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!