Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Just a Drop or Two..

G'day everyone

We had a few drops of rain recently at Stockton Golf & Country Club, 3.5" worth of accumulated drops around our course to be precise.

#12 Green
 The course has help up pretty well, with only one tree falling into the maintenance yard and two limbs of a Cypress falling onto one of our irrigation clocks (thankfully we escaped with minor damaged to the lid of the clock.)

The inevitable time of year is here , with the fairways and rough becoming soft to very soft in some areas. The tight soils coupled with the fact that the majority of the golf course is below sea level, result in soils that simply have now where to drain after a few good rainfall events. Our friend the fog rolls in from time to time, keeping the sun from helping to dry out the surfaces.

#14 Fairway looking back to the tee

#4 Fairway 75 Yards from the green

Right of #11 tees
 We have been able to keep up with the falling leaves and also the cutting of grass to maintain a detailed appearance. Green stripes can be seen around the course right now, but looks can also be deceptive with the course having softer conditions. My advice is to be prepared for the softer conditions right now and have some fun with friends and other members.

See you on the course.

All Rocked Out

Hello again

The lake rim project is now complete, with only a couple of  areas that we will add a few rocks to tidy up.
The rock looks nice and it will naturally blend into the golf course much better than the previous cement ledge.
Monday, November 26, 2012

Sound The Fog Horns

Hello everyone

Today we have a few signs we are heading into the winter months. The fog has rolled in off the delta, the leaves continue to fall and the 10 day forecast is quickly filling up with the likelihood of rain and showers.

Here is a view from tee to green on #15





The sun rise over #17 Green and Approach area

The sun begins to burn of the fog .

But our work continues on .


This will be a familiar site over the coming months

Roll'n Rock

Hello everyone

The edges of the lake rim have been chipped away to the point we can start adding the new rock. Utilising a bob cat and other machines, the rock is slowly rolled over the edge into place against the existing cement rim.

The outer rim has been completed except for a little more rock here and there.

Next the island tee will be the focus point with the rim being chipped away and then the rock added.

More to come as the project moves forward.
Friday, November 16, 2012


Hello everyone

No we do not have KISS or The Rolling Stones dropping by on their 150th anniversary tours, sorry.

We have begun work on the lake rim project in the middle of holes #7,#8 ans #12. Work will take around two weeks to complete, weather permitting. The cement rim of the lake was showing considerable damage due to the tidal effect of the filling and lowering of our irrigation supply, which comes directly out of the Delta. (This water supply causes us some challenges along the way in maintaining healthy turgrass, trees and gardens. More to come on that soon.)

A new gate was installed along the fence line to hole #7 for easy access to the heavy machinery that will be in operation for the project, and also any future needs.

With the fence installed and ready to go, the Ford Construction company rolled their machines and materials into town. The first step was to set up a boarded pathway for all of the machinery to be able to get to the lake rim without damaging our playing surfaces, irrigation and other fixtures.

Boards are laid down to support the weight of the heavy machinery and protect our turf, irrigation and fixtures.


As you can see in this picture the structural integrity of the existing lake rim has been compromised, with the soil steadily eroding away as a result of a tidal effect caused by the lowering and filling of the irrigation lake, which supplies all irrigation to the golf course.

The decision was made to break up the existing lip of the rim and let it drop below onto the soil ledge. This was to be follow by adding riprap stone to the ledge and up to the rim edge.

Right now the rain has started during the addition of the rock. But the construction crew will be able to push forward because of the boards already staged on the ground.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Jig Saw Puzzles

The night before a recent ladies golfing event, which had the ladies playing with members of staff here at Stockton Golf & CC, we had vandals spray paint three of our greens and also the restroom out on #16.

With some offensive language sprayed on the greens, and the ladies only a couple of hours away from a shot gun tee time, we scrambled a couple of groups from our crew to work on the problem greens.

Not knowing how much , if any, grass would be lost to the graffiti we decided to take cup cutters and half moon the letters. What is half mooning you ask. Half mooning is when we sink our cup cutter to the normal depth on the green as if we were about to change a hole location, then instead of removing the cup cutter plug we actually turn the cup cutter 180 degrees and scramble the painted letters.

Here is a couple of examples below.

The orange spray paint is still visible for now but the words are illegible. As the grass grows, we will cut of the painted sections.

Some areas of thick paint will not survive and we will need to plug out the areas and also sand and seed these areas.
Areas of thick paint were plugged out and transplanted to the edges of the greens.  Unfortunately we do not currently have a nursery green to deal with this type of issue. I am working on the cost to build a bent grass nursery.
These areas though unsightly, will play the same as the rest of the green. We will need to revisit these areas over time to work on the health and appearance of the turf. In the end we are thankful that it was only paint.

See you on the course.

Bring on Some Speed - - - - - - - -> O __

The greens have recovered fully in a very timely manner with no major problems.

Here is a picture of #12 green seven days after aeration.

We are removing a lot of grass and the bumpiness is also less noticeable due to the holes closing over

#7 green. Approaches and fairways also being cut  seven days after greens aeration.


With a couple of light topdressings and some grooming, the greens after ten days are ready for a growth regulator. We will ramp up the rolling to continue to firm the greens. Also the application times for irrigation will be cut back further.

Over all the greens are coming along nicely.

 As always we appreciate those members who take the time and effort to properly fix ball marks on the greens.

A ball mark that is not fixed immediately will leave a scar on the green that will take weeks to recover.

#4 Green after two weeks

#16 green. Two weeks after aeration.

Greens speeds will steadily increase over the next couple of weeks, returning to the same conditions we had before started aeration.

See you out on the course.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Aerification

It is that time again, the time for fall aeration.

We have just about 100% covered again with our bent grass on the greens. We aerated the greens in a little different order than has been done in the past here at Stockton G&CC. Several members have asked me how it is different from previous aeration's.

Here is a break down of the process.

The sand added is thicker than a normal top dressing and will help to prevent tire marks as we pull plugs in the next step
First we add sand onto the green.

The sand added is thicker than a normal top dressing and will help to prevent tire marks as we pull plugs in the next step.

Step 2- Aerate the green

As the greens are being aerated, the vibration of the machine helps begin the process of incorporating sand into the tine holes.


Step 3- Drag the plugs with a metal mat.

After the green is aerated and the plugs are a little more dried out, we then drag a metal drag mat over the green to break up the plugs.

The sand on the plugs is separated from the vegetative material and is blended with the top dressing sand.

(Why waste any of the existing sand that contains the results of the current fertilizer program I say.)

Step 4- Remove the vegetative material.

We then use back pack blowers to blow the vegetative matter into piles for removal.

Add granular fertilizers to help in the health and recovery of the greens.

Step 5- Drag sand and fertilizer into holes.

A combination of a brush and also a metal drag  mat is used to work the sand and fertilizer into the aerification holes.

The irrigation is then turned on to help wash the sand and fertilizer into the holes and the canopy of the green surface.

Four days after aeration

Over the next four days we added extra sand into the aeration holes that were not filled completely, and further brushing and mat dragging followed to fully incorporate the sand.

Walk mowing on day eight.

We began by cutting the greens with a triplex machine, but quickly moved to walk mowing five days later.

The holes are closing over quickly. and we started rolling the greens to maintain smoothness.

#12 Green after ten days.

#12 green pictured left, and the rest of the greens are now at regular height again, water has been decreased to begin drying and firming the surface, rolling continues to firm the greens back to the speeds we  enjoy.

I will post again over the next days and week the further proceedures we perform to get the green back into great shape and continued health.

See you on the golf course.

Good To Be Back

G'day everyone

It is good to be back again at Stockton Golf & Country Club.

