Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Let's Get Caught Up!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Wednesday, April 30th and it's been way too long since my last post!  My sincerest apologies loyal readers for making you wait... now if I can just come up with something worth it.  Since our last time together I have attended The Masters, had the golf course inspected, took an exam (more on that in a future post), and hosted two qualifying tournaments for the PGA Tour... all while wondering what the heck is up with this weather!
Usually this space is reserved for the obligatory weather recap.  Some of you may wonder why I am so fixated on something I cannot control, but golf is a game played on a surface comprised of millions (perhaps billions) of living breathing grass plants, all exposed to Mother Nature's elements.  The weather helps "paint the picture" or "tell the story" as they say.  Much has already been said about the winter experienced over most of the country this year, but thus far spring hasn't been very "spring like" either.

April 2014, Charlotte Douglas International Weather Data 
The calendar depicted above comes from Weather Underground, and one of the things you should notice is the color coding for actual temperatures.  April started off quite warm but then quickly dropped below average for several days.  This pattern repeated itself all month like a roller coaster leaving turfgrass plants confused.  Also, not only did we experience large temperature swings this month, but April 2014 was the wettest month here at Carolina (with 7.97 inches rain) since August 2008 (8.59 inches, mostly courtesy of Tropical Storm Fay).  Needless to say me and my staff are ready for some good ol' Carolina blue skies and warm temperatures.  Its time for some sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat, and a green golf course!

Nice Hat!
Recently we completed hosting two qualifying tournaments for the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club.  This was the 5th consecutive year Carolina Golf Club served as the qualifying site.  156 players without status on either the PGA or tours teed it up this past Thursday for the right to advance to Monday's Event Qualifying Tournament.  Only the top 50 and ties from Thursday were paired with those tour members not already exempt into the Wells Fargo Championship field.  63 players advanced from pre-qualifying and we had 101 total tee it up Monday for only 4 spots in this week's PGA Tour event... not great odds.  As has become customary, there was a dramatic playoff for the final spot with three young men playing holes 10 and 18 in sudden death for the final entry into this year's tournament.  After 8 grueling holes, and nearly running out of daylight, Fielding Brewbaker from Salem, Virginia won with a par after his opponent's tee shot found the water leading to an unfortunate bogey.  
Sidenote: Fielding had to go through pre-qualifying last Thursday to get into Monday's Event Qualifying Tournament, and made the cut Thursday on the number!

For me and my staff, these qualifying tournaments are our "little taste of the big time" as we pull out all the stops to provide true tournament quality conditions for each event.  We want to showcase Carolina Golf Club on your behalf to these individuals playing our favorite game for a living as a true classic maintained to the highest standards.  
From the feedback I received from several members who caddied Monday, I believe we were successful once again, and have one of the better reputations on tour among qualifying sites.  I would be remiss if I didn't give a huge thank you to my staff for all their efforts this past week... wait, I did!

In other news, for those of you that may have missed it earlier, the newly constructed tees this winter are now open for your enjoyment.  Although the Carolinas PGA Section did not use the new tee on 13 (they opted to play the hole as a 470 yard par 4 for pace of play purposes), they did use the new tee on 18 this past Monday. 
Although these new tees are ready for play, the newly constructed tee at the back of the driving range is still a little ways off (it has only received one mowing as of this time).  We are working diligently to complete the grow in of what we hope will be a wonderful addition to our already outstanding practice facilities.  We will inform everyone of its status just as soon as we can.

Of course preparing the golf course for tournaments is hard work but it is also a lot of fun.  I mean, who doesn't enjoy showing off every once in a while, and no tournament says "showing off" more than Member-Guest!  Next week is the annual Carolina Member-Guest and me and my staff are ready to help you show off your golf course to your esteemed guests!  Each day the course gets better and better and I expect the golf course to be in fantastic condition when your guests arrive.  Looking forward to it!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

No comments:

Post a Comment