Thursday, October 6, 2016

October Maintenance Update

Golf Course Maintenance Update

Fall is here and with that comes shorter days and cooler weather.  Irrigation scheduling can be very challenging during this time of year because of the wide range of weather conditions that we can experience.  Generally speaking though, we are watering a lot less with the night cycles and spending more time doing spot watering during the morning before play starts.  The point that I am trying to get across here is that the golf course has never followed a “set if and forget it” mentality when it comes to irrigation.  The oversight that occurs now is critical to prevent over-watering of the course.

This is also a time of year when I have to spend some time reminding residents that they also have a responsibility to be aware of the irrigation of their yards and to start cutting back the watering times.  Overwatering of adjacent properties often impacts the golf course because of the runoff that creates excessively wet areas that can be easily damaged by powered golf carts or mowing equipment.  It is also very wasteful of a precious resource. 

I would like to make a few comments about the management of home irrigation.  As I mentioned before, the management or mismanagement of home irrigation doesn’t just impact a homeowner’s yard.  It can also impact the golf course.  I can understand the frustration many homeowners’ may have with trying to use the difficult to program controller that is in the garage.  The typical Toro or Rainbird controller is very confusing to program and because of that most users just like to set them and leave them alone.  This leads to adequate watering in the summer months, but leads to over-watering in the winter and even worse, watering during or immediately after a rain event.
There is a solution to this problem and it is coming to us by way of the internet and the internet of things.  I recently installed a smart wi-fi irrigation controller at my home and have been really impressed with its capabilities.  I installed a controller made by Rachio.  More information can be found at www.Rachio.com.  This controller was very easy to setup and because it is connected to the internet via wi-fi, it is constantly adjusting the run times of the sprinklers based on the current weather conditions.  I used an easy to follow setup procedure in a web browser and in a few minutes everything was ready to go.  I have been using it since August and have been very pleased with how my lawn and landscape look.  There are apps on both IOS and Android that allow you to check the system status from anywhere.  Rachio is not the only company that has come out with a new style wi-fi connected controller, but I use it and recommend it.  The device will water your yard more efficiently, adjust watering times automatically and even stop irrigation if rain is in the forecast.  The golf course will thank you also.

The golf course maintenance department has aerified and reseeded the driving range.  Fertilizer was also applied.  The range will require frequent daytime irrigation for the next couple of weeks to ensure good germination of the seed.  The seed cannot be allowed to dry out during this critical time.  We appreciate your patience.

Several large Eucalyptus trees were removed from the course in the last few weeks.  The trees were not structurally sound and posed a risk to nearby properties.  They were located on the 13th, 17th and 18th holes.

Rip rap installation has been an ongoing maintenance project.  We have a large stockpile of rock in the maintenance area ready to be installed around the course.  The maintenance department will continue with its installation as a filler project.  Targeted areas are: the rest of the lake to the west of the 12th hole, the lake banks adjacent to Emerald Court, and the lake bank between holes 5 and 8.  The rip rap is used for erosion control and beautification.

It would be greatly appreciated if all members using power carts would always keep all 4 tires on the paths when near the greens and tees.  There is no need to pull onto the turf when parking to tee off or putt.

Please do your best to repair your ball marks, also encourage your families and guests to repair their ball marks and at least 2 others on each green during your round.  It takes almost no time to do and helps to keep the greens in the best possible condition for all players.
Also, I am happy to see so many divots being filled with the sand and seed mix.  Your help is greatly appreciated.  As usual, do not use the sand and seed mix on the tees.

We have a weather station that is monitoring and recording the local conditions.  It is connected to the internet so anyone can view it to see current conditions.  The link is: http://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KCADISCO10#history

Don’t forget to check the golf course maintenance department blog. The link to it is: http://dbgccmaintenance.blogspot.com/

Follow me on twitter; I am @dbgccsuper, for instant updates of conditions.

AFTER HOURS GOLF COURSE EMERGENCY NUMBER: (925) 392-1990
Please use this number for golf course related emergencies only, like broken sprinklers, pipes or fallen trees, etc.

Thank you for your time.
Chris Mains
Golf Course Superintendent

cmains@dbgcc.com