Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Augtober, Field Trip, and Overseeding!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Wednesday, October 11th and yet it feels like late August outside.  When we last gathered I shared with you some data regarding the plentiful rainfall received at Carolina Golf Club this summer, and an additional 3 plus inches fell within the first two weeks last month.  In fact, the remnants of Hurricane Irma dropped nearly 1.5 inches rain on the Queen City exactly one month ago (Monday, September 11th) but that was the last rainfall until this past weekend (26 consecutive days).
In fact, the warm late September temperatures combined with bright sunshine and no rainfall allowed the golf course to finally reach her full potential with some firm and fast conditions.  You could begin to recognize some discoloration along and under the tree lines on September 29th indicating the trees were out competing the turf for water.   
No. 8
No. 15

Late last week I traveled to Atlanta to this year's U.S. Mid-Am.  The purpose of my visit was fact finding as I spent time at both the host club (Capital City Club, Crabapple Course) and the companion course (Atlanta National Golf Club).  I was on site both for the final day of official practice rounds and the first day of stroke play competition.  The visit proved to be very informative and worthwhile.  There will be much to do in the next 345 days, yes, next year's event is already less than one year away (Sep 22-27, 2018), but I'm certain it isn't anything we can't handle.
Banners at Practice Tee (Atl Natl GC)
Spectator Info (Atl Natl GC)

While there I also spent time with my peer from Charlotte CC, John Szklinski and Patrick O'Brien of the USGA (Green Section Agronomist, SE Region).  Patrick invited us to assist him with data collection and we got the chance to take a few Stimp Meter readings between the morning and afternoon wave of competitors on Day 1.
A good portion of my visit was dedicated to non-turf logistics, like temporary lighting (tournament play starts very early), evacuation plans, portable toilets, and other spectator related items like stakes, ropes, and mobility scooters.  
Portable Lighting Range Tee (Atl Natl GC)
Evacuation Site (Atl Natl GC)
Evacuation Vans (Atl Natl GC)
Mobility Scooters (Atl Natl GC)

In all, there is much to discuss and plan but that's why I made the effort to visit this year's location to help with our preparation.  I also had the opportunity to meet with Kyle Marshall, Director of Golf Course Maintenance at Capital City Club and Course Superintendent Michael Studier, CGCS.  Kyle and Michael have spent the past three years developing some pretty amazing native areas and I will definitely have conversations and compare notes with them once they've completed hosting this year's event.
Capital City Crabbapple No. 1
View From Clubhouse Back Porch (Capital City Crabapple)

Anyway, with my field trip in the rear view mirror it was time to get back to work yesterday with our first Maintenance Tuesday in quite some time.  There was much to be done considering our last Maintenance Monday was one month ago and we were rained out that day by Irma.  

That's right, you read that last one correct as we overseeded the entire primary Practice Tee yesterday.  This decision was made at last week's Greens Committee meeting and hopefully these unseasonable warm temperatures will assist with some rapid establishment for your enjoyment this coming winter.  That's all for now, it's a busy time of year with Outings, Fall Member-Guest and the Invitational.  I believe there's even a Tough Day in there somewhere.  Guess I'll go and start thinking about Tough Day hole locations.  ;)

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG