Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cart Path Canaries

For those that are unfamiliar with the story, canaries would go down the mine shafts with the coal miners and the canaries would die at human warning levels of  methane and carbon monoxide thus giving time for the miners to get out (hopefully).  So how does this relate to cart paths?

It's actually one of the thoughts that goes through my mind when deciding on carts on or off the paths.  After so many days on the cart path it gets to the point where 50% of the golfers are going off anyways so we let them off the path knowing it's still too wet.  We know that a group will drive through the wet low areas, but afterwards, future golfers will see the tire tracks and should steer clear.  Not the case this time around as you can see from the pics.  I understand one set of tire tracks.  You just hit the shot of your life and your driving to your ball calculating the distance and splat.  Multiple tracks though gets frustrating for a maintenance department.  We'll fix them because maintaining is part of maintenance, but we'd much rather be enhancing your experience.  

  

Friday, January 20, 2017

An Unfortunate Nescessity

Every 10 days we perform safety meetings in the Maintenance department.  Maybe we've been behind the times or naive to what's happening in the world, but this weeks safety meeting was about what to do when there is an active shooter on site.  The meeting notes had a lot of useful information on it that make a lot of sense, but just not stuff you think about regularly.  You can click here to download the safety flier.  I hope it is never needed for any of us.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How Wet Is It?

2 Canyon muddy brown from all the
run off
Wet to quite wet?  That's a really hard question to answer.  Almost equivalent to asking me what the green speed is.  If I tell you the green speed is 13', how far are you going to pull the putter back on a 20' putt on number 9 of the mountain.  It depends right?

Over a 10 day period we got 11.8" or rain.  That's the most I've ever recorded in such a span.  So is it wet out there? Absolutely.  Could it be worse?  Absolutely.  Of the few golfers we had this week, the shots I saw didn't plug in the fairways, but they didn't roll out either.  I'm sure some plugged, but that's what winter rules are for.  With the greens being sand based, they never missed a beat.  They still roll great and now accept both good and bad shots.  

We are lucky to  have a lot of surface drainage on the property so the heavy rain just runs off to drains, ponds or creeks.  We are also lucky to have aerified and cored the golf course as many times as we did which increases our infiltration rate and gets the water off of the surface.  We will 'vent' the greens this upcoming Tuesday prior to the next storm to help take as much rain as Mother Earth gives us.  If we have a dry spell following next weeks rain, we may 'vent' the greens again to allow them to dry out quicker.  Who said holes in a green are a bad thing?

So how wet is it?  I still don't know the best way to answer it.  Come on out and determine your point of relativity.   

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

57 Shades of Green

Unless you are playing at Augusta or some other ultra high end course, you are going to see multiple shades of green on a course.  In the superintendent world, we call this the Heinz 57 blend when we are referring to fairways, roughs, and tees.  As Cinnabar ages, we certainly have our version of Heinz 57.  Predominantly you'll see dark green and that is the ryegrass; the desired species here.  We also have bermudagrass, bentgrass, dallis grass, Poa annua, kikuya grass, crab grass, and goose grass.  Of all the grasses listed, we currently trying to selectively kill all of them other than ryegrass in the fairways and bentgrass in the greens.  Unfortunately I've succeeded at killing those too at times.  

Yellowing grass is kikuya grass, silver green is bentgass, dark green is rye 

Silvery green bentgrass and yellow dying Poa annua

Monday, December 12, 2016

California Water Conservation Assembly Bill 1928

Since March 2014 I have been an active participant of the Santa Clara Valley Water District's Landscape Committee.  Before my time, the idea of irrigation equipment standards was brought up, but never materialized at the time.  In early 2015, the then and current Water Conservation Manager for the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD), Jerry De La Piedra, brought the idea back to the SCVWD board of directors.  It was discussed and crafted with the help of the landscape committee, authored by Assembly Member Nora Campos as assembly bill 1928 and sponsored by the SCVWD.  The bill passed the floor in late August and California Governor Jerry Brown approved and signed the bill into law on September 13, 2016.

The bill simply states that irrigation equipment must adopt performance standards and labeling requirements by January 2019.  Performance standards will be considered based on the Irrigation Associations Smart Water Application Technology Program protocol.  No new irrigation equipment for landscape irrigation shall be sold or offered for sale unless it meets the performance standards and labeling requirements.

It's a powerful bill to come from the committee when at times it feels like all we do is discuss our shared quixotic takes on water conservation.  This small committee was able to produce real change that will help guide California water conservation.

Click on the hyperlink to see the letter from the board of directors.