Friday, February 1, 2019

Crisscross!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper!  Today is Friday, February 1st and believe it or not it's nearly time for me to depart, this time to the Golf Industry Show.  I know what you're thinking, I just got back from an amazing vacation trip across the Atlantic to BTME.  And you're also thinking who takes a vacation to a professional educational conference and trade show, a turf nerd like me. :)  Anyway, I will definitely make certain not to double book in the future when the events are this close together.   But last month was an experience I will never forget.  I got to have lunch with Craig Boath, Links Superintendent of Carnoustie Golf Links and walk the Championship Course with him.  I toured the Jubilee Greenkeeping Centre at St. Andrews with Gordon McKie, Course Manager of The Old Course.  And I played The Old Course with retired Director of Greenkeeping Gordon Moir.  It truly was an unbelievable experience.
With Craig Boath and The Claret Jug!
The R&A Clubhouse at The Home of Golf!
Holing Out for Par on the 18th!
















Before making my way south to Harrogate, England, home to BTME I even stopped to play Musselburgh Links, the site of six Open Championships between 1874 and 1889 CLICK HERE.  They had hickory clubs available so I had to give that a go, what a fun round of golf that was.
The Fourth Hole - Mrs. Forgan's
Just Avoided the Gorse!
The Home Hole!
















My experience at BTME was great!  I reconnected with many friends made when I attended in 2017 and made many new ones.  I got to see former intern James Dennett once again as he traveled to attend the Welcome Celebration and the seminar Lee Strutt and I co-presented.  I attended 13 hours of education thanks to TurfNet and although we didn't win the Championship Greenkeeping Performance of the Year award, it was a thrill to be there and represent Carolina Golf Club across the pond.  I was genuinely happy for Craig Earnshaw and his team at Harleyford Hall when they were announced the winners, a very impressive story of perseverance!  WELL DONE!   
Craig Earnshaw, Course Manager Harleyford Hall

Honored to be Recognized!
James Dennett, Sr. Assistant at Royal Norwich
Anyway, it's been a whirlwind since my return late last week.  The course endured a flash flood event on the morning of January 24th but has steadily been drying out since.  It has been bitter cold the past couple days, but relief is on the way.  In fact, I believe it will be warmer here next week than where I'm going for GIS.  What's up with that!

At GIS I have another busy schedule.  Lee Strutt and I are giving our presentation on Monday afternoon.  I'm attending three educational sessions on Tuesday.  Wednesday morning is the Chapter Presidents Breakfast with GCSAA along with a host of other activities and then Thursday I have a special luncheon followed by a presentation that came as a surprise.

It seems a group of peers and a few individuals from Carolina Golf Club conspired to nominate me for a very special award.  I learned of this nomination and my selection as a finalist while traveling abroad.  I've been very fortunate and blessed in my career, achieving many different levels of success.  But I can honestly say win or lose, this nomination is the single greatest achievement in my career because it came from those closest to me without my knowledge.  It is truly a humbling experience and I'm just blessed beyond belief to be in the running with the other four very worthy candidates.  You can read all the stories about the five finalists for TurfNet Superintendent of the Year right here. CLICK HERE 

Before I go let's quickly recap last month's weather.  January was another wet one with 5.63 inches rainfall on the course.  Believe it or not we have now received 35.24 inches rainfall since Sep 1.  That's just five inches shy of one year's average rainfall in the past five months.  
That's all for now, I'll be back before you know it and it will be go time as it will only be four weeks till greens aeration after my return.  It will soon be time to make spring pre-emergent applications to bermudagrass playing areas, mow and cleanup fine-fescue native areas and treat with pre-emerge.  So much to do before the growing season arrives.  Lately the team has kept busy edging cart paths now that leaf season is finally over and during this recent cold outbreak they refurbished all the course fixtures (benches, waste receptacles, and etc.).  My team rocks!

And one more final thing, if you're into podcasts then you might give this a listen Pullin' Weeds - Official Podcast of Carolinas GCSA.  This is a brand new foray for Carolinas GCSA as we strive to enhance member services.  As President I had the good fortune to be the guest on Episode 1 and so far the feedback has been positive, even from outside the golf course superintendent community.


See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG

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