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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer Stress and the Importance of Aerification

Aerification of greens, tees, fairways, and rough have many benefits. Decreased compaction, improved air and gas exchange, thatch removal, and amending the profile are just naming a few. Every golf course is different in terms of climate, grass varieties, soil composition, nutrient levels, and amounts of traffic. This means that no two courses can be managed the same, and for that matter no two greens can be managed exactly the same. 

Throughout the growing season we implement many cultural practices to improve turf health and conditioning and more often than not they are directly related. Many golfers know the term aerification and have heard terms such as "needle tinning" or "venting" but may not exactly know how crucial these practices are to keeping healthy, playable turf. 

Recently we aerified a green on the north course that was starting to show signs of stress related to compaction of soils and a lack of oxygen. After months of mowing, rolling, and having plenty of golfing traffic on the greens, it's not uncommon to see issues by August. Most superintendents, including myself, use "needle tinning" to poke very small holes in the putting surface therefore allowing air and gas exchange as well as reducing some compaction with very minimal impact to putting. In rare cases it's necessary to use a larger hole to improve conditions and ensure healthy turf through the end of the growing season. 

To better explain why it's necessary in some areas and not others, I have included a few photos to show the difference in greens below the surface. Sandy soils will not compact like heavy soils will under the same traffic stresses and therefore will act much differently at the turf level. In addition, a green that is built correctly will allow for the entire profile to hold or release moisture evenly and consistently.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nesting Bald Eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Remain on 7 West

These photos are compliments of member Dave Senator and guest to the club Kathy Fenner who were both able to capture a few great pictures of our nesting eagles. The eagles remain in their nest on 7 West and there are reports that another eaglet has been born and is growing well. As we are stewards of the environment and wildlife, it's great to see such a beautiful bird choosing to make Walnut Creek Country Club it's home! 

Photo by Dave Senator

Photo by Dave Senator

Photo by Kathy Fenner

Photo by Kathy Fenner

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Spring 2017 Update

This spring has been very busy with completing projects and general maintenance of the facility through heavy rains and generally cool weather. Below is a quick recap of a few projects that are wrapping up or have already been completed.

Future cart path site was stripped of sod

Cart path area was excavated 

Grade stakes with set and string line was put up for cart path edges

Crushed concrete based was compacted to a depth of 4" to make a solid surface for the concrete. Fabric lining was also used under the crushed concrete for stability in areas that could hold more moisture in the future

Forms and base completed

All work was done by in-house staff. 30 yards of concrete were poured and finished over 2 days

Grade surrounding thew new path was excavated and worked to match the cart path. Sod was laid as the final touch.

Railroad ties placed in bunker faces for aesthetics during a previous renovation were removed after committee recommendation and board approval. The  faces of the bunkers were reshaped and new edges established. burlap bags full of soil were used to make the new bunker face edge as seen here in the photo

All bunker faces were sodded following railroad tie removal

Drainage that had failed was dug up on select bunkers on the West course and repaired. 

Fertilizer storage at the maintenance facility was updated for cleanliness, safety, more room, and ease of inventory. This photo illustrates how fertilizer pallets were previously stored.

Updated shelving for fertilizer storage

Another lightning shelter base was re-leveled. Previously the bricks were very uneven and needed repair.

Solid tine aerication was completed for all 31 greens within a two day window