Monday, December 30, 2013

Bridge/Culvert Complete on Hole #6

The recently replaced bridge is now open on Hole #6 over the Lagunita Ditch.  The rotten wood bridge was replaced with a 48" culvert.  The pathway across is now gravel, to allow for any settling of the fill over the culvert pipe.  As with any bridge, please use caution when crossing!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Black Paint for Ball Washers

You may notice we've repainted the ball washers on the course.  It is an attempt to clean up the look of our on-course accessories, and help them blend with the surroundings.  

We're in the market for new accessories, with the ones below being our first choice.  Look for an improvement in this area this spring!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cold Snap - Monday 12/09/13

Turf near #7 green still frozen at 2 pm in the afternoon

Frozen pipe provided a nice geyser near the Red Barn this morning!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Coyote Along #16 Fairway

Here's a photo of one of our resident coyotes, colorfully nicknamed "Tripod."  This coyote has lost its back right leg, but seems OK otherwise......

                                                       (Click to enlarge)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Valley Oak on a Hazy November Afternoon

A beautiful Valley Oak silhouetted on a hazy November afternoon.

(View looking South from #12 fairway)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

How You Can Help Minimize Turf Damage!

Golf carts of all types can cause damage to turf.  Here's a short video that helps explain the do's and don'ts....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sunday Evening's Wind

Here is some of the aftermath of Sunday evening's windstorm.  Highest gusts were measured at 47 mph at the Stanford Weather Station (outside the Dept. of Environmental Health & Safety.)  Luckily no major trees or limbs fell, but lots of small debris is still being cleaned up.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Red-Shouldered Hawk on #15

            A Red-Shouldered Hawk surveys things above the 15th fairway on Wed. 10/16/13.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Putting Green Maintenance - What it Takes To Provide A Great Putting Surface

(Tifeagle bermuda green at the Siebel Training Complex)

Here's  a great link to a short video from the USGA on what goes into maintaining putting greens.  This is a must watch for anyone considering a backyard putting green.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Snowy Egret Along Path #4

(Click to Enlarge)

This egret let me get close enough to snap its picture.  Egrets and herons hunt rodents in the naturalized zones and help naturally reduce the damaging effects of burrowing animals.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Beeing" Kind To The Environment

(Click to Enlarge)

Check out the new enclosure for the honeybees in the black walnut tree on Hole #2.  This new enclosure allows us to temporarily close the bees inside and protect people during events.  This hive is estimated to have a population of  around 30,000 bees.  Bees are critical to agriculture and ultimately our entire food supply.  So we're trying to do all we can to protect them.  This enclosure goes a long way to help.

We held the annual Stanford Invitational Cross Country Meet this past weekend on the golf course.  We had approximately 3,500 runners plus their support groups in attendance.  This bee hive on Hole #2 had the organizers worried about bee stings and attacks.  We wanted to find some method to protect the honeybees while still being able to run the races.  We turned to local beekeeper Art Hall for a solution.  Art came up with a screening method that included a wooden door.

We basically closed the bees inside while they were roosting (evening) then re-opened the door once the races were complete (late afternoon.)  This worked well as bees should not be enclosed too long, as they need to forage for moisture to stay hydrated.

Now that the Cross Country event is complete, the hive door will remain open.  This will allow the normally docile bees go about their business. Bees are mostly interested in flowers and pollen; not humans.  But in the event that a ball ends up next to the tree and hive, the Rules of Golf do allow a free drop away from a hazardous situation like a bee hive.

Here are a few photos from this year's Cross Country event.  The event went very well.  Stanford took the team titles in both the Men's and Women's Collegiate Divisions, and most importantly, no bee stings or incidents were reported!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Please Help With Ball Mark Repair!

The ball marks are ridiculously bad these days, and I'm asking for your help!

Please do an excellent job immediately fixing your ball marks. For the turf to heal, ball marks must be repaired immediately. It is also important to take your time and make a good repair.  When finished, the repair should look all green (no brown) and like nothing ever happened in that spot.

Would you be happy to putt over the ball marks pictured below?  These were obviously either ignored or repaired incorrectly.  In this state, they will take a month or longer to heal.

