Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Turkey Sighting

A group of wild turkeys were spotted by members Richard Boyd and John Livingston on Sunday. This photo was shot near the 16th tee.  Although turkeys are seen in many places around the Bay Area, they are rarely seen at Stanford Golf Course.

It is always nice to see wildlife on the golf course.  Many times it is forgotten how golf courses provide the habitat and open space required for abundant wildlife!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex - Construction Update

Construction has gone very well this winter at the Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex.  The new design will incorporate exciting new features and a team clubhouse.  Here are a few photos of the new design and the bunker construction.  Completion of work is expected in early Fall.

The new design concept

                    This will be a stacked sod bunker, such as you'd find on a links course!

Bunker drainage

Saturday, February 28, 2015

How Golf Needs To Change

Two Dads with their kids playing Stanford GC this afternoon. How the game needs to adapt going forward!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Assistant Golf Superintendent

We're looking for a qualified individual for this exciting new position!

Assistant Superintendent

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 fall and remove the turf mat 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.

Turf will slowly creep over and cover the exposed gravel drains. But this method provides the best possible drainage, even if somewhat unsightly for a month or so.  

Sand topdressing is another practice that could be very beneficial.  Regular fairway topdressing has proven to be 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.