Friday, March 21, 2014

Aeration Wrap-up, Tributes, New Gadget, & Next Week!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Friday, March 21st and spring officially arrived yesterday...I don't know about you, but that certainly seemed like one of the longer winters I can remember.  Actually, I don't believe we have seen or felt the last of Old Man Winter, but we are not here to dwell on that now...the sun is shining high in the skies over Carolina and tomorrow is supposed to be even better...but the putting greens are aerated :(

Yes, the putting surfaces were core aerated this week, but the secret to great bentgrass putting greens in the humid southeast is core aeration!  For you new members or those not familiar with The Greenkeeper you can CLICK HERE to discover more about why core aeration is important.  If that doesn't satisfy you, CLICK HERE to read even more.

I would be remiss if I didn't give praise to my staff for their effort this week!  Core aeration is a laborious task by itself, throw in three days of clouds, rain, mist, fog, and even freezing drizzle and you can see where things got a little challenging.  It was so dreary this week we may have suffered from vitamin D deficiency!
First Green of the Day!
Last Green!

You may notice in the first two images the aerator operators are bundled up just as much on the last green as they are on their first one.  Monday was a cold, damp day!  Day 2 saw us band together to begin the clean-up process since the weather wasn't very cooperative on Day 1.
Core Pushers!
We managed to get all the greens cleaned off on Tuesday, but we were unable to begin topdressing. Here's a question for you, "How do you know it has been a crazy winter?"  When the sand plant is iced over and cannot deliver topdressing for your spring aeration!  That's right, we had just a light "glistening" or "shimmering" on the trees here in Charlotte Tuesday morning due to some light freezing drizzle.  Up the road in Marston, NC (between Rockingham and Pinehurst) they experienced enough ice to shut down operations and deliveries for the day, so our topdressing sand didn't arrive until Wednesday morning.

Spread it on Thick!
Sweep it in!

We're Done
With spring aeration behind us we now set our sights on final preparations before growing season arrives.  In the coming days/weeks we will be treating all natural/native areas for spring/summer weed control.  We will be installing new sod to the right of the cart path on number 11.  We will also spread fresh mulch in the beds around the clubhouse, parking areas, and on the golf course.

This past Monday was St. Patrick's Day but it was also the birthday of Bobby Jones.  When I was growing up watching golf I thought Jack Nicklaus was the greatest golfer to ever play the game.  I have spent the majority of my career in the golf course maintenance industry in the Tiger Woods era, and some may argue his abilities and accomplishments.  When I read Mark Frost's book, "The Grand Slam" a few years ago I became convinced Bobby Jones is the greatest golfer to have ever played the game.  Last time I commented about our bunker project and how we were compacting the sand to prevent plugged lies.  One of your fellow members sent me an email with a link to an awesome video. CLICK HERE to enjoy a look back at a different time in our country's history and receive a lesson in proper bunker close attention around the 6:00 minute mark!

Real quick I want to mention a new addition to The Greenkeeper.  If you look to your right at the top of the page you should notice a box containing my Twitter feed.  This is called a gadget or widget in computer lexicon.  I recently saw this feature on Adam Garr's blog page and thought it would be nice to incorporate this feature here for those of you not on Twitter, but would like to gain access to the course information I post.  Adam is the golf course superintendent of Plum Hollow Country Club in Southfield, Michigan outside Detroit.  If you think we have had a bad winter you should check out Adam's blog at PHCCGREENS.BLOGSPOT.COM.

That's all for now.  I hope you get out and enjoy the nice weather today and tomorrow before things turn off cold again.  This coming Monday and Tuesday I will be in Pinehurst representing Carolina Golf Club at the USGA Green Section's SE Regional Meeting.  Check the Twitter feed for updates.

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

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