Monday, April 7, 2014

Everyone Doing Their Part

The other day as I was walking through the kitchen at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club, I had noticed a new bucket next to the dish washing area and a huge smile came across my face after I read the message.  The bucket had a message on it for the staff to empty drinking water into it that hadn't been drunk.  This is the optimism I mentioned in a previous post about what I thought a drought period can provide.  Everyone doing their part and hopefully becoming a way of life and not just something we do for today.  That water (almost 2g/ day) is now used on the flowers near the front door.

Please see our "Commitment To Community" page on the website to see what we are doing at Cinnabar Hills Golf Club during the drought and for more water saving tips, visit the "Save 20 Gallons" page brought to us by the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ant Hills

The past few weeks we have begun to raise fairway and rough sprinklers that were more than a half an inch below the surface.  One golfer who passed by referred to all of the mounds of dirt on the first hole of the Canyon as ant  hills and I got a nice chuckle out of it.

In just one day, 6 of our staff members raised 30 heads.  Unfortunately that was on the first hole only.  What the guys have to do is first dig up the sprinkler down to the swing joint which is typically 2 ft deep.  Once the sprinkler is dug up, we remove the soil and backfill with sand while holding the sprinkler level.  In this case, we are using the old sand from the driving range tee project.  We do this because the sand is much easier to dig up if we ever have a problem with that sprinkler down the road.

All of this effort is to ensure that the water we apply is going where it needs to go.  When the heads are low, the bottom spray hits the soil around the sprinkler creating a wet spot at the sprinkler and a dry spot where that water was supposed to go.  Every drop counts more than ever.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fire Safety Training

While we don't have a crew of firefighters on staff, we are all now proficient in the use of a fire extinguisher after our latest safety meeting.  For the majority of the staff, including myself, this was the first time any of us had actually used a fire extinguisher.  The meeting began with a twenty minute video on what types of fire extinguishers to use for the different types of fire and then the fun began.  We all walked outside after the video and there were 25 extinguishers lined up and ready for use.  Tom Nickell of Nickell Fire Protection lit the fire pot as we all proceeded to put out our own fire.  As always, we hope we don't encounter a situation where we need to use the extinguishers, but we'll be ready in case. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Drought Optimism

It's easy to be optimistic about the drought with an inch of rain in the books and two more days of rain to come, but for the last few weeks I have been spouting off that a lot of good can come from this drought. 

Do you remember when the U.S. Open was held at Pebble Beach in 2010 and then USGA president Mr. Jim Hyler said, "We need brown to be the new green"?  I don't recall the particulars at that time, but I do recall that the message and subsequent conditioning being discussed as a failure amongst the TV audience and Superintendent's alike.  With hourly coverage tracking the drought in California, we as Superintendents, and stewards of the environment, have a golden (maybe slightly brown) opportunity to really sell that message again.  

Most of us are going to be asked to cut and all we are going to be left to sell to our memberships and patrons is playability.  We are not going to look pretty at times, but the opportunity for 250+ yard tee shots are still there and even enhanced along with greens that roll above 10ft on the stimpmeter.  Not a bad thing if you ask me.  And what is best of all, at least regionally, is that people understand the need to cut right now.  

From the Superintendent side of things, we could see a change in how we water for decades to come.  Every time I'm with Superintendents, water comes up in the discussion at one point or another. We are all asking how we are going to change and what products and practices we are doing that are helping.  From the money side of the industry, I'd bet the marketeers and researchers are working harder than before to come up with the million dollar idea that will help us through.  

Am I being overly optimistic?  Probably, but we may as well tackle it head on, learn something from it and become even better stewards of the environment because unless we have a record rainfall, the drought is here to stay.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Winter Wetting Agent Program

While the golf course gets drier with each passing day, I refuse to put out wetting agent on our fairways in January.  It just doesn't feel right.  Its like having turkey on any day other than Thanksgiving.  Really?  

In lieu of the wetting agents, we are running all of our aerators with 3/4" spikes on them.  They are truly impressive pieces of steel and they are more effective than any wetting agent this time of year.  We will complete all of the tees, approaches, and fairways by the end of next week.  Rough's were just completed with a 3/4" core.

So the greens don't feel left out, we will also punch them next week with 1/8" solid tines.  Who knows, maybe a little sand too.