Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New trees

Some time ago we had a malfunction with our drip irrigation that supplied water to our trees on the left side of the driving range at Dairy Creek Golf Course. This resulted in the death of a number of Cypress and Redwood trees as we did not realize there was a problem until it was too late and the trees were declining in health. We recently had a number of trees donated by the San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens for the course and here are some pictures of staff planting these marvelous trees. I would like to thank the Botanical Gardens and please enjoy these photos!

Jack Pot!!!!

Loading up the trees for installation...

Setting the posts...

Tethering the trees and adding the finishing touches!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Morro Bay Damage

Morro Bay as a whole has faired well from the storms. We have the typical damage to our netting, down branches, scattered debris, and 40-50 of the new small trees that blew over. We expect this kind of damage following high winds.

And then there is the tree damage...

The larger tree damage...
And the SERIOUS tree damage.

Luckily for the golfers and myself we have a tremendous group of guys who work diligently to take care of the mess and put things back in order!

This will be a work in progress for the next couple of weeks, but rest assured that staff strives to have everything cleaned up ASAP!

"The only shots you can be sure of are those you've already hit."

-Byron Nelson, former PGA Tour player

More Dairy Creek Storm Pics

At the time of my last post the pond levels had risen 44"!! That's right, nearly 4 feet of water has run down all of the hills, through the creeks and into the ponds. We have opened up the sluice gate in the dam to help control the levels of the water. The ponds are back to their original full capacity and water is still moving into the ponds from all directions.For safety sake we will be on the paths for a good while, but we will get you onto the turf as soon as it is safe and not a potential hazard to the conditions of the turf.Any damage that we incur at this time fo the year greatly hinders our ability to provide quality playing conditions during the peak of the season. We appreciate your understanding and patience during this period of saturated soils. Morro Bay golf course will be open for cart traffic and nearly puddle free within hours of ceasing rain events. These sandy soils drain so well it is absolutely amazing!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A lesson about making one from three...

This is not just giberish, but rather a look at how Dairy Creek Golf Course was designed to retain water and run-off on site. We typically have three ponds on the golf course within the areas of our 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, and 9th holes. After this years rain events we now seemingly have one large lake. Thus, making 1 from 3. See for yourself. My thanks to Bob Yetter our Park Ranger III at El Chorro for taking these photos for me.

Standing on the 7th green looking at the 8th green and down 9 fairway.

Standing on the back of 7 green looking down 9 fairway and #1 to the left

"Some of the most interesting holes are those where the best line to the flag is not direct... Every player who does something more than slug a ball, who thinks as he plays, appreciates why greens are built in this way."
- A.W. Tillilnghast, the course architect


Many soils in the area are heavy tight clays that do not drain or percolate well. This results in saturated soils after light rains, not to mention the heavy stuff that has been coming down lately.

If you are tired of the "cart path only" restrictions come out to Morro Bay. Our soils here are pure nearly pure sand and the water just runs right through leaving a firm moist turf that rarely puddles. These soils make "cart paths only" a rare occasion. So round up your favorite foursome and come on out, when the rain clouds aren't hanging around we have some pretty spectacular views this time of year. The twilight rounds are graced with some fantastic sunsets!

See you on the course!

"...assistant greenskeeper, about to become the next Master's champion. It's a's in the hole!"
- Carl Spackler (Caddie Shack)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The beauty of rain!

OK, so rainy weather is not conducive to playing golf, but we drastically need it here on the Central Coast. I have only been here for a little over a couple of years and it is crazy that we survive with only 12 - 2o inches of rain annually. I am from the Midwest and I am used to getting that much rain in the month of July!

Besides filling our lakes and ponds across the region, the rain means a great deal to caring for the turf on our courses. Even if you irrigate with great quality fresh water, nothing beats the water provided by mother nature! During your next round of golf following the storms make an effort to notice how healthy the greens and tees look. Those areas on your favorite course that usually look beaten up and stressed will more than likely look green and revived. With the amount of rain that we are expecting the soils that the turf is grown in will receive a good "flushing".

Most newer putting greens and many newer tee boxes are constructed as perched water tables. This means the green is built and then cored out to a depth of 12-18 inches and filled with drainage, a gravel layer, and then sand. This is referred to as a USGA green. California style greens are built the same way but lack the gravel layer. Chalk Mountain Golf Course was actually one of the first golf courses built as a California style green and USGA greens evolved later over time and experimentation. These perched water tables are constructed so that water is held within the sand until the sand reaches saturation. At this point the sand releases the water all at once and the water enters the gravel layer and out the drainage, which in turn creates a vacuum-like situation leaving the sand layer moist with just the right oxygen content for turf and root growth.

Many golf courses are using some stage of effluent water, like Morro Bay, Dairy Creek, and Chalk Mountain. This water source helps us to conserves fresh water usage and actually is filtered as it moves through the soil and is returned into the ground water. These waters are filled with salts and other contaminants that actually can hinder plant growth over time and actually cause death. "Flushing" is a practice superintendents will utilize to help rid the soils of these salts, as the salt ions will attach themselves to ions within the water and actually leach down and through the soil profile allowing other ions like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (fertilizer components) to take their place.

The rains we are receiving are helping to clean our soils up and at the same time allowing our root systems to breathe with decreased effort. It is unfortunate to have so many consecutive days of rain keeping the golfers at home or at work, but aside from providing California with a precious resource, our turfs are reaping the benefit as well. Hey we could be living in the upper Midwest hoping that we will be thawed out by May! I hope to see you all out at the courses as things begin to dry out.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Continuing Morro Bay's 4th hole facelift

We have began moving material to improve and increase the tee box area for the 4th hole at Morro Bay over the last couple of days. Our intention is to level the area making it more conducive to better shots and increase the area available for the blue tee area. In the end the tee will be level from front to back and more uniformly retangular in shape. The slope on the south side of the tee is fairly steep and a bit tricky to mow with our equipment, so the tee will be narrowed so that the south slope of the tee is lessened. Tee boxes will be placed on the front of the tee until we are ready to demo that area and then the tees will be placed on and adjacent tee box on the south of the existing tee box.

We stripped some sod from the tee box to complete our bunker project up by the green and the earth moving has begun using our dump truck to haul soil from our turf maintenance area. There will be a temporary ramp on the cart path leading to the 4th tee until our soil hauling is complete. Sorry for the inconvenience, but it will not last long and should not effect your day on the course.

Here are some pictures as we begin this project.

The cart ramp/dump truck bridge to the 4th tee

Stripping the sod from the 4th tee to complete the sodding of the 4th greenside bunker.