Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Town Hall Meeting Tomorrow Night

Please join us for a Town Hall Meeting, Wednesday, January 8, 2014 from 6-8pm at Crow Canyon Country Club (Members Only). We will be recapping 2013 and will be sharing our plans for the golf course for 2014. This will be a great opportunity for you to hear all of the things we have recently done and will be doing in 2014 that will make Crow Canyon Country Club better than ever! We have a lot of exciting improvements planned for this year! So, don't miss you're opportunity to hear all about it tomorrow night.

I will see you there,

Dale Simpson
Golf Course Superintendent

Monday, November 4, 2013

Golf Course Update-November 2013

Course Update:

Greens:
The greens have fully recovered from aeration and are in great shape. They recovered very quickly from aeration, which is a testament to their great health. The greens have also been very consistent in their playability and performance.

Tees:
The tees have fully recovered from aeration. You may have also noticed that we are bringing back the forward tees. We are hoping that this will encourage more people to play golf and play it forward, if needed. We are also bringing the black tees, where possible, into play so that we can also challenge the longer hitters and lower handicap golfers. Year-to-date we have leveled 3 tees and are in the process of leveling the Blue/Black and White tees on Hole#7. We also plan to level the tee on Hole #9

Fairways:
The fairways have been our biggest issue this year in regards to overall health and playability. Many factors contributed to the poor health of the fairways. First, the lack of rainfall has been a major factor. We have had below average rainfall levels for the past two years and this has taken a noticeable toll on the turf quality. Our normal rainy seasons benefit the golf course in many ways. Besides the consistent coverage of water throughout the golf course that rain gives, the rainy season also gives the course time to recover from the previous summer and golf season. Without the rain, the fairways have really suffered and have not had the time that the rainy season affords for them to fully recover.
Of course we were starting to see the fairways recover with the increase in water use and the cooler temperatures. Then, we aerated and the process of aeration caused the fairways to stress again. This has been a frustration for many golfers. But, let me reassure you that the short-term stress caused by the aeration is well worth the long-term benefits that aeration does for the overall quality of the fairways.
Another issue we are experiencing in the fairways is the skunk/raccoon damage caused from the presence of grub worms. We chemically treat the fairways annually for grub worms. However, since we have had pretty good grub control in the past, we went with a lower rate this year. Next year, we will be applying a grub control chemical at a higher rate in order to minimize, if not totally eliminate, the grub worms. This will, in turn, minimize or eliminate the skunk/raccoon damage we are seeing now.

Roughs:
        The roughs are recovering from the summer heat and are beginning to become more challenging for the golfer as we get into the cooler time of the year. Perennial Ryegrass loves the cooler temperatures and is at its healthiest during the fall and the spring.
You may have noticed that we core-aerated some of the roughs, especially the high cart traffic areas near the cart paths. This will help relieve the compaction in the soil that the golf carts cause. We also took the opportunity to seed and sand these areas to help keep these areas thick and healthy.
As for the roughs that we have not been irrigating over the past few years, we are working on a turf conversion plan that will replace what was Ryegrass with a more drought tolerant blend of Fescue. This will enable us to have turf coverage wall to wall without using the amount of water that Ryegrass requires. We are hoping to be able to convert the turf in the rough in the fall of 2014. We seeded a section of land between holes #2 and #3 with a blend of four different Fescues as a sample plot to see what we can expect the rest of the golf course to look like along the perimeter roughs and out of play areas, if/when we seed with this blend of fescue.

Bunkers:
Sand bunkers are an area that a Golf Course Superintendent has a difficult time pleasing every golfer. Depending on the skill level or even just the personal preference of the golfer, they may want a wet, dry, firm or soft and fluffy bunker. Not only that, the golfer wants every one of the bunkers on the golf course to be exactly the same.
Attaining bunker consistency is a huge challenge. First, we check the bunkers to make sure they have the right amount of sand in them and replenish the sand, when needed. We rake the bunkers 4 to 5 times a week during the season depending on our workload each week. My irrigation technicians are constantly adjusting sprinkler heads to minimize the amount of water that gets into the bunker. They are also very aware that when they are watering the turf around the edges of the bunker that water will drain into the bunker. So, they try to minimize the water runoff as well.
However, due to factors that are out of our control, bunker consistency will always be a huge challenge for every Golf course Superintendent to attain. With that said, the bunkers are in pretty good shape. They drain well and are not contaminated with rocks, clay or other soil type materials. They are compacted enough to minimize the amount of plugged lies in the bunker, yet soft enough that a golfer can get a club under the ball, if given the proper stroke.

