First Phase of Irrigation Satellite Replacement
I am happy to announce that all of the satellites on the front nine have been replaced with the most current and state of the art irrigation controllers, the Toro LSS. These new satellites will allow for communication between the field and the central irrigation computer, the F.I.U. (field interface unit). Replacing the aged and malfunctioning satellites is a necessary first step in achieving our long term goal of repairing the irrigation system.
With that said, replacing the satellites is only about 10% of the irrigation system. The remaining 90% of the irrigation system needs to be repaired as well. This consists of leaking and non-functioning lateral valves, broken, leaking, and non-working sprinkler heads, leaking swing joints that connect the sprinklers to our water source, and all other associated irrigation parts.
The golf course property includes over 2,500 sprinkler heads and hundreds of miles of underground pipework, which makes repairs and replacements time consuming. It can take up to two hours to dig out and replace a faulty sprinkler head and underground breaks sometimes require hours of excavation just to determine the exact issue.
Both golfers and homeowners have asked some great questions regarding the irrigation system and I’d like to share and answer the top 3 questions we’ve received:
Question: Why isn’t the area closest to the houses being watered?
Answer: Due to years of neglect there are numerous irrigation lines that are not operative, and our plan is to work from the greens and other key play areas and then to the outlying areas.
Question: A leaking sprinkler head is causing a wet area on the course, how will this be addressed?
Answer: When leaks are discovered, they are first evaluated to determine severity. With many leaks on the golf course, the more severe issues are addressed first and the smaller leaks are documented to be addressed when time allows.
Question: How do I report an issue I notice with the irrigation system?
Answer: Emergency issues such as an irrigation head stuck running can be reported by calling the golf shop at 707- 374 - 2900.
After years of deferred maintenance, the irrigation system requires adjustments, repairs and replacements. As the process of completing the necessary irrigation improvements and adding the additional irrigation equipment continues, you will see uniformity across the golf course. Thank you for your patience as we continue bringing the course back to the condition it once was in and deserves to be in again.
Brendan Soika, Golf Course Superintendent
Ground crew installing the last new satellite on the front nine.
Keep the Greens Rolling Smooth!
The greens at any golf course are the focal point and The Golf Club at Rio Vista is no exception. Greens are also the most expensive part of the golf course to maintain.
As golfers, we want the greens to roll smooth and fairly. To me, putting is golf's great equalizer because anyone can be a great putter. It doesn't matter how far or straight you are able to drive the ball, if you don’t putt it into the hole in one or two strokes, your score can add up quickly.
When CourseCo took over management of the golf course in August of 2019, the greens conditions were the starting point for the Renaissance in Rio Vista. Standard agronomic practices such as fertilizer, fungicides, aerification and proper mowing heights are all important pieces of having good greens conditions.
The other big part of keeping the greens rolling great comes from our golfers. This is why we always need your help in keeping the golf course better for everyone, especially on and around the greens.
While Covid-19 has delayed our beginning golf classes from starting at the Club, it's worth noting that anytime I instruct a novice golfer, we always start with putting. The reason is because putting is that important! While all our swings are unique and have their limitations, putting lowers scores and is the foundation for the rest of the golf shots in your bag.
Back to those beginner lessons, on day one we also talk about playing Ready Golf including what to carry in your pockets while you play. A ball and some tees don't really come as a surprise to most newbies but when I pull out a divot tool (also called a ball mark repair tool) many have no idea what it is.
As I mentioned, anyone can be a great putter with a good mindset, solid setup position and practice. How frustrating is it though, when you are watching your ball roll closer and closer to the hole, it looks dead on line BUT it hits an old ball mark that wasn’t repaired and rolls off line past the hole. To prevent these bumpy conditions on the greens, everyone should carry a divot tool in your pocket and repair your marks on the green. In a pinch a tee can work as well and is better than not fixing your mark at all, but the tool is designed to do the job making it the better option.
Sometimes it's hard to find exactly where your ball lands on the green so start by keeping an eye on where the landing spot is when your approach shot hits the green. When you arrive at the green, one of the first things you'll want to do is repair your ball mark.
To do so, insert the tool behind the ball mark and gently pull the top of the tool towards the center. Continue working around the ball mark, so that the surrounding turf pulls in toward the center of the indentation. Avoid using a twisting or lifting motion so as not to damage turf roots. Once you have finished, gently tap the area down with your putter to create a smooth, firm surface.
It really is that easy and makes a big impact. You can take it one step further with the motto ‘leave the course better than you found it’ when you have time to fix your mark and another one someone else missed. So keep that divot tool handy next time you play and help us keep the greens rolling great.
Kandace Clatterbaugh, General Manager
Hassle-Free Holiday Meals To-Go
As we head though November, the holiday season is fast approaching. For many of us, the holidays will be different this year due to the pandemic. When planning out the golf club’s calendar of events at the start of 2020, one of the events I was most looking forward to was our first Thanksgiving Buffet since the renaming of the Monarch Grill.
While the buffet won’t be possible this year, you still deserve to take it easy, so let us take care of the cooking for you! Whether you had to alter your Thanksgiving tradition this year and need an alternate plan or you just do not want the hassle of cooking, the Monarch Grill has Thanksgiving Dinner To-Go.
The Thanksgiving To-Go meal serves two people and is a great less mess, less stress option compared to cooking at home. The meal includes two pounds of carved roasted turkey including white and dark meat. Sides for two of mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce and dinner rolls are also included. This package is available for $49 plus tax. If baking isn’t your thing either, don’t worry because we have you covered there as well, add a pumpkin pie to your order for $13.
Orders can be placed through Monday, November 23 at 12:00 pm or until sold out. Pickup will be on Wednesday, November 25 from 12:00 - 6:00 pm. Chef Mark and his team will prep, cook and package your meal and have it ready for you to refrigerate. Simply heat it up on Thanksgiving Day at the time you choose and voila, dinner is served!
This new way to holiday will also continue in December. Chef Mark is already working his creative magic on a to-go option that will be available for pickup on Christmas Eve. Improvising has been a part of this unprecedented year and while we can’t wait to get back to hosting events in the Monarch Grill, just know we are here for you and we’ll get through this time together.
From all of us at the Golf Club at Rio Vista and The Monarch Grill, we wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!
Kandace Clatterbaugh | General Manager
Tee Box Seeding
It has been an exciting few months of capital projects along with our standard agronomic practices at The Golf Club at Rio Vista. We hope you have enjoyed watching the progress on the golf course as much as we have.
As you may have read in our First Annual Rio Vista Insider, reseeding the tee boxes on the golf course was a project scheduled for spring that was delayed due to the Solano County Shelter at Home Order. To comply with the County health order, only minimum maintenance practices were allowed by essential staff to protect the asset during those 6 ½ weeks.
Once reopening was permitted, warmer weather had arrived, and we had missed the spring window for reseeding the tees. The project was deferred until the weather was conducive for optimal seed germination. With the cooler climate months of the Fall upon us, we are now within a window of time most conducive successful fulfillment of this important agronomic practice.
As many of you have observed, a hybrid Bermuda sod trial was completed on the white and green tee boxes of holes 5 and 13. This is a warmer-weather grass so we will be evaluating it on those holes as well as in a section of the fairway on hole 17.
The remainder of the tee boxes will be reseeded with a blend of perennial rye grass. This will be a gradual process, so not all holes will be done at once. However, as tee box work begins you will notice the tee boxes roped off in effort to control traffic to allow for an optimal “grow in” environment. In the interim, temporary tees will be designated as near as possible to the location of the tee color you normally play.
For those of you who are curious about the process, here is basic summary of how this is fulfilled. Each tee box will be prepped and aerified. Some of the cores from aerification will be dragged back in and the seed will be generously distributed. The tees will then be top-dressed, fertilized, and watered frequently to provide the correct moisture conditions as well as protect the seed until it “pops”.
Again, this will be an ongoing process over the course of the next several months, so we appreciate your patience and we ask you to please stay off the tee boxes once roped off. We understand playing off the temporary tees is certainly not ideal, however this short term sacrifice will be well worth it in the long-term when you can return to teeing it up on the plush green grass beneath your feet.
-Scott Gaston, Assistant General Manager