I am happy once again to be part of the Stockton G&CC family. It was good to see a lot old friends and I am looking forward to be making new friends. The crew in golf maintenance has only a couple of new faces and they are welcome additions.

I feel like the transition has been a smooth one for both myself and also our crew and also other departments. We have hit the ground running and are looking forward to the future.

I had a short period away from the club and kept in contact with Jim and took every opportunity to discuss and share ideas with him. Jim is a good friend, and I am happy for him and the new challenges set out before him at Bernardo Heights Country Club in San Diego. For people that wish to follow Jim at his new course click here Good luck mate.

See you on the golf course.

And yes, that is an Australian flag flying above my profile.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Seven Excellent Years


This post was accidentally removed when we were transitioning over to my name and details, so I have re-posted the article.

Sorry bout that Jim.


Tomorrow I will begin work at Bernardo Heights Country Club in San Diego, CA as the golf course superintendent.  After nearly seven years at Stockton GCC, I am ready for a change and some new scenery.  This was a very difficult decision because the staff, management, and especially the members have been so good to me and Stockton Golf was a second home.  The time is right and my new opportunity was too good to pass up.

I want to thank all the people who followed this blog, sporadic as the posts may have been.  There may be a new blog popping up and I will share the address when it becomes a reality.  I hope the SGCC Turf Page continues to keep members updated and informed.  I'll get my ugly mug off the the header and sign over the log in.

Finally, a few thank yous, starting with the best crew I've ever known.  It was a rough goodbye to the staff who've worked so hard to make the club better day after day.  I look forward to visiting and seeing continued progress in person.

And of course, thank you to the most supportive and appreciative membership I could imagine.  It was so much fun working for you and greatly rewarding.

Thank you.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

That looks better

The burm that divides the 3 par 15th hole and the maintenance facility just got a face lift.  All the dying redwoods that were brought down during a tree company's last visit were mulched and stockpiled near the shop.  It took us about 2.5 hours and 5 staff members to finish the whole stretch.  The color provides a nice contrast and at 6-8 inches thick, we won't be spraying for weeds any time soon.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lost ball finds a home

I was checking out the fairway surface on #2 and needed a golf ball to test a few lies against the solid tine aerification we just preformed.  I asked Manuel if he had a golf ball and he said, "I know where one is."  He led me to a nest near the lake and a Pro V that looked a little out of place.  I used it for my tests and returned it for hatching.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

Stockton Golf and Country Club has another beautiful day to celebrate freedom and the efforts of our veterans.  While you enjoy the holiday with your family with a BBQ or a round of golf, remember to give thanks to those who gave so much for us.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eucalyptus hair

This year's Invitational had one interesting problem to deal with.  After the crew detailed the course to tournament conditions, heavy winds arrived and made quite a mess.  Friday's first round's 9:00 am shotgun had us starting at 4:00 am to mow, double roll, and blow, blow, blow.  Thank you to our neighbors at Van Buskirk for the use of their roller, the greens were just awesome.

Three greens downwind of our massive and messy eucalyptus trees were covered in the flower parts that are tipped with tiny yellow anthers.  Here is a excellent photo pulled from Microscopy UK and author Brian Johnston.  The little white hairs covered three greens and slowed ball roll down making greens that were stimping 11.5 feet only roll out at 9.5.  That is not very fair to the contestants.

We tried to blow them off, but they were glued to the surface.  We tried to mow them off, and no luck at all.  We then tried to wash them off with a high pressure nozzle and the greens were going to be soaked by the time we finished.  As you can see below, the results were not that great.

Back to the drawing board and back to the shop to get our Greens Groomer brush.  I spun the greens a couple of times, we mowed again and double rolled.  Finally back up to speed and ready for play.

I'll have a couple more posts about the Invitational which was a very positive experience for members, guests, and the staff. I'm glad it's over with, but I enjoyed every minute. Thank you to my wonderful crew, the best around!!!