Friday, May 24, 2013

2013 SLO County Amateur Championship Results

Here are this years' results and thanks to all of the participants for their great play!

Championship Flight (Gross)

            Brandon Vail                                   

              Blake Ahlin                                    

           Justin Warthen                                 

                Matt Lee                                       
            Brian Wiggins                                  

            Randy Armas                                  
             Derick Strain
            David Boyles

         Alex Stephenson                                

          Clayton E Davis

         Jack Henneberry
            Konner Baker
               Cody Neal

            Evan Lucado
           Trevor Cassidy
          Jeff Aranguena
              Drake Muir

               Riley Way
           Alex Nicholson

         Justin Roxbraugh
          Donnie Hedrick
        Brandon Erickson

          Anthony Borges

           Matt Vigilante
           Michael Brown

             Preston Way

        Garett Rasmussen
             Jason Peters

               Nick Klon

Net Flights
                    Flight 1                                     Flight 2
                    134                                       132
                    John Austin                                   Pete Moore

                    143                                       137
                   David Payne                                    Doug Kerr
                     Phil Biklen                                              
                    145                                John Gruendler
                  Jose Martinez                                  Mike Howe
              Stephen J Kobliska                                      
                    146                                  Dave Biklen
                     Daniel See                                              
                    147                                  Alfred Clark
                  John M Lejeal                                      
                  Thomas Biggs                                       147
                                                                       Andrew Heffner
                    149                                 Bryan Jackson
                  Marc Burgraff                                Eric Seeman

                    150                                       150
                     R L Lillo                                George B Dodge
                     Ron Gin                                                
                    151                               Martin Anthony
                 Allen Hallada                                        153
                     Eric Mar                                   John W Lejeal
                Jeff Blanchard                                          
                    172                                 Terry Herrick
                Damien Fuentes                                         
                                                             Rich Enger
                                                                       Vinnie Guerrero

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Our turkeys are evidently known around the world!

We had a couple of non-golfers visit our golf courses from across the pond last week.  I am not talking about the coots that come over from across highway 1.  I am talking about a couple of videographers from England.  They have been commissioned to create a documentary about wild turkeys and they received a tip that our County Golf Courses were a viable source for footage.

The group is part of Nigel Marven's entourage.  Mr. Marven has been seen on many talk shows and on Animal Planet describing and interacting with wildlife.  Check out this link and I am sure you will recognize the face if the name did not ring a bell.  Marven is a bit of a cross between Jack Hannah and the late Steve Irwin in my mind.  I did not have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Marven, but Alex and Mike from his film crew were quite a pleasure to work with.

Their intent was to show the human interaction with the birds and how the two species co-habitate a recreational landscape.  Atypical weather patterns were upon us during their visit and the species populations were not what they had hoped to capture on film as it was a bit moist and rainy during their visit.  None the less they got what they came for and included my ugly mug and golf shot into some of the footage.  The video is due out in January 2014 and I will send an update upon my receipt of the film.

I have included a few photos of them hard at work and a few of their subjects as well.  Enjoy!

Stalking the turkeys on #4 at Morro Bay.

Mike is trying to stay dry as the drizzle becomes rain.
Regrouping after the rain dampened their $100K camera.
Just what we needed shots with golfers and turkeys.  Can you tell which is which?

More bird and human interaction. Perfect!

Here is a better shot of who we had been stalking.

Mike capturing some mating ritual dances that take place all over Dairy Creek throughout the year.

The birds in the tall grass were not too excited to be caught on camera and were not interested in helping a bit.

Monday, May 13, 2013

2013 SLO County Amateur tournament

The SLO County Amateur golf tournament will be held this Saturday and Sunday at Chalk Mountain and Dairy Creek Golf Courses.  The event will crown the best golfer within the County!  Entries are still being accepted so hurry and sign up soon!

Please click below to follow the link to sign up or call (805) 466-8848.  Good Luck!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Why aerify putting greens or turf in general?

"Why in the world do you poke holes in the greens and throw down all of that sand?"  This is a common question for golf courses as golfers dislike the interruption.  I can honestly say that if we didn't need to we wouldn't becuase it is a long arduous process for staff that starts months before the date arrives.  This is becuase we have to order all of the materials, create work schedules, check equipment, and test drive everything to help curtail any breakdowns or mishaps.

