Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bob Ross, George Clooney, GCS Returns and Many Thanks!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Wednesday, November 21, 2012 and tomorrow is Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday of the year) and I have much to be thankful for that I will share with you in a moment, but first I do have a few items I need to address.
When I was in college there was no better way to take an afternoon nap than turning the television to PBS and watching Bob Ross paint!  Within about 10 to 15 minutes Bob's voice (he would have made a great golf announcer) would have you "sawing logs".  Anyway, this past Monday we painted the target greens on the driving range.  This is the third consecutive winter season we have done so and this year I decided (at least for now) to experiment and expand to the golf course.  We painted the teeing surfaces of all four par 3 holes.  The paint is merely aesthetic and a viable alternative to overseeding (most all bermudagrass putting surfaces are painted now).  Give me some feedback and let either me or members of the Greens Committee know what you think...who knows where this may lead?
Painted Tee Surface #16
Unpainted Tee Surface #8
Some of you may know I have a dear friend in Australia who is also a golf course superintendent, David Warwick of Avondale Golf Club in Pymble (just north of Sydney).  David and I met many years ago at the national education conference and trade show of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and have kept in touch ever since.  I like to refer to David as my "Big Brother Down Under" and he has been a valuable friend and supporter through the years.  Anyway, back on March 23rd in an update titled "Colonel Kilgore, Bunkers and Pitch Marks!" I shared a course care video of his on ball mark repair, or pitch mark as they say down under, and I promised I would share something else.  I apologize for taking so long but I wanted to share this course care video about divots.  This time of year we transition from green sand to white as the course begins its hibernation period (merely aesthetic) and it got me to thinking, although the course is going dormant and we will not be mowing for several months doesn't mean we should take the task of properly filling divots lightly.  Also, David skyped me this past Saturday evening so he is fresh in my mind.  Ladies, he fashions himself to be another George Clooney but I will let you be the judge.
Beginning Monday (November 26th), Golf Course Services, Inc. will once again be on site as we begin a small, off-season project to refurbish some bunkers in need of renovation.  Old sand will be removed and replaced with new in the same fashion we renovated both the practice bunker and right, greenside bunker on hole two earlier this year.  GCS will begin with the left, greenside bunker on number 4 (APPLAUSE) and we will be targeting several others in need.  At this time, the golf shop, GCS and I have not worked out the logistics of how we will handle play with their staff working in greenside bunkers but I wanted to at least give you the heads up well in advance.  There are approximately a dozen bunkers slated for renovation and the GCS crew will be on site for several weeks.
As I stated earlier, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I hope you will spend the day with family and friends.  For those of you planning on a relaxing round of golf at Carolina please remember we are closed tomorrow with no staff on site and golf is walking only.  Of course Solomon (turned 2 years old yesterday) and I will venture out to check the course and make sure nothing is missing, damaged, broken, etc.  The current forecast is calling for morning low temperatures near 36 or 37 degrees around 6:00 am.  We could potentially have frost with these temperatures and it is important not to walk on the putting surfaces if there is frost!  Please use caution and good judgement when enjoying the solitude of the course tomorrow!
As promised, I am thankful for many things this year and they include...

  1. my faith!
  2. my loyal companion, Solomon! 
  3. the great game of golf!
  4. being the superintendent of the greatest golf course in all of Charlotte!
  5. the hardest working golf course maintenance staff in North Carolina!
  6. the support of Carolina Golf Club! 
  7. the friendships and relationships I have developed with many of you at Carolina!
  8. seeing the sun rise over this beautiful golf course almost everyday!
  9. for Jeff Peck and his helpful advice with my finicky golf game!
  10. that the 2012 football season is almost over!
At this point last year I expressed deep, heartfelt thanks to my wife and family! I stated something along the lines of her tolerating me and my idiosyncrasies (a man who works all the time, complains about the weather and stresses over his college football team) and how she deserves a medal for doing so!  Well, this year is no different and I am just thankful me and the dog are both allowed in the house :)

To all the members of Carolina Golf Club I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

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