Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Anniversary, How Wet Is It, New Faces and Donald Ross!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is May 16, 2012 and it is a very special day for me!  My late maternal grandmother, Margaret Hankins was born on May 16th.  Granny reared me as my mother and I lived with my grandparents from the time of my birth through the completion of seventh grade.  My granny meant the world to me and I always enjoy spending this day remembering her and how special she was to me (she would have been 91 years old today).  Granny passed away in 1996 and I am welling up with tears now thinking about how much I miss her!  I hope she would have been proud of me!  On a happier note, it was exactly seven years ago today I began working as the the golf course superintendent of Carolina Golf Club!  It has been an honor and a privilege...and fast (time really does fly when you get older).  Anyway, I want to wish a Happy Birthday prayer to my granny and Happy Anniversary to me!

Recall April was a fairly dry month with less than two inches rain total.  We went the entire first week of May without any rain and the news outlets were reporting moderate drought conditions for our region and a deficit for the year of nearly five inches.  Scratch that!  Last week during the Member-Guest tournament we received 2.26 inches rain mid-week with 1.9 inches falling overnight Tuesday (8th) into Wednesday morning (9th).  The course became saturated and we had to become very creative in order to accomplish the fairway mowing around the shotgun starts of the event.  From the reactions I received, I believe my staff and I were very successful.  This week we have taken on another 1.52 inches rain with nearly 0.4" coming in a stray, rogue storm that passed through last night!  Again, we have standing water in several fairways and golf cars are restricted to the paths.  In fact, it is so wet the late Johnny Carson would say even the ducks need goulashes!  The majority of this rain fell hard on Monday and the course started to dry with the sunny weather yesterday but last night was unfortunately a setback!  Anyway, we are now up to 3.78 inches of rain for the month of May and all in the last week (that is a month's worth in seven days).  Hopefully we can dodge the forecasted showers and storms for this afternoon and things look dry through the weekend so conditions should improve each day!

In other news there are two new faces on the golf course maintenance team I would like to introduce to you now:

Jeff Rockwell is a native of Charlotte and comes to us from Charlotte Golf Links where he was the assistant superintendent.  Jeff also used to work on the maintenance staff at Providence C.C.  He attended Wofford College and also Central Piedmont Community College's Turfgrass Management program.  Jeff has an eleven-year old son named Justus and he loves being on the golf course!

Larry Pigeon is the first person to serve a summer internship with my team here at Carolina Golf Club!  Larry comes to us from Oklahoma City where he has been studying turfgrass management at the Oklahoma City campus of Oklahoma State University.  He has also studied at the University of Arkansas.  Larry's prior golf course work experience includes Cherokee Trails Golf Club, Oak Tree National and most recently Willow Creek Golf and Country Club all located in Oklahoma.  Larry has two children, a son Jonathan who resides in Oklahoma City and daughter Mercedes who resides in Tampa, Florida.

My team and I are excited to have Jeff and Larry join our ranks and I will blog more later about Larry's internship and the projects he will be working on when our other intern, Sean Hatch (from Central Piedmont Community College) joins us in a couple of weeks. 

Well, that's all for now as I am off to the sandhills this afternoon to closely inspect several golf holes designed by our favorite, Donald Ross.  I am joining a group of guys for a casual "warm-up" round of golf today at Mid-Pines and then tomorrow morning I will get my first ever look at Pinehurst #2 (I am excited).  Tomorrow afternoon are 18 more holes at Pine Needles so I am very blessed and grateful for this opportunity to spend time up close and personal with Donald Ross and his masterful creations!  Until next time...

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

1 comment:

  1. Hoping greens are running at least 12.5 for the Member-Member!