The younger kids, some under the age of seven, were a real treat to watch. They really looked like tiny professional golfers with their mannerisms and golf apparel. They would step off distances, check the contours of the green from all angles, and most importantly, fix their ball marks.
The event was very well received by the membership at Stockton GCC. I believe it would be rare for a private club to give up the course to a bunch of kids on a beautiful spring weekend. Not only did they forgo their personal weekend tee-times, they also volunteered their time by marshaling, checking in guests, and helping to score the event.
The Nor Cal PGA pulled out all stops with this event. Everything looked very official with a brand new scoreboard, vests for the caddies, and banners, tents, and sponsors scattered around the entrance.
The putting green surround served its last tour of duty this weekend and was ripped out early the next morning. As you can see in the photo above, common bermuda has contaminated the turf and was spreading towards the green.
The new sod spruced up this area instantly and should hold up for a couple of years before foot traffic takes its toll. Laying sod is an art form and doing it correctly will save a lot of time hand watering and repairing bad spots. The crew is good about monitoring each others work and pointing out mistakes in a teasing sort of way. Every one of them is getting very good at laying sod, but nobody is begging me to buy any more.
I let the Waitea run wild for over a week until the repair date was backed up waiting for parts. We cleaned the tank on the 1992 model very thoroughly and went out yesterday to fix the problem. There is little to worry about with this phenomenal weather and a ugly, but weak disease.
We are also testing out all of our aerifiers to get ready for the next month. The Wiedenmann will be punching the driving range tee, plugs will be broken up by a steel drag mat, and then we will hit it with some fertilizer to jump start the sleepy bermuda.
I have some many updates to post, but so little time to do so. Even now, as I'm writing this, I know my time is better served with a shovel in hand helping the staff around the putting green. Hopefully, I can sit down tonight and make up for lost time reporting some of our recent work and course events.
Here are some of the posts you'll be seeing in the near future:
- The inaugural event of the Northern California PGA Junior Tour hosted the last two days at Stockton Golf and Country Club
- Main line repair on #17
- Brown ring patch (Waitea) on most of our greens with the sprayer out-of-order
- Restroom remodeling in the maintenance shop (sounds exciting doesn't it?)
- Update on Izzo including a vicious dog attack right in my office
So stay tuned for more Stockton Turf News, and grab your clubs and hit the course because spring is officially here!!!
I have to spend most of the afternoon and part of the evening spraying fairways, but I look forward to pint of Guinness and some corned beef later tonight.
Have a safe and happy Irish Day!!!
I normally disregard the degree day model, going more on history and current weather patterns. I have applied pre-emergent as late as April 15th in some years, but this time around I'll be going a month earlier. Our long summers result in a long germination window for crabgrass so two applications may be necessary. Read the label of the product you are using and follow the instructions closely.
Finally, be careful not to over-fertilize your lawn during the 'Spring Green Up' promotion at your local garden supplier. Two-thirds of the nitrogen applied to your lawn should be put out during the fall months. That is the time of year when the plant builds up its roots. Spring comes with a growth flush that is mostly top growth. The reserves are being used to push the plant up and most of the nitrogen will do the same.
Crabgrass is very difficult to remove from your lawn, so prevention is the key.
Lowe's and Home Depot benefit from 'Spring Green Up' much more than your lawn. A little fertilizer this time of year will go a long way.
There's no better way to introduce a newly acquired machine than by referencing Kung Fu. Yes, young Caine, this is a Grasshopper unit and the front attachment is a Buffalo Blower. We are still working on last week's clippings and this machine is making quick work of the job.
Mario Estrada is on the unit blowing rough along the fairway of number 16. Monday, we had three people mowing rough, two people on blowers, and two more dragging fences and mats to break up this mess. By the looks of the photo below, we got to this section of rough just in time.
We got the Grasshopper unit in a trade for a broken down rough unit. We were tired of fixing the thing and it was sitting in our junk pile when an interested friend offered a trade. This little blower is packed with power and you will be seeing it frequently on the course cleaning cart paths, spreading clippings, and gathering fallen leaves.
Old man, how is it that you hear these things? ---------- Young man, how is it that you do not?
We are blessed to have a modern irrigation system and a pump house that is the best I've seen out of the seven courses I've worked for. Both of these components were installed in 2002 and are holding up very well. However, that is no reason to ignore annual maintenance of the system and wait for a problem before taking a look.
I pulled the following definition from Wikipedia and I think it describes the phrase very well.
Preventive maintenance (PM) has the following meanings:
1.The care and servicing by personnel for the purpose of maintaining equipment and facilities in satisfactory operating condition by providing for systematic inspection, detection, and correction of incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into major defects.
Yesterday, Commercial Pump came out to the course to inspect and service our pump system and for the second visit in a row, they found a potentially massive problem. The hydraulic tube that senses pressure in the system was partially blocked and could mislead the computer to run the pumps until something ruptured or burned up. In addition, the computer system is water-cooled and that tubing was also partially blocked.
The pictures to the left show the removed filter that keeps most dirt and debris from entering the irrigation lines. The top photo is a good look at the brushes that periodically scrape the walls to remove buildup. The next pic shows the outside which is thoroughly washed before inspection. Finally, the last photo was taken inside the pump house. Here you can see the housing for the removed filter and the four pumps in the background.
We came through this checkup with a clean bill of health and a couple of problems resolved before disaster struck. Once the gentlemen from Commercial Pump finished putting the system back together, we needed to fire on many sprinkler heads to test everything. This is always tricky because I don't want to soak all of the golfers on the course. This time I had a different problem and that was explaining why I was irrigating during a storm that dumped over a half-inch of water on the already saturated turf.
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