Saturday, November 21, 2015

Its official winter is here! Over the last week we experienced four days of frost delays. The colder weather is slowly turning the Bermuda-grass a straw-color and it is going dormant.

In the past, to mask the dormancy of the Bermuda-grass, we elected to overseed both courses to provide a nice green color during the winter months.  However, transitioning out of the overseed would result in bare spots and unacceptable playing conditions during our prime season.

As a Club we decided to eliminate the overseeding process to create a mono stand of warm season grasses to improve playability throughout the year.  With the decision to eliminate overseeding, the North course is closer to our goal of creating a mono stand of warm season turf however we are still a season away from completion.  Due to the first time of not overseeding on the South, we are still a couple years away from creating the same environment as the North.

During the transition, esthetically the courses will not look the same as when overseeded however playability will improve over time.  Over the next few months you will experience firmer/tighter lies caused by cart traffic and limited turf growth from the cooler temperatures. Once February / March roles around both courses should start greening up, especially if we get the El Nino that many are predicting.  

Based on Member feedback, we are continuing to work on the North Fairways. The biggest concern was having puffy fairways and it was difficult to swing the club through.  We have made a conscious effort this year to reduce the fluff, however we may have gone too far.  Moving forward, I am looking to find a happy medium. We just need to make some adjustments in our agronomic practices.
To continue to improve our playing conditions, I need the help of the Membership:

  • Please do not overfill your divots, chop the edges in with your clubs and put a small amount of sand to fill the void just below the turf line.  
  • Keep the golf carts away from greens and tees, abide by the entrance and exit signs or abide by the 90-Degree Rule. The 90-Degree Rule states, Golfers are required to keep golf carts on the cart path until they are even with a golf ball in the fairway. Only then should the cart leave the path, turning sharply (90 degrees) to drive straight across to the golf ball. After playing the shot, the cart should return straight back to the cart path, then remain on the path until pulling even with another ball. This will help limited the amount of damage in isolated areas. 
  • Please understand weather plays a major role in growing turf. The maintenance staff has every intention in making Coto De Caza great once again.  We may make some mistakes along the way, but both courses will continue to improve. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The South greens are healing up nicely after last week’s aerification and with a little fertilizer on Monday they should be close to normal by next weekend.

During the south closure, we were able to add some hitting surface to #3 tees as well as expanding the turf line behind #10.  These areas will remain closed for another week or so, which will allow establishment of the bermudagrass and gives us time to roll / level some of the problem areas.  

Now that most of the major projects have been completed for the year, we will be focusing on bunkers.  We have already started addressing the green-side bunkers on the south. The work consists of adding and removing sand, removing rocks, cutting tree roots, as well as fixing any drainage issues. Once we get through all the green-side bunkers on the south, we will then start on the north. All in all it should take us about 2 months to complete all the bunkers.  From there, we will work on the fairway bunkers. Don’t have a time frame for these due to the size and number of bunkers.  The bunkers, which have the biggest issues with drainage, will be addressed first.

Currently, we are trying a number of different rakes as well as adding different attachments to our equipment to help improve the playability.  Our sand stays on the wetter side, which contributes to compaction so I need to figure out how to fluff the sand from time to time to keep the bunkers playing consistent.  Not sure if I’ll find the perfect solution but we’re working on it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

CIMIS - California Irrigation Management Information System.   This new weather station is managed by the California Department of Water Resources which was installed today in the tall bermudagrass between holes 8 & 9 North. The data received from this weather station will be used to determine evapotranspiration (ET).  ET rates are calculated from the following factors-  radiation, air temperature, humidity, and wind speed.  This ET rate will provide information so the Santa Margarita Water District can create outdoor water budgets as well as determining actual irrigation needs to our plant material in the Coto de Caza area.