Friday, January 17, 2014

Bunkers, Tees, Twitter, and More!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"! Today is Friday, January 17th and it has been 4 weeks since my last update.  Four weeks is a long time in this business, and a lot has happened, but not much has changed either.  Confused?  Let me explain.  Thanks to Mother Nature the golf course is still dormant, and still WET!  We wrapped up December with 7.48" rain for the month (#soggy)!  The first two weeks of January has brought another 2.58" rain and some bitterly cold temperatures (remember the record low of 6 degrees last week).  Needless to say we have been bundled up and #CartPathOnly for some time now.  However, despite a slow down over the holidays and the weather conditions turning unfavorable, my staff has managed to keep the golf course in exceptional condition and Golf Course Services has completed the bunker renovations.  

During my last post I referenced how @GCSofNC (for you Twitter folks) had been knocking out our bunker renovations at warp speed.  At that time they had surpassed 50 bunkers.  I am happy to report to you bunker renovations finished today!  GCS completed renovations to the large practice bunker, located in the short game area between the practice putting and chipping greens earlier this afternoon.  The renovations to this bunker were slightly more involved than the others, because practice bunkers age exponentially compared to on course bunkers due to their continuous use.  As shot, after shot, after shot is hit from the practice bunker the constant "blasting" of sand displaces a large amount onto the grass bunker face.  Despite continuous efforts to remove the sand build up from the grass face, layers do develop in the soil over time and cause turf problems.  Thus, all the turf was completely removed from the bunker face, the sand layers stripped and removed from the original soil bunker cavity, and new sod installed. 

Sand Build-up Removed

New Sod Being Installed

Better Than Before!

With bunker renovations now behind us our attention is solely focused on the new tee construction projects I referenced last time.  Earlier today I met with our architect, Kris Spence along with JD of GCS to look at the new championship tee construction on hole 13.

When finished, the three of us explored several new teeing options for holes 14 and 18.  The Greens Committee asked Kris some time back about the possibility of joining the back tees of the neighboring holes together in a similar fashion like on holes 6 and 8.

Checking It Out
Rough Idea

Another Option Emerging

After that we rode down to the fairway bunker complex separating the 6th and 7th holes to explore the possibility of adding two or three more bunkers and a new mound or two.  Then it was lunch in the bar with some wonderful stories before calling it a day.  I must say it was a very enjoyable morning.  The whole process felt like old times, and brought back a lot of fond memories of the three of us working together during the master plan renovations five years ago!

In other news, I know some of you still don't follow on Twitter so here are a few highlights... and low lights you may have missed:

That's all for now, I need to put the finishing touches on the PowerPoint presentation I will be making at the 2014 Annual Meeting next week (Tuesday, January 21st).  As customary I will be recapping last year and giving everyone a glimpse of what to expect in 2014.  Hope everyone can make it!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

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