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
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.
Posted by Brian Boyer at 5:02 AM
Friday, January 24, 2014
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.
Posted by Brian Boyer at 1:07 PM
Friday, January 17, 2014
With no rain in sight, we have begun to re-build the bunker behind the 8th green. This project has been on the list for the last three years, but was always the project that would get postponed. With water savings at a premium too, I felt this would be an opportune time to get this project done.
The original goal of the project was to expand the bunker to the right so golfers who overshot the green would have their ball stop in the bunker vs. the creek. That will certainly be accomplished, but we are also removing 2,000 square feet of irrigated turf. With the removal of the turf and some other irrigation changes, we removed 4 part circle sprinklers at 22.0 gpm and replaced them with 30 MP Rotators at 0.4 gpm. Of the 4 part circle sprinklers we replaced, I'd guesstimate that 75% of the water went directly into the creek.
We will slowly check off the details early next week and have sod ready for Wednesday afternoon.
Posted by Brian Boyer at 11:14 AM
Friday, January 3, 2014
When you wake up on the second of January and you notice about 20 new runners running around your block, you know it is a new year full of new resolutions. While subtle, the signs of a new year are evident at Cinnabar.
The biggest of them all is the removal of the Christmas trees and accompanying decorations. What took two days to setup, came down in a matter of hours. Well worth it though and we hope you were able to enjoy our decorations as much as we do putting them up.
If you poke around the offices, all the new wall calendars are up and I really take a lot of pride in my wall calendar. It is what I use to plan out the entire year of fertilizer and pesticide applications and subsequently what I use to budget the entire maintenance budget. The planning begins with the two weeks of the year we are scheduled to aerate and everything is worked around those events. It becomes a chess match moving pieces or applications around and finally you have to know when to stop tinkering. One of these years, I will begin a pool with my assistants and do an over/ under as to when we will deviate from the plan.
|Did you think I'd give you a clear plan as to what I'm doing?|
While I haven't set any hardcore resolutions like I normally do, I have/ will be asking myself daily what I have done today to make myself and the course better. With that, it is time for me to go grab a green smoothie and adjust some irrigation heads!
Posted by Brian Boyer at 1:18 PM