Friday, July 5, 2013

The Old Man is Snoring and A New Tee!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"! Today is Friday, July 5th and the course just reopened for play a few hours ago.  Yes, I said reopened.  Earlier this morning a pop-up shower parked over the course and quickly dumped close to an inch of rain causing massive surface flooding and prompting a brief closure of the golf course.  Now you are asking yourself how is it possible only an inch of rain could cause such problems.  Our course has taken on more rain on numerous occasions, heck our course surface drains better than most on the planet (especially in the hot summer months) and we rarely have to restrict cart traffic.  The answer is saturation. 

It's Raining It's Pouring...

For just over a month (we received 7.48 inches rain in June) we have been stuck in a quirky weather pattern which is bringing tropical moisture (high humidity) along with daily showers and thunderstorms and even now the 10 day forecast doesn't show any signs of letup.  The constant moisture is making it extremely challenging to dry the course for necessary mowing and play.  Unfortunately all this water has no place to go as the soil is completely saturated like a sponge unable to absorb another single drop.  Each morning this week I have emptied the rain gauge and watched our fairways take on the appearance of a lush, tropical oasis while lamenting the fact I am unable to mow them.  July is only 5 days old and the rain total for the month is already close to two inches!  #goodgrief!

In other news, Kris Spence was on site recently to look at some potential course modifications he has proposed to the Greens Committee for their consideration.  One involves a new tee on the 14th hole for use when playing the hole as short, drivable par 4 (we currently use the existing forward tee for this purpose during some tournaments).  Kris chose a location to the left and nearer the cart path.  He suggested we go ahead and mow the existing rough down to a playable tee height and give the area a try to see if we like it.  My staff and I layed out the tee this past Monday.

Mowing It Out!
Ready for Topdressing!

It looks pretty rough right now but give it another week or so and you will be surprised.  I plan to put the area in play for the British Open Shootout on the 20th.  The hole will measure somewhere between 285 to 295 yards but the angle creates an interesting perspective of the landing area.  Also, the tee's location brings the trouble on the right side of the hole more into play for those players choosing to go for the green.

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

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