Friday, March 9, 2012

Pawn Stars, PSA, Barbara Walters and Divotsville!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Friday, March 9, 2012 and the bar is buzzing with members watching the ACC basketball tournament!  It has been a busy week since my return from the Golf Industry Show in Sin City but I am happy to report I made it home with my shirt!  Insert observational comment here...only in America can you get yourself a television show and turn your business into a bona fide tourist destination!  Case in point...
The Gold and Silver Pawn Shop!
Unfortunately I didn't see Rick, the Old Man or Chumley but did catch a glimpse of Big Hoss before he stepped into the back.  Off topic, has anyone else noticed there isn't any history on the History Channel?  Reminds me of MTV!
Anyway, it is good to be back on the course!  One thing I noticed upon my return as Solomon and I made our morning rounds was the amount of discarded and/or broken tees and cigarette butts strewn about the property.  My staff and I pick this up daily because it is extremely unsightly but you can help keep your course pristine by refraining from discarding these items on the golf course.  
You may or may not be aware but we do not have lots of items (i.e., hole signs, ball washers, broken tee caddies, containers of divot mix, etc.) on the property in an effort to avoid "visual clutter".  The Board of Governors created and supports the "less is more" concept and firmly believes this approach is one of our strongest attributes in the daily presentation of the golf course to members and their guests.  Also, with fewer trash receptacles you may need to keep something with you a little longer until you come to one but please do your best to refrain from "flicking" a broken tee or cigarette butt several yards into the rough.  This concludes the Public Service Announcement portion of this blog and we in golf course maintenance thank you in advance for your cooperation! 
One of the projects we completed this week was the removal of the added back tee box from the tenth hole.  It is important to remember this tee was added one year after the conclusion of the restoration project.  Since its construction there have been many discussions regarding this tee box and its placement in committee meetings and at the Board level.  This is not the proper forum to discuss the political nature of such things but the short version is most everyone loved playing the hole from that tee, yet it severely hampered (eclipsed) the view of the 18th green.  The Board voted some time back to have it removed someday.  With the construction of the new patio underway it became apparent now was the time to restore the view overlooking the 18th green.  My staff and I removed the teeing ground this week and restored the area to its original grade and replaced the sod.

What tee? ... ;)
One final note and commentary regarding the current condition of the golf course.  As winter concludes and spring arrives it is helpful to keep in mind the dormant golf course turf is "faster" than ever.  By this I mean when the turf canopy first enters hibernation there is more dormant tissue present than now.  Over the course of the winter months the dormant canopy has been subjected to traffic and wear and it becomes thinner and tighter than 2 or 3 months ago.  This leads to an even greater reduction in surface friction which in turn leads to faster and more ball roll.  So where am I going with this you ask?  Certain holes such as the third and seventh with their greens perched up on the hills can be extremely frustrating in the summer months but this time of year those features can frustrate some of you to tears!  Balls just short of the seventh green may roll back 30 yards in the summer and 50 yards in the fall but now come to rest over 75 yards back down the fairway in divotsville (and this can be from a ball that was on the putting surface just moments ago!).  I have seen the looks and heard the grumblings and please know I feel your pain and suffering.  My staff and I have not done anything to the golf course to make it more difficult it is just the unfortunate side effect of a dormant golf course in the transition period before spring.  I encourage you to take a deep breath, try to remain calm and not let gravity (and our challenging topography) get the best of you...and pray for warm weather!
The Greens Committee will be meeting this coming Wednesday, March 14th at noon.  If you have any comments, questions or concerns feel free to contact Stephen Woodard (Committee Chairman) at his email or myself.  I encourage and welcome the feedback.
See you on the course,
Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

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