If everybody does their part, the greens will look and putt much, much better!  Etiquette is showing respect for other players, and leaving the course even better than you find it.  Let's all help in making the Stanford golf experience the best it can be!

(click to enlarge)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Big Oak Splits Along #6 Fairway

On Sunday 9/8, the big Coast Live Oak guarding the left side of #6 fairway split apart.  Many recognize it as the tree with a bluebird box on the side.  The entire left side of the tree came crashing down.  The event was a bit puzzling because there was no decay inside the trunk.  Fortunately no one was nearby. But the photos below show just how much potential energy is stored well above ground.

Friday, August 30, 2013

One of Our Beautiful Oaks

(click to enlarge)

There are thousands of trees on the Stanford Golf Course, and this is a beauty along #5.  It is a Coast Live Oak Quercus agrifolia, recently trimmed by Arborwell.  Its age is estimated at 120 years.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Drill Seeding Weak Areas in Fairways

We've started drill seeding some of the weak areas in the fairways with perennial rye grass.  Most of the weak areas had high populations of Poa annua which burned out with the long days and high temperatures of early July.  Poa is a winter annual and goes into stress when environmental conditions become extreme. This year the combination of early July heat and the lack of rainfall (salt buildup in the soil) have pushed the Poa to its limit.  

Perennial rye grass is a more drought and traffic tolerant turf.  It is also darker green and stripes wonderfully during mowing.  It germinates and establishes quickly, so it is an ideal grass for over-seeding.  

Please excuse any mess, as the drill seeding machine kicks up some slight debris as it slices through the turf.  We'll also being doing some daytime spot watering, so watch for an occasional sprinkler or two running.  Hopefully if all goes well, we'll be looking at much better fairways going into the 2013-14 academic year!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Effects Of Heat Stress on Turf

In the past week, we had our longest days of the year and temperatures above 90 degrees F for six straight days.  The peak day had a temperature of 101.7 degrees.  Since the course is made up of predominately cool season varieties of turf, there were many areas of heat stressed turf. Most of those occurred on south facing slopes or in high cart traffic areas.  Areas of predominately Poa annua were the most severely effected.

Below are some examples of areas that took a beating in the hot weather:

Luckily, the hot weather has passed and we are working to bring the stressed areas back.  Unfortunately, it will take a few weeks to get things all the way back to normal.

Friday, June 28, 2013

DryJect Aerification on SVGTC Greens

Yesterday was our first time using DryJect aerification on the Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex greens.    The DryJect machine utilizes a high pressure water jets to make small holes, then using the Venturi effect, sucks sand in to fill the holes.  It is minimally disruptive, but very effective in opening up the thatch layer with a sand filled channel.  Here is a short video showing the machine in action:

The results are impressive, as shown below in a core sample.  A beautiful sand channel penetrates the surface thatch layer allowing water to easily flow downward into the profile.

Friday, June 14, 2013

PG&E Construction Work on Sand Hill Road - 6/24 to 6/29/13

Please follow link below for info on PG&E construction work on Sand Hill Rd. next week......

PG&E Sand Hill Road Construction Schedule

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Worms are Gone, Moths are Here!

Most of the oak worms on the Coast Live Oaks have now pupated into moths.   Here is a video of the numerous moths buzzing around.  Their role in the life cycle is mating and egg laying.  The moths eat very little, they mostly just lap up dew and moisture.

Fortunately, most damaged oak trees are now showing amazing recovery!  My guess is that within two more weeks, all the trees will be nearly back to normal.  Typically the second generations of worms in the same year are much milder and the damage is far less obvious.  I'm sure hoping that is the case this year!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Divot Repair Etiquette

Fore The Golfer - Divot Repair Etiquette

Click the link for a video worth watching from the USGA:

USGA Divot Repair Etiquette

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fiber Optic Conduit To SLAC Being Bored This Week

Bore pits are being dug for a new fiber optic line crossing the golf course.  The line will be a redundant network feed from the main campus to SLAC.  Bore pits will be dug near the Clubhouse along Links Rd., between #10 cart path and the parking lot, and above the 14th green.  The line will be installed using remote boring equipment, and be placed 5 feet below the 10th and 11th fairways.

Some work will also be done fastening a conduit onto the bridge over the creek at the 14th green.

