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Monday, November 26, 2012

New Equipment Manager - Hector Velazquez Jr.

It's with great pleasure that I announce our new Equipment Manager, Hector Velazquez Jr.  Hector comes to us from Thorntree Country Club in DeSoto, Texas where he is currently the Golf Course Equipment Manager.  Hector has 13 years of experience as an Equipment Manager at golf clubs around the U.S. and is well respected by his peers.  In his spare time, Hector produces videos for about equipment maintenance, new products, and helpful tips for other Superintendents and Equipment Managers around the globe to use and share ideas.  We're very excited to welcome Hector to the team at Walnut Creek CC and look forward to working with him for years to come!

To learn more about Hector and watch his videos on equipment maintenance , please visit his website at:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Course Closing for Winter

With the upcoming weather forecast, the courses will be closed for the winter starting Sunday, December 2nd. With that said, don't forget to take advantage of the Black Friday sales at Lathwell's Golf Shop today and remember that the clubhouse will remain open for the holiday events and dining!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Off Season Projects Begin

Late fall and winter are great times to make improvements to the courses that will have a big impact on members enjoyment of the facility for the next season.  This week we began our first of four new quick-coupler installations around greens on the West course.  “Quick-couplers” or “QC’s” are hand operated valves that allow our staff to connect a hose to the irrigation system quickly and water select areas like greens. 
Trenching lines for new pipe
New QC installations are often very easy to do and can be done by one person even during the growing season, but the West course is a little different.  

The current irrigation on the West course is referred to as a “block system”.  In the block system, many of the irrigation pipes that are pressurized with water all the time are located in the rough, far from the greens, tees, and fairways.  Branching off of the pressurized pipe is a herringbone of smaller pipes that have irrigation heads connected to them.  The only thing stopping the irrigation heads from running all the time is one electronic valve between the pressurized pipe and the heads.  So if you want to turn on one head, you may actually have to turn on three or four at the same time depending on how it’s set up.  So, for example, if there is an area in a fairway where a QC is needed, we can’t just connect into the pipe in the fairway.  If we did, the only time water would be available at the QC would be when the valve is open and the irrigation heads are running.  With that said, new irrigation lines have to be put in the ground starting at the pressurized lines by themselves.  A big process to do, but one that our staff is tackling well.

The pipe is together and ready to be put in
When it comes to watering greens properly, hand watering is often used so the greens don’t receive too much or too little irrigation water.  Greens with too much or too little water have big problems both with health of the turf and playability for the golfer.  Having QC’s closer to greens allows our staff to move around the course swiftly and with less disruption to play during the day while also doing what’s best for the turfgrass by syringing or watering.

These installations are being done in-house at very little cost.  Yesterday we completed the installation of the new pipe by #1 West green and are on track to have our second run of pipe competed this afternoon by #7 West green.  I’m very proud of the hard work our staff is putting in to complete these great updates.
Laying the sod back down right behind it for less disruption

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Late Season Range Tee Recovery

Yesterday the staff at WCCC did range maintenance that will greatly improve the conditions for Spring golf.  The range tees were aerified, seeded, treated for potential disease, and tarped for late season germination and divot recovery.  These tarps will be left on until we cover select greens to promote as much divot recovery as possible before winter.  The permeable tarps help increase the temperature underneath which produces a little extra growth during a time when the plant is otherwise shutting down.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Frosty Mornings

Well November is here and so are the frosty mornings.  As many are aware, any traffic on frozen turf will injure it and likely even kill it.  We've put signs out on the putting greens to ensure everyone stays off the frozen turf and have been staying in close communication both with the golf shop staff and starter to get golf going as soon as it's safe.  The weather outlook for the next few days is similar in that the frost potential is high.  Feel free to reference this USGA article for an explanation on the effects of traffic on frozen turfgrass : USGA Frost Article