I am happy to report I was one of those 63 rounds this past Friday and I managed to squeeze in one more yesterday afternoon. According to the most recent GHIN update from the Carolinas Golf Association I had not played golf since the Ross Retreat (December 5-7) and had not enjoyed a game here at Carolina Golf Club since November 11th! The golf course is truly in excellent condition for the middle of January. After an extremely wet end to December and wet start to January (nearly 4 inches rain over that 30 day period), the course has finally dried out enough to reestablish firm, fast conditions. In fact two of our Touring Pro members could be seen taking advantage of the excellent course conditions as they prepare for the start of the upcoming Web.com tour season.
Another beautiful day out @CGC1929 pic.twitter.com/TmgA9C9Quy
— Mat Goggin (@MatGoggin) January 20, 2015
7 Green at @CGC1929 w/ downtown Charlotte in the background #lovemynewoffice http://t.co/QiygyRDl54One thing I noticed as I recently played the course, and am frequently asked this time of year is why the greens take on such an unusual appearance. The term for this uneven color distribution is mottled or mottling (meaning marked or diversified with spots or blotches of a different color or shade).
— Kelvin Day (@day_kelvin) January 21, 2015
You see our putting greens are a blend of two different varieties of creeping bentgrass, A1 and A4. Both A1 and A4 bentgrasses are what we call improved hybrid varieties, meaning they were developed through breeding efforts where varieties with particular characteristics or traits were crossed with others in order to develop grasses with overall improved characteristics (i.e., lower mowing height tolerance, improved heat tolerance, disease resistance, etc.).
With the bentgrasses it seems winter always brings out a little separation or segregation within the turf stand. Think of it like this, imagine going to a family reunion and all the cousins with blue eyes sat together while all the cousins with brown eyes sat at a different table, and all the cousins with red hair sat at another different table, etc. These little "patches" of turf with slightly different colors or textures are just the genetic differences expressing themselves during cold weather stress (A1 and A4 were bred for greater heat tolerance). These visual differences have no impact on ball roll or putting green smoothness. In fact, when I had an opportunity to speak with young Mr. Day on the practice putting green yesterday, he expressed to me these greens must be the best in town. We like to think so Kelvin! ;)
Finally, I have some sad news to share. I was informed yesterday that Amos McDowell passed away this past Sunday. Many of you may not know who I am referring to, but my staff knew Mr. McDowell well. You see, Amos lived across the street from the entrance to the club and periodically would wander across and make his way up and down the right side of hole number 8 looking for golf balls along the fence. He always carried a club with him to aid his walking and he could be seen hitting a few short shots every now and then.
See you on the course,
Matthew Wharton, CGCS