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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bunker Maintenance

Comments on bunkers needing major improvement is the number one thing I have heard since getting to Walnut Creek in 2012.  I couldn't agree more. Bunkers, like everything else on the golf course, have a life expectancy.  Our bunkers are well past their life expectancy and it's time they get rebuilt.  With over 20 years of washout rains causing contamination from silt, soil, and rocks, in addition to improperly functioning drainage, a simple addition of sand will not cure our current bunker problems. Currently our bunkers also do not have a liner separating the sand from clay, stone, and drainage pipe underneath which accelerates the contamination process.

With that said, our staff is tackling the huge task of redistributing sand in bunkers as well as adding sand in select areas to allow for better playability prior to completely renovating them as a permanent fix, but adding sand is also not as easy as it sounds. We're working hard to produce a very playable bunker, not a sand beach.  As sand is added, it takes time to settle and become compacted which ultimately offers the most playable lie.  When sand is added to a bunker, tools are used to compact it but the process is very time consuming.  Completely going through all 83 bunkers on property will not happen overnight, but our staff is working on them every day to improve them until they have all been gone through.

Silt contamination from improper drainage after rainfall

Pebbles contaminating sand due to the lack of a proper liner

Hard working staff redistributing sand and adding where needed

Friday, July 25, 2014

Board of Directors Approved 7 South

In addition to the construction beginning on August 5th to 1 North, 4 North, and 1 South, the Board has approved the renovation of 7 South which will also be completed in August. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Golf Course Master Enhancement Plan

In an effort to illustrate what the golf course master enhancement plan entails for the property, a few photos of our existing holes were digitally edited to show the future changes that will be made. The example photos below are of 2 South, 7 South, and 7 West.  The most noticeable changes are new bunkers with shifting fairway contours.  The bunkers will be constructed to be much more visible while also very playable in key locations.  Bunkers, although a hazard, should be playable.  In order to correct the current problems we face with bunkers including poor drainage, varying sand levels, and soil contamination, a special bunker liner will be installed. This liner helps ensure proper drainage, less contamination from soil, and also less movement of sand due to heavy rains.  Many bunkers on property are being addressed by the addition of sand and checking drainage for the time being until they can be fixed correctly through this enhancement plan.

This August we are doing a few small construction projects on 1 North, 1 South, and 4 North during which the holes will still be OPEN for play.  The start date for construction is Tuesday, August 5th with the anticipated completion date of Monday, August 25th.  The construction on these holes is being done in accordance to Brian's plan and will look the same in style to the photos above.  Details of the construction taking place this August are described below. 

1 South:

Left greenside bunker is shaped and renovated, liner installed, new sand, sod laid.

Right greenside bunker removed and a new bunker is shaped in the front middle of the green which will be surrounded by bluegrass rough.

Chipping "roll-off area" constructed to the back right of the green.  This area will be creeping bentgrass.
This view is from behind the green facing the tees on 1 South

1 North:

Right fairway bunker is split into two bunkers and turned to face the tee making it more visual. Liner will be installed, new sand, sod laid.

New left fairway bunker added approximately 50 yards past the right fairway bunkers. This will be an aiming bunker for a good fairway shot and will rarely be reached from the tee. Liner installed, new sand, sod laid.

New fairway bunker right side 50 yards from the green. Liner installed, new sand, sod laid.

Right greenside bunkers removed and new "roll-off area" of bentrgass sod will surround the green on the right.

New left greenside bunker added. Liner installed, new sand, sod laid.

4 North:

Rockwall installed - Complete

All greenside bunkers removed, green surround will be graded, new sod laid.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Walnut Creek Turfgrass Maintenance Facility Highlighted in Golf Course Industry magazine

In a recent edition of Golf Course Industry magazine, the turfgrass maintenance facility at Walnut Creek was featured for it's safety features and detailed organization. The article discusses common safety concerns in and around maintenance facilities and offers steps that can be taken to prevent accidents. You can find the whole article by clicking HERE.