Wednesday, December 17, 2014

French Drains at Stanford GC


I'm often asked why we don't sod over our French drains, leaving the gravel open to the surface? And why we will actually go back in the winter and remove the turf that had grown over them?  

Without going into an in-depth discussion of how water moves in the soil, the answer comes from the primary type of water we're trying to capture - surface water.  

We have really gummy, slow-draining, clay soil;  especially on the upper holes.  With the open drains, we are trying to maintain the best possible path for surface water to enter the drainage system. We are trying to catch water sheeting across the sloping turf before it has a chance to soak into the clay soil below.  Most golf courses do cover the French drains, but their rate of capture is far slower than if the drains are left open. Turf grass quickly forms a mat of thatch that impedes rapid water movement into the drains. We do try to keep the open channel to less than 4” in width, because the drains do come into play. Thankfully, the Rules of Golf do allow free relief from these areas, whether open or covered by turf.  

With our heavy soil, we’re trying to do everything in our power to provide the best possible route for water to enter the drainage pipes below.  If impeded even slightly, the water would spill over the drains and slowly soak the clay soil.  Wet clay soil forms an unplayable, unmaintainable muck that is very slow to dry, especially in winter.  This year has been very bad, with over 10" of rain in just the first 15 days of December.

Sand topdressing is one practice that could be beneficial.  Regular fairway topdressing has proven to be very successful in the Pacific Northwest.  Unfortunately it is very expensive, a bit disruptive, and must be done regularly throughout the playing season for a number of consecutive years.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Heavy Rain 12/11/2014


A few photos from the course this morning.  We've had almost 1.5" of rain in the last three hours.





Monday, December 1, 2014

PG&E Pipeline Work at #8 Tee

PG&E pipeline work is continuing at #8 tee.  The new 24" natural gas pipeline has been bored under Alpine Rd., and will be connected to the older gray pipe coming up from the creek.  The older pipe was installed in the early 80's when the JSB bridge was constructed. Below are a few photos from this past weekend.




Friday, November 21, 2014

Hydrojecting Greens


Greenskeeper Martinho Dias is using a Hydroject machine on #2 Green.  The machine injects high pressure jets of water to open a small holes in the green.  The holes allow water to penetrate and for gasses in the soil to freely exchange with atmosphere.  This machine has been s a big part of our program avoiding regular core aeration in the greens.

This fall marks the 19th year we've been able to maintain the greens without any disruptive plugging. The program was designed to keep bent grass as the dominant turf type, which has also allowed for almost no pesticide use on the greens.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tournament Morning

Getting ready for the Stanford Intercollegiate, hosted by Condoleezza Rice......

Go Cardinal!

Friday, August 22, 2014

University Lake Water Pipe Extension - Driving Range



Pacific Underground Construction is currently installing a University Lake Water Main across the parking lot at the Driving Range.  This line will expand the University's Lake Water (non-potable) Service for landscape use in campus residences.

Driving Range parking is being shifted while the work occurs, so please allow extra time to get back and forth from parking areas.  Signage and/or flagmen will direct cars and pedestrians during the period. Since this is an active construction site, please use caution in the area!

Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of August.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

PG&E Contractors Starting Tree Removal Near #8 Tee

(Click to Enlarge Photos)



The tree removal has begun for the PG&E Gas Line Replacement project near #8 tee.  Trees are being removed to facilitate a new pipe for Line #109 which runs the entire Peninsula.  The new 24" steel pipe will be bored beneath Alpine Road surfacing in a receiving pit in front of the Red tee on #8.  From there it will be trenched through the cart path toward the creek, eventually connecting to the pipe in the creek that was re-coated a few years ago.

The tree work is expected to take a little over a week, the entire project is hoped to be completed by early October.  Please respect the safety barriers, and use caution in the area.