jones Jr., golf course architect

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sunrise over Dairy Creek Golf Course from the 17th green...beautiful!

The beauty that our staff and early morning golfers witness each morning! It is such a peaceful time on the course...the jack-rabbits are running around and the birds are up looking for their morning meals. Mowers humming and the sound of a hammer banging on a cup cutter, breaks up the silence before the sun peaks over the horizon.

The course looks amazing as the sun rises above the hills with the turf glistening as the sunlight reflects off of the morning dew. You'll often hear coyotes or foxes in the distance calling as well as the cadence from Camp San Luis across the famous Highway 1! These are just a handful of the joys of being on or around the course in the early morning...we hope you enjoy the day ahead; we sure will!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The North Cloisters, Morro Bay, California (PWS)
Updated: 14 min 26 sec ago
59.0 °F
Dew Point:
55 °F
4.0 mph from the WNW

Wind Gust:
4.0 mph
29.93 in (Falling)
10.0 miles

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September SLO Golf Card promotion

Hurry out to the course and get your "Play all three and the 4th is FREE!" card. For the Month of September SLO Golf Card members can pick up one of these cards at any of the three courses and have the card punched as you pay to play each course. Once you have played all three courses the card can then be redeemed for a FREE round at the course of your choice!

Just another reason that makes the SLO Golf Card THE Golf Card on the Central Coast! You are not a member? Ask any of our staff how to join the membership with three golf courses to choose from or go to and become a member today!

"They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. It's more complicated than that."
- Gardner Dickinson, former PGA Tour Player

Monday, August 24, 2009

Amazing Dairy Creek Wildlife!

Enjoy some of the wildlife and scenery from Dairy Creek Golf Course! These are the spectators of our early morning golfers as well as a treat for our staff during the "magic hours" of sunrise. Without further delay....the Animals of Dairy Creek captured by one of our regular golfers Mikeal Culala. (Open this to your full screen as the colors and detail are simply spectacular)

Friday, August 21, 2009


I would like to take this opportunity to welcome each and every one of you to the SLO County Golf Courses blog. My intent with this blog is to keep everyone up to date with happenings going on around Morro Bay, Chalk Mountain, and Dairy Creek Golf Courses. I would also like this to be an opportunity for any of you who have quesitons that you would like to ask of me to feel free to do so. I will be updating this at least once a week and will hopefully conitinue to develop it and provide more information as we go. Again thanks for taking the time coming by and checking it out. I hope you all will find it as useful as we will.

"Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch course - the space between your ears." - Bobby Jones