In my last blog post I described how the conditions of the golf course changed dramatically after an extremely dry June (1.58 inches total rain) became a wet, humid July in a short period of time. I described how turfgrass diseases that affect bentgrass putting turf are most prevalent during hot, humid conditions and it's the humidity which is the most detrimental. This is because the majority of turf diseases are caused by fungal agents and constant moisture is imperative for the growth and development of the fungi. If you were paying close attention last time you may also have noticed how I specifically pinpointed July 3rd as the day when weather conditions changed to an environment more unfavorable for the putting surfaces as opposed to what we had been experiencing prior!
Although July wrapped up yesterday on a comfortable note it ended as the 4th warmest July on record and with a rainfall total of 6.62 inches! The more amazing statistic is 6.25 of that came in a 10 day stretch between July 10th and 20th! Yes, that much rain did wonders for our irrigation lake level and the bermudagrass is growing so fast it is difficult to keep up (especially in the rough) however, that much rain in a short period of time combined with high temperatures and extremely high humidity stressed several greens. During these environmental stressful times we manage the putting surfaces accordingly. Mowing heights are raised and some days the greens are merely rolled to ensure smoothness without mowing. Everything we do is to help the bentgrass survive the day and live to see the next one. With July now in the rear view mirror and dog days winding down we will soon be over the hump of summer 2012!
Moving on, have you noticed the rough lately? Every year around this time the growth habit of the bermudagrass goes through this fundamental change and it drastically affects the difficulty of the golf course. Right now the leaf blades are erect as if standing at attention. Why is this significant? It is significant because prior the leaf blades of bermudagrass were growing in an intertwined fashion (like a group of freshly dropped Pick Up Sticks).
|Pick Up Sticks|
In other news, the right, greenside bunker on number two was recently renovated. We removed ALL of the sand and exposed the entire bunker cavity. Inspected the drain lines to ensure no problems existed and replaced with all new sand. The project took two employees a couple of days but let's examine their work and results...
|Sand is removed the "Old Fashioned Way"|
|The empty bunker cavity|
|New sand is compacted|
|Newly renovated bunker ready for play|
Hopefully you are able to negotiate your way about the second hole avoiding the troublesome bunker. If you do find yourself faced with the task of extricating your ball from the deep hazard I hope you find the execution of the shot easier than expected. Next week we will perform the same process to the main practice bunker near the chipping green.
Lastly, I was making my routine rounds checking the course and watching the greens last Thursday when I noticed this foursome walking off the 5th green together and noticed their attire.
See you on the course,
Golf Course Superintendent