Conclusion:
Although the fairways and roughs have not fully recovered from this summer or the recent aeration, the golf course conditions are improving and will continue to improve. The dedicated and hard working Golf Course Maintenance Staff will continue to work at providing you with the best possible playing conditions. We will do this by looking for ways, everyday, to improve the quality of work that we do. We will also try to make your golfing experience the best it can be by keeping you better informed on our maintenance schedule and other projects we might be working on. I am always available to answer any questions or concerns regarding the golf course conditions. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

Dale Simpson
Golf Course Superintendent
Office 925-735-0180

Monday, September 9, 2013

Devil Mountain In Flames!

It's no secret that over the past couple of years we have been experiencing drought-like conditions. This year has been no different. We have only received around 2 inches of rain since the beginning of the year. With the lack of rain and now the recent heat wave that we have been experiencing, the fire danger in Northern California is extremely high. Just this weekend, we had three fires in the area. The worst being the fire that is still raging on Mt. Diablo. So far, 1600 acres have burned in less than 24 hours. There are currently 250 firefighters working on extinguishing the blaze. Moreover, there have been over 50 homes evacuated. Crow Canyon Country Club is just a few miles South of where this fire is taking place.




Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Slit Seeding

In an effort to improve the conditions of the fairways and areas that have suffered, due to cart traffic, we have begun slit seeding. This is not typically the optimum time of the year to do this because of the excessive heat that we usually experience. So, you will also see a number of roller base sprinklers throughout the golf course ensuring that the weakest areas of turf remain wet enough for the seed to germinate and become established. We have also roped off many high traffic areas in order to enable these areas to heal. This process will continue throughout the rest of the summer. We realize that these un-manned sprinklers on the golf course will be somewhat of an inconvenience. However, our goal is to get the golf course conditions back to the quality that we have all grown to expect. Thank you for your patience and understanding. The long-term result of the work we are doing will be well worth the short-term inconvenience.

Slit seeding Hole #13 Fairway

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Traffic control to enable high traffic areas to heal

Roller base sprinklers spread throughout the course to help with stressed and newly seeded areas.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hole #12 Tee and Hole #4 are Reopened Today

We have reopened the Tees on Hole #4 and Hole #12 after leveling and resodding. We plan to open the Tees on Hole #2, #5 and #18 the first week of July.

Hole #4 Tee Ready to Open

Hole #12 Tee- Picture taken a few days after resodding

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hand Watering!

With the warm weather and longer days, it is the time of the year when we begin to do a lot more hand watering of the golf course. The purpose of hand watering is to apply water directly to dry or "hot" spots on the golf course. Of course our first priority is hand watering any dry or hot spots that are on or near the greens, you will also see us hand watering tees and fairways, when possible. As always, we do our best to stay clear of all golfers when we are out working on the golf course. However, we do appreciate your patience when we are hand watering near the greens. I have instructed my staff to always give the golfers the right of way and do their best not to interrupt your pace of play. So, when you see us out hand watering, just know that it is a necessary task in keeping the golf course in great shape. From time to time, you might even see your friendly Golf Course Superintendent with a hose in his hand!

Dale Simpson hand watering!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Aeration Update Part 2

Greens aeration went very well despite the little bit of rainfall the night before we started the greens. The rain after the greens were aerated was very helpful.

Hole#13 green- one week after aeration

Hole #13 green- close-up bird's eye view.




Fairway aeration is under way and we are moving along very well due to the warm and windy weather. We may even be able to finish by the end of this week!



Aerating Hole #2 Fairway
Sweeping Hole #3 Fairway

Hole #18- one day after aerating