Monday, July 31, 2017

Care 4 Carolina!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is July 31st and we are now just one month away from the start of this year's Club Championship.  With the first two months of summer in the books let's recap what happened the past thirty days and take a quick look ahead at next month.  

Remember, July came in on the heels of three consecutive wet months and when last we met (CLICK HERE) a few greens had encountered some difficulty with the sudden change in the weather when June ended.  Our rainfall this month was much closer to average (3.44 inches), but that total is only approximately half the amount the golf course received each of the previous three months.  With an abundance of soil moisture from spring and early summer, the ability to finally groom and mow regularly, and the use of growth regulators you get some amazing definition and course conditions.

Of course when the weather is ideal for bermudagrass things sometimes gets a little touchy on our bentgrass putting greens, and the middle of July saw Mother Nature really turn up the heat.  It's not uncommon during those times for the turf canopy to begin to thin and this certainly was the case a couple weeks ago.  I was very pleased with the progress made last week and with this current respite from the hot and humid dog days I see even more progress and a quicker pace of recovery.

A couple of other things that took place this month was all hardwood trees were trimmed removing their lowest, downward growing limbs and branches to assist with sunlight penetration to the turf below as well as enhance recovery and playability.

The difference may be subtle and that was our intent as we want to keep things looking natural while improving the characteristics.  

This month also was the launch of Care 4 Carolina or #C4C.  The Greens Committee and Golf Committee would love to see a little more effort as it applies to respecting and caring for the golf course in general.  Ball marks are always a nuisance but during the hot, humid summer months they take even longer to heal and the scars become quite unsightly.  Also, both committees are strongly in favor of reducing/eliminating litter on the course.  And when I say litter I'm referring to broken and/or discarded tees. Not only are these items unsightly, but more importantly they damage mowers if not picked up daily.

So that pretty much sums up July.  August begins in less than ten hours and that means we are now just ten days away from the start of the 99th PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club.  After Jordan Spieth's exciting victory in The Open Championship a couple weeks ago he will venture to the Queen City with a chance at history going for the career grand slam.  We were scheduled to make the second of three fairway topdressing applications this week, but I decided it might be best to wait until after the championship considering there is an anticipated demand for client and guest golf next week.  Also, I'm pleased to announce three of my staff will be members of the volunteer effort so hopefully next post I may have some cool photos of their experience to share.

Well, that's all for now.  Looks like I'm going to manage to just sneak this post in under the July deadline but please remember to Care 4 Carolina.  Besides, if you treat the course with care and respect she may reward you with pars and birdies.

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG