Sunday, June 26, 2011


Rain and drizzle during a very rare early June storm

June has been a very odd month in terms of weather.  We are accustomed to the extraordinary micro-climates in the Bay Area where it is 58-degrees at the coast and scorching to well over 100-degrees a few miles inland.  Typically, the golf course falls in the middle of the two extremes, making it one of the most desirable climates in the world with 70-degree weather dominating the forecast.  However, turfgrass likes consistency and when it goes from rainy at the beginning of hot...back to cool and foggy, the grass doesn't know if summer is coming or going.  It is rare to receive rain during the month of June.  You have to go back to 1964 to see the last significant rain event for June...after that the last time this area recorded over 2-inches of rain in June was back in 1884!

This random, inconsistent weather can create undesirable response in turfgrass.  For instance, earlier in June the green surfaces were eliciting extreme seedhead production.  As we approach the end of June, the greens are fairly "clean" following the application of a product that stops seedhead production.  The annual poa will develop seedheads as a stress response, especially if it has been cool, then a spike in heat.  The seedheads most often affects the late-afternoon players as the "puffing up" of the poa can create bumpy greens and green speeds that are slower than desired.

While we do not experience many of the summer weather extremes as other parts of the country, we still have issues and the most recent forecast has rain expected on the 28th or 29th of June, officially allowing us to rename this month as Junuary.    

Intense seedhead production on the 18th green in early June prior to an application of Proxy / Primo

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mowing and Rolling

Over the past several months we have been using some very interesting research that is being done by Dr. Rob Golembiewski at Oregon State University to manage our green speeds. For those of you that don't know Pasatiempo has some of the most severely sloping/undulated greens in the U.S. (original Alister MacKenzie design), and we are simply unable to manage the greens for daily play at anything faster than 10.5 on the Stimp meter and still maintain fair hole locations.

Dr. Golembiewski's research, which is a replication of similar trials that were done at Michigan State University on bentgrass, has shown that you can attain viable green speeds while mowing less often and at a slightly higher cutting height than what was previously thought. Currently we are mowing four days per week (at a cutting height of .120") and rolling seven days, while targeting the higher volume play days to mow and roll in combination. By keeping this schedule we've seen improved consistency from day-to-day with speeds ranging between 10' and 10.5' most days, and slightly higher on the days when we mow roll in combination. As the summer progresses, we also expect to see all of the obvious benefits of mowing at a higher cutting height (i.e. reduced damage from our local nematode, reduced disease and water use, better wear tolerance, improved density, etc...).

Saturday, June 18, 2011

#3 Cartpath Update

After a week of hard work by the maintenance staff, the cartpath on #3 will finally be open. Although the concrete was poured on Tuesday morning, it took several days for the concrete to "cure", and be ready for regular cart traffic. During the past week we had several of our guys out there making sure all of the shaping and sod work was done to our standards. The finished product looks great, and should improved the look and playability of the hole substantially

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Now...Let's Get This Straight

Existing cartpath and the Outline of where new cartpath will be located.
The big storm of March 19th not only took out the tree adjacent to the 3rd green, it significantly damaged the cartpath that circled around that massive tree.  Losing the tree was great from an architectural standpoint as the MacKenzie bunker complex is no longer hidden from view at the main entrance.  Another side benefit was the straightening of the new cartpath to go right through where the tree used to be.  This eliminates the awkward curvature of the previous cartpath and significantly increases the playability from the right side of the green complex.  Does it make the hole easier without the tree?  Not sure how a 235-yard uphill Par 3 is easy to begin with...

Project began on Tuesday June 7th with the pouring of concrete to occur on Monday June 16th.

Side view indicating just how close the old cartpath was to the bunker complex.

My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.