Now, I am not trying to be alarming but I will say from my decades of experience the worst droughts have historically followed extremely dry winter periods. I will continue to monitor the situation as technically the first day of winter is still two weeks away and there is plenty of time for this dry period to subside but I want everyone to understand a good soaking rain is long overdue at Carolina Golf Club.
I know, I know... me and my big mouth! It seems since Jello pudding saved the world nearly a month ago it has been cold and rainy or extremely warm. I guess Mother Nature is confused as much as Congress these days. This past Saturday and Sunday the tee sheet looked like something out of April! As for the wet stuff, it rained yesterday and is raining now (with a forecast for snow tonight?!). However, today's rain will go a long way alleviating the lingering drought symptoms in our area as steady soakers are always better than torrential downpours. Look for a drought monitor update here next week.
In case you have been wondering what has been going on in the world of golf course maintenance the past few weeks I will do my best to inform you. This time of year is typically less hectic and most projects are long term efforts focused on course beautification. It was my intention to include photos with the following information nuggets but there seems to be a glitch with blogger today (I have been trying to work around this problem for hours) and unfortunately I cannot postpone any longer. I will try and include the photos at a later date.
Cart Path Edging - We edge the entire network of asphalt cart paths annually. We usually start this project around Thanksgiving and work until completion. At this time only a portion of the 13th hole and the area near the 14th tees is all that remains from wrapping up this project.
|Freshly Edged Cart Path|
Stone Work - We have been replacing and revising the stone areas adjacent to heavily worn turf along the cart path edge in tight turns. At this time we have completed revising all the areas we installed in 2011 and are adding a few newly identified areas in need.
|Stones Set Into Turf Along Curves|
New Traffic Patterns - You may have noticed green stakes with ropes along the cart paths especially near the putting green complexes. In an effort to prevent damage to dormant bermudagrass turf from excessive wear and traffic we are taking measures to redirect and redistribute traffic flow in these areas until such time the turf begins to regrow and can recover on its own.
|Ropes Near 7th Green|
Trees - All the new trees selected by the committee have been planted and staked. We removed the stakes and reshaped the soil and mulch surrounding the trees planted last February giving those plantings a more natural appearance to the golf course landscape.
|Stakes Removed #14|
|New Trees #1|
Paint Marks - I have been asked more about the mysterious red and yellow "dashes" near several tee and putting green complexes lately than anything else at Carolina. These lines are indicators where we applied a small, organic fertilizer with a drop spreader. We are using the Early Bird 3-0-1 fertilizer to control earthworm castings. Heavy earthworm activity can become quite a nuisance especially when the turf is dormant and daily mowing operations cease. The product is nearly impossible to see when applied to dormant turf thus the need to indicate the product's application.
Natural/Native Areas - We treated several areas contaminated with non-desirable grasses with a non-selective herbicide just prior to Christmas (thus the yellowing). We are now reseeding these areas along and applying compost.
Topdressing - Soon (translated ...if it ever dries out around here) we will be using the old bunker sand removed during the renovation project to topdress tees and fairways.
I sincerely hope you feel more informed but admit I am frustrated I was unable to include photos. Hopefully things will be back to normal next time. Until then...
See you on the course,
Matthew WhartonGolf Course Superintendent