Saturday, May 21, 2011


That one object is situated perpendicular to one another.

10th Fairway showing undesirable cart traffic patterns

As turf professionals we have enough to worry about instead of being rules enforcers. It should not be that difficult to follow this age-old drive across the fairway, hit a shot, then drive back across to the cart path. The idea is to avoid driving up and down the fairways creating a dizzying effect due to an overload of tire tracks.  In short,  the "90-degree rule" minimizes the time a golf cart spends rolling over the grass, while still allowing convenience for golfers.  If anyone has had any luck in adequately controlling this issue please comment...

9th Fairway as viewed from the Clubhouse.  Cart traffic patterns clearly show disregard for the 90-degree rule.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trees a Crowd

120-year-old Coastal Live Oak tree that split and quietly fell during the March 19th storm

How the wide open, right side approach shot appeared after the oak tree was lost

The first two of three oak trees added to the right side of the 14th fairway
During the March 19th storm, we lost seven trees total when the intense wind and rain storm ripped through the golf course.  Losing the massive 120-year-old coastal live oak along the 14th fairway was a tough.  Not only was that tree there before the golf course was ever built, but it is had impacted shots for many generations.  With that tree gone, the right side of the fairway had no protection.  MacKenzie intended shots to play from the left side and the angled green complex clearly identifies his intention.  Looking over several pictures from the 1930's, there were (3) trees that stood on the right side of the 14th fairway.  When the final soldier fell, it was time to bring back the design intent.  Three coastal live oak trees were transplanted in the same location as in the 1931 aerial photograph indicated.  

Third tree added to frame the right side and bring back the original design of the 14th hole

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ghost of MacKenzie

A view from the 2nd fairway showing how the 3rd green complex looked in 1929

Photo taken two years ago with the massive Monterey Cypress adjacent to the right side of the 3rd green
Following the March 19th storm the cypress was severely damaged and was completely removed
Turf managers know the problems trees can possess on the ability to grow healthy grass.  Architects know the fine balance between trees and turfgrass.  Dr. MacKenzie never intended a tree to be planted adjacent to the third green and felt that the severe green complex would be a fair enough test for the 235-yard uphill par 3.  The massive monterey cypress tree that grew on the right side of the green complex impacted shots for nearly 50-years and MacKenzie intended the right side to be a bail out area.  If you hit a shot that landed under that tree or had to hit through it, up to the third green, you almost guaranteed bogey.  The ghost of MacKenzie roared through on the night of March 19th when a massive wind storm took out the majority of the tree.  It was so severely damaged that the decision was made to remove the remaining stump and limbs.  Upon driving through the club entrance, one is now made aware of the famous MacKenzie bunkering as it is no longer hidden by the cypress tree.  From an architectural standpoint and a turfgrass manager standpoint, we all agree that this was a good thing.  The third hole is now more reminiscent of how the green complex looked in 1929.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Native Revival

How the Native Areas look following the rainy season and heading into a period of no rain and no irrigation.

From a distance the native areas look like a full meadow, but up close are more open with bunch-type  grasses that still allow players to find there ball and play shots from.
It has been quite some time since the last update on the native grass program at Pasatiempo.  This project has been a test of patience for not only the membership, but also those of us who have developed and implemented the strategic plan.  When first researching the project, we felt that within 3 to 5 years, there should be a significant stand of native grasses.  In January of 2010, the first areas were seeded with our native grass seed and following that rainy season, there was decent germination, but the look during last summer was less than desirable to most.  Amazingly, many of the grasses and small tufts hung on during the summer with no rain and no irrigation.  Once the first rains hit in October of 2010, the grasses began to show life and following a December that recorded over 15-inches of rain, the natives really took off.  Overall, there was an abundance of rainfall throughout this past rainy season and the areas that were seeded in January of 2010 are well ahead of the original 3-5 year plan.  A tremendous difference from year one to now and we look forward to many of these grasses going dormant and showcasing the golf course with their dramatic golden brown seedheads.

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