The work should not affect play, but some noise and equipment will be present.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Honeybee swarm on #7 Fairway Sunday 4/28

(Click photos to enlarge)

Players found a quite a surprise on #7 fairway Sunday morning!  A swarm of honeybees decided to drop down in the middle of the fairway.  Luckily the swarm moved along later in the day.  

Bee swarms are actually common at this time of year, when newly hatched queens leave the nest with a group of workers looking for a new home.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Beware - Attack of the Oak Worms!

This year looks to be one of the worst years I've experienced for California Oak worms.  Some Coast Live Oak trees on the course have been completely defoliated.  Not only are they destructive, they are pretty much just gross.  I'm hoping the worst is over at this point of their life cycle and will they will begin pupating into moths.

Below are a few pics of the worms in unexpected places!

A link to a good resource for information on the worms is listed below :

Monday, April 22, 2013

Stress on Coast Live Oaks

 Below are some examples of stress on the Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia) this spring.  Most of the leaves on the oaks below have been defoliated by oak worm larvae.  The last photo shows how much these worms can eat. It has been a difficult spring on the live oaks with warm temperatures and record drought.  The trees responded by pushing a lot of energy into flowering, which is unfortunately messy and bad on allergies.

Luckily, these oaks are very resilient to oak worm and can survive multiple defoliations.  It will be interesting to watch how the trees respond as the worms' big spring push comes to an end.

(Click photos to enlarge)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Lupines In Bloom

Some beautiful lupines in bloom left of #7

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Soil Sampling Work Behind #1 Green

Cascade Drilling is doing some deep drilling for core samples behind #1 Green.  This is research for part of the University's Ground Source Heat Exchange (GSHE) Project.  The project is part of the larger power plant project.   The GSHE project involves using ground water to exchange heat, potentially saving energy on a campus-wide level.

Samples are being taken for historical nitrate levels in the soil and to determine if they will have any effect on ground water.

The work will take place in two sites along Electioneer Rd., this one, and one site near the tennis courts.  The work is slated to be complete by this Friday 4/19.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hydrojecting Greens

We're in the process of Hydrojecting greens.  The Hydroject is what the name implies, a machine that injects water.  It does so at very high pressure creating tiny holes that allow air and water to enter the soil profile.  We try to do every green at least three times per year.  You'll have to look very closely to find the pin-sized holes.

This is one of the cultural practices that have allowed us to not core aerate greens over the past 17 years (along with regular sand topdressing.)  That is a phenomenal achievement, one that few experts would ever have believed.

I really like not having to core aerate as a Superintendent, because Poa annua doesn't have a place to take hold.  I like it as a golfer, because the greens are not torn up two or more times per year.

I hope you will be able to get out and enjoy it, we're one of the very few courses in the country that has been able to avoid regular core aeration!

Friday, March 29, 2013

New Toro Irrigation System Part of Renovation at Poppy Hills

Here is an interesting article from Toro on the new irrigation system going in at Poppy Hills GC on the Monterey Peninsula.  The new system will allow them to reduce the amount of irrigated turf, use moisture sensors to monitor soil moisture, and utilize the latest technology in control systems.

At the end of the article there is also a link to the Poppy Hills Renovation Blog, which features interviews and insight into the course renovation process.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

                                A new sign of the good things to come!

Friday, March 15, 2013

How Somebody Left A Bunker

Click to enlarge photo

This kind of thing frustrates me as a Superintendent.  We just finished raking this bunker, and a player came along and made no attempt to rake up his mess.  If I didn't go and fix it myself, it would have stayed this way all weekend.  I would hope most players would be more courteous to the players who follow.  Proper course etiquette is simply part of playing the game!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fairway & Rough Fertilizer Spraying

We're spraying liquid fertilizer on the fairways and roughs this week.  It is a mixture of urea nitrogen and ferrous sulfate.  This is a foliar feeding of the turf in preparation for the US Intercollegiate event coming in two weeks.  This light feeding helps the turf, but has little potential to run-off if we do happen to get rainfall.

A soap foam marker is used to mark the edge of the spray pattern.  You may see little clumps of foam dotting the fairways.  The foam marks stay visible for about 30 minutes, then quickly disappear.