Randall Benton / RBenton@sacbee.com

Edward Lopez of Sacramento inspects a large eucalyptus tree that was toppled by wind at along the golf course at William Land Park in Sacramento on Thursday.

Golf Beat: Local courses ready for rain to play through

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 - 10:45 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 - 11:17 pm

The calendar says winter began Dec. 21. Good thing, because no one in Sacramento would know it by the weather.

More than six weeks without rain is predicted to end this evening. Lincoln Hills’ Jason Wolf is among area golf course superintendents looking forward to that happening.

Not only do golf courses and the people charged with keeping their grass alive tend to get the evil eye when drought conditions exist, “Rainfall is always better than stuff we have floating in our lakes,” Wolf said. “It has a neutral pH that works better in our soils.”

Wolf has another reason for wanting rain. Monday, he’s sodding the courses’ driving range teeing area with 27,000 square feet of Bermuda and 7,000 square feet of rye.

“A little rain in advance would help with compaction,” Wolf said. “A little rain after would be nice, too.”

The grass-hitting areas won’t be ready for at least a month, weather permitting. In the meantime, a new 6-foot wide by 300-foot long concrete slab has been topped with an artificial grass surface and should be ready for business by this weekend. New range balls will accompany the debut.

Bob Geppert, an onsite regional manager for Billy Casper Golf, which manages Lincoln Hills, said the mats allow players to set their own tees.

“No rubber tees,” said Geppert, who’s been at his 78th Billy Casper course for two months. “Some players like the mat better than grass.”

The teeing area at Lincoln Hills’ range has been abysmal for years. Geppert said the hitting area will be moved every day, and there’s enough space for a 27-day cycle, which should keep the grass healthy. The mat will be used only on days the grass is not, Wolf said.

Collegians back in swing

The 2013-14 men’s college season resumed this week. Among the highlights:

• Sacramento State tied for second at the UC Irvine Anteater Invitational in Costa Mesa. The Hornets finished four shots behind Long Beach State. Individually, Sac State junior Owen Taylor tied for fourth.

• Elk Grove’s Andrej Bevins, a freshman at New Mexico, finished 44th individually in the Arizona Intercollegiate. Cal won the 14-team competition by 14 shots; New Mexico was third.

• Cameron Park’s Corey Pereira, a freshman at Washington, played in all four tournaments during the fall portion of the Huskies’ season, averaging 70.8 strokes.

Et cetera

•  Dave Carr, the 2013 Northern California PGA Player of the Year and director of instruction at Teal Bend, will add local flavor to next week’s Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

• Sacramento’s John Catlin earned his first professional win on the All-American Gateway Tour. He earned $12,000 for his victory last month at Troon North in Scottsdale, Ariz.

•  Jonathan De Los Reyes, a Saint Mary’s junior who recently took up residence in Sacramento, won the Amateurgolf.com Wine Country Cup at Stonetree in Novato last weekend.

Call The Bee’s Steve Pajak, (916) 326-5526.

Read more articles by Steve Pajak

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