Thursday, June 5, 2014

North Carolina Amateur Week - Day 4

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Thursday, June 5th and Day 4 of North Carolina Amateur Week.  Although we are into our fourth day of event week, today was day one of tournament competition.  Mother Nature greeted me and my staff this morning with temperatures in the mid 70's F and with a little breeze (not exactly what we were looking for but nothing we can't handle).

Jobs from the morning before were on the board (that's why you have dress rehearsals), and the crew was ready to go when I gathered them to share something.  I knew our club president was going to be stopping by yesterday morning, but I did not plan for a guest pep talk today...but we had one anyway.  At 5:07 am my good friend Tim Carpenter, Golf Course Superintendent of Gaston Country Club sent me the following text message, "To you and your staff good luck this morning and the rest of the week - I know you will make our area shine - Light'em up it's showtime!"  I read Tim's text aloud to the crew, and then we embarked onto the course.  Tim and his staff are hosting their annual Member-Guest this weekend, and for him to take a moment to recognize what we are doing is special and speaks volumes about the brotherhood that exists between golf course superintendents!  I wish Tim and his staff much success with their event!

Once the team was out the door greens were mowed and rolled (we also collected soil moisture readings and hand watered where appropriate), dew removed from fairways, teeing grounds walk mowed, bunkers smoothed and hand raked, etc.  Breakfast this morning was courtesy of David Wrenn with Southern Agriculture!  The crew was dismissed until 4:00 pm.

As I was looking for a good photo to tweet this morning, I found this message from golf course architect Kris Spence.

Kris led our four phase Ross Restoration that began in 2005 and wrapped up in 2008!  It was nice to see he was thinking of us on this momentous occasion for Carolina!

Today we managed to dodge the threat of severe weather as thunderstorms stayed well to our north.  As a result an already firm and fast golf course firmed up even more.  Despite the firmness, the course managed to yield a handful of low scores including a nine under par 62 to tournament leader, and Charlotte native Bailey Patrick, Jr.  The young Mr. Patrick leads by three shots over John Eades (also of Charlotte) who shot a six under par 65, and by four shots over Scott Harvey of Greensboro (66).  Defending champion Steven Brame of Henderson is currently T8 after a three under par 68.  Carolina Golf Club's own Brett Boner fired an even par 71 and currently is T36.  You can find out more and see a video with Head Golf Professional, Jeffrey Peck at the official web page for this year's championship linked below.

Official 2014 North Carolina Amateur Championship Web Page

We treated the staff to pizza this evening before our late mowing session.  Evening course prep consisted of the following: tees walk mowed at 0.325" (9-3 direction).  Approaches, surrounds, and par 3 fairways triplexed at 0.375" (8-2 direction).  Fairways were mowed at 0.475" in a counterclockwise "shadow" cut.  The driving range tee had divots removed and filled, filled divots on all tees, smoothed and raked bunkers, collected soil moisture readings on all greens, hand watered where necessary, and collected firmness readings.

Earlier I mentioned receiving words of encouragement from a fellow superintendent, and how this profession truly is a brotherhood.  Just before 5:00 pm I received the following text message from Tim Davis, Golf Course Superintendent of Cabarrus Country Club, "Hello buddy.  Just a note to say GOOD LUCK this weekend and I got you in my prayers with your tournament.  If you need anything let me know."  As I said before, we all pull for one another every week of the year, and it is nice to know my friends are pulling for us!

As for the low round today and competitive course record, hats off to Bailey Patrick, Jr.  I do believe Mr. Ross himself would be proud, because there is nothing to be ashamed of for someone playing quality golf and getting the ball in the hole.  Good luck to everyone the rest of the way... me and the boys are off to get some rest!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton
Golf Course Superintendent  

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