Oakmont CC,CA Internal Greens Drainage Project

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We began some very interesting projects a few weeks ago in the semi arid region of Southern California.
With typical annual precipitation amounts ranging from 2-12″/year you might be wondering why clubs would consider our subsurface greens restoration in the near desert?

The answer, for salt flushing purposes. After my class at the GIS in Orlando yesterday on irrigation water quality, I have a better understanding of what these types of clubs are up against. Specifically, the poor quality irrigation water that many desert type superintendents are using is full of sodium/bicarbonates/salts and other harmful residues that will slowly build up in the rootzone and begin to choke the turf plant. This is especially true after a long summer of heavy irrigation use without the opportunity to perform any deep/infrequent irrigation cycles.

The #1 defence against this issue is drainage. I know it is all I talk about, but the instructors couldn’t stress enough the importance of this unglamorous option against turfgrass diseases such as rapid blight and anthracnose, which are two of the main culprits on annual bluegrass greens in the SW region.

Now, superintendents know that this type of salt flushing , or leaching is extremely beneficial to their poa greens, but without internal greens drainage, this issue of having sopping wet greens for days after the event is a playability issue, as well as on agronomic issue, due to the fact that these greens will be susceptible to a host of other diseases when left in this state.

Superintendent Steve Kimbrough at Oakmont CC in Glendale, CA has been after the club for over a year to give him the ability to perform this important turfgrass management practice as an aid to provide his members with the finest putting surfaces in the area. This “Oakmont West” club is a real sleeper in my eyes, and I have recently learned they will be hosting the US Open Regional Qualifier here in early June at this 1928 Max Behr designed layout.

The picture above illustrates the tricky Socal weather we dealt with here last week as we had several frost delays to deal with and the install staff were decked out in their winter coats. This was the second club we have completed in the area and we will monitor the success of this venture moving forward this summer, and I will certainly keep you posted.

Out, Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer

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