Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Waterlogged, Major Moments, and By Appointment Only!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is August 15th and the backside of summer is upon us.  With just three more weeks till greens aeration (friendly reminder fall greens aeration will be September 5th and 6th) one can easily see why some of us are excited for more comfortable temperatures, lower humidity, and hopefully less rainfall.

As I write this we are under CPO (cart path only) conditions as thunderstorms rocked the Queen City and dropped 1.25 inches rain on the golf course last night.  Considering we topdressed fairways yesterday you might think all that rain was perfect for washing in the sand, but when you realize we were only halfway complete with the project you realize all that rain has delayed operations today.  Oh well, you can't have it both ways so you just make the best of it.  

Speaking of rainfall, our total thus far for August (4.07") has already exceeded our total for all of July (3.44").  Couple that with the twenty plus inches we received April through June and you begin to realize this has been an extremely wet golf season.  I don't recall the last time our irrigation lake was at full pond on August 15th, perhaps never.  And somehow, despite the wet conditions we have managed to mostly keep up with regular golf maintenance and our putting greens have not thinned too severely as experienced in prior wet summers.

In fact I'm very pleased with the recovery we've made these past three weeks after the rough patch encountered in mid-July.  And even though we have warmer than average temperatures in the immediate forecast I have already initiated steps to prepare the greens for the upcoming Club Championship (Sep 1-3) less than three weeks away (stepping down HOC, etc.).

Well, it's hard to believe just 48 hours ago the golf world's eyes were on the Queen City as Justin Thomas persevered at neighboring Quail Hollow Club winning the 99th PGA Championship.  I did manage to take advantage of some early Saturday morning rain at Carolina Golf Club and ventured over to see the action that afternoon.

Also, I'm very proud of the fact three of my staff members, Senior Assistant Superintendent Ben Albrecht, Assistant Superintendent Matt Claunch, and Equipment Manager Bob Hall were part of the volunteer effort to assist Keith Wood and his team with their preparation and presentation of the golf course.  
Matt Claunch Mowing Collars
Ben Albrecht Mowing Tees
Whatever It Takes! MC Flymowing.
There was a large contingent of volunteers, both locally and from abroad and it was a great opportunity for them to experience that environment.  More often than not the time spent networking and sharing information is more valuable to one's growth and development than performing actual tasks assigned.
If you look closely at the picture above you will recognize Bob and Ben (Ben is behind Bob facing the other direction).  Contrary to the caption, my team members made their way back to CGC each day between morning and evening shifts to ensure we did not fall behind and our equipment was ready to go each day.  Thanks Guys!  
I included the above just because the sheer number of staff working on one hole simultaneously is a little eye opening.  No wonder sustaining true championship conditions day in and day out is challenging.

In other news, I recently ran across an interview with our restoration architect, Kris Spence.  Kris is this month's Feature Interview on the popular golf course architecture website Golf Club Atlas.  GCA is probably best known for their ongoing Discussion Group where members (I've been one for several years) discuss the topic of golf course architecture, but they also provide a Feature Interview each month.  I was thrilled to discover Kris had been interviewed and even more thrilled to read the kind things he said about our work together at Carolina Golf Club.  You can access the interview by CLICKING HERE.

I've been a member of the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association since 2005 and a member of their Board of Directors for nearly the past three years (I'm currently in the first year of a second consecutive two-year term).  Due to a life changing experience (albeit a good one) our Vice President resigned from the board a couple weeks ago.  In response the current Secretary/Treasurer was immediately appointed to VP and yours truly was appointed to the position of Secretary/Treasurer for the remainder of this year's term.  Officer's positions are one-year terms.  I'm humbled and honored to be selected by my peers and I'm most appreciative of the opportunity to represent Carolina Golf Club each and every step of the way.

That's all for now, but before I go let me remind everyone we are less than one week away from the highly talked about solar eclipse (August 21st).  Don't forget to obtain properly approved eye protection before viewing the eclipse as you can permanently damage your eyes without it.  I am curious to see how this once-in-a-lifetime event impacts our next Maintenance Monday... stay tuned!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG