Monday, June 2, 2014

North Carolina Amateur Week - Day 1

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Monday, June 2nd and Day 1 of North Carolina Amateur Week.  Just this past Thursday, I touched on the magnitude of this event as it relates to the club historically, and my staff and I have been counting down the days on the job board for one year.  You plan for the worst and simultaneously hope for the best!  Over the past year we have endured one of the more challenging winters this region has experienced, and the golf course still has a few scars.  Winter injury and spring dead spot are still evident in places as a cool spring as yet to really kickstart bermudagrass growth in this region.  As a result, the rough is not as robust (my word for this season) in high traffic areas as I would like (hence the late decision to implement a new golf car operation policy banning cart traffic in the rough permanently).  Despite these challenges and setbacks, we press on mowing, grooming, and preparing the golf course to the best of our ability so Carolina Golf Club is the best it can possibly be at this moment in time for the 54th North Carolina Amateur Championship!

Saying it was an exciting morning would be an understatement.  It was 55 F this morning, a lightweight pullover was an excellent compliment with the morning coffee, and the course was closed today for maintenance.  We did receive 1.78 inches rain last week (Tuesday and Thursday) and that definitely helped green things up.  This was our first maintenance day in a month with two corporate outings and a holiday tournament the past three weeks, so the staff was excited to jump right on the golf course.

I greeted the crew today with a "To Do List" so long it seemed I needed the back of the dry erase board.  Tasks this morning were broken down to greens, practice areas, short-cut turf, and other.  The putting greens were rolled to remove morning dew followed by a light topdressing.  The topdressing sand was immediately brushed in and the greens irrigated for 3 minutes.

Topdressing the 6th green
Brushing the 18th green

The putting greens also received a dry mowing in the early afternoon following the lunch break to smooth the surface from the morning brushing.

On the practice areas we mowed the driving range tee, short game fairway, target greens, and driving range floor (main landing area).  We also mowed all rough height turf in and around the practice areas.  All divots on both the main range tee and short game fairway were filled and smoothed.

It was a busy weekend!

With the practice areas complete we started on the golf course.  We mowed rough (we are only lightly "topping" the rough today and tomorrow for the entire week).  All fairways were cross-cut (9-3) at 0.475" and tees walk mowed at 0.350" in the same direction.

9 - 3 Mowing Direction

Approaches, surrounds, and par 3 fairways were triplexed left-to-right at 0.375".  Bunker faces were mowed with hover mowers.  Clippings were blown from the bunker floors, the floors probed for proper depth, smoothed and hand raked.  

One of Seventy-Seven Ross Style Bunkers!

Some other housekeeping duties including removing tee markers from the course, spraying tees, trimming around irrigation heads, removing stakes and ropes from certain areas, and completing the hole sign installation we began on Saturday morning.  

Feels Like a Major!

The hole signs from the Carolinas Golf Association really give the golf course a unique look and feel.  They stand out like beacons in the night, and you can tell gazing across the golf course this week is something special, this week we identify the 2014 Champion Amateur of North Carolina!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent

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