This question is important to ask as many courses in our area have skipped aerification for a number of reasons.  Potential reasons include: revenue, revenue, and revenue.  After aerification is finished golfers tend to stay away until the turf has healed and conditions are back to normal, so its not easy on the financial statements as the course must be maintained and there are fixed costs.  It is true that some courses have a greens profile that has been constructed correctly, have a quality water source, and the turf has been managed properly so that core aerification is not needed.  Instead these courses are able to soley use vertical mowing (verti-cutting), venting with spikers, or using solid tines.

For the rest of us core aeration is a need and sometimes multiple times throughout the year.  We use reclaimed water at Morro Bay and Dairy Creek golf courses and this gray-salty water causes a number of issues with soil quality and water infiltration rates.  Without a "clean" water source to deeply water the greens in an effort to flush out the salts our turf struggles to maintain a vigor that keeps disease and decline at bay.

The aspect of maintaining greens is management.  See the pictures below that were taken from our 80+ year old greens at Morro Bay.  The greens here were constructed using a "push up" method.  This means the greens were built by pushing up the surrounding soil.  Over the years these greens have developed a sequence of layering seen in the photos that prevent water from percolating through the soil.  Instead the water gets trapped in these layers like a sponge and subsequently the roots will grow in this area as well.  These layers lead to shallow rooting turf that has an increased potential for disease or drought stress since these layers of thatch dry out quickly.

By aerifying these areas it creates channels for water, nutrients, and gases (oxygen and CO2) to move throughout the soil profile, thus promoting deeper more healthy turf surfaces.  I have included a short video created (USGA aerification video) by the USGA to help explain this process visually.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

Until next time, get out and play some golf!

The view from inside the golf hole in which you can see about 4" of layering that has occured over the years.  I remember a turf class that I took in college that showed this picture and it was accompanied by, "this is not what you want."

Another view of the layers.  In this photo you can see some old aerification holes that have since been buried.

This piciture is of the removed turf and you can see how beneficial the deep tine aerifying has been as you can see the roots following those channels and betting a penetration of nearly 6-8 inches.  Aerification does work!

Friday, May 3, 2013


The aerification process for both Morro Bay and Dairy Creek are complete for the spring.  This process is a necessary evil and always seems to occur just as the greens reach their best spring condition.  Our greens would struggle to remain in this good condition throughout the summer if this process were not performed in some manner.  Our reclaimed water takes its toll on our greens throughout the year even though we do our best to keep salt levels low using synthetic acids and monthly gypsum treatments.  Without a clean water flush we essentially flush the salts with salty water and hope our USGA greens perform as designed and pull the remaining water through the profile along with a majority of the salts.

Last year we used a smaller hollow tine called a quadra-tine which pulls out a lot of material, but is easy to clean up and is virtually unnoticed by golfers because we do not follow this with sand.  I am always concerned about using quadra-tines too frequently because although it removes thatch there is no sand filling the void and the turf will eventually coallecse over time and the thatch level may not be any better ultimately.  At least the gas exchange still occurs and the turf is opened up to help reduce salt levels with increased water infiltration rates.

The process is quite long with the aerifier starting around 3:00am and ending near 6:00pm.  Staff is beat by the time the whole process is complete.  So, trust me this is not something maintenance staffs relish doing once, twice, or more times per year.  With the lack of golfers during this day and a few days following we are able to also apply post emergent herbicides to clean up the fairways and roughs.  Here are a few pictures from the day at Morro Bay and I will have more pictures tomorrow showing exactly what we are fighting below the turf with our aerification process.

#12 sanded and waiting for the sand to dry out before initial brooming

#11 after the initial brooming

Albert adding calcium and manganese soil amendments to the green after the final brooming with our cocoa mat

 A picture fo the cart and cocoa mat Albert is pulling behind to drag sand into the holes.  After everything is complete the greens are watered heavily before leaving for the day and again that evening to help compact the sand and alleviate any stress caused during the aerification process.

#2 green the day after aerification.  Very nice results indeed!

Close up of #2 with the holes completely filled and a layer of sand that will be broomed once more later in the afternoon.  After growing for a few days the greens will be cut and eventually worked back down to the correct cutting height.