Friday, February 2, 2018

Cold Start, GIS, & Texas Two-Step!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper!  Today is Friday, February 2nd and happy Groundhog Day everyone.  I wish I could tell you the cold start to 2018 was over and an early spring was around the corner, but I'm hearing reports the groundhog saw his shadow which means six more weeks of winter. :(  Speaking of cold starts did you know January 2018 was the coldest January in Charlotte since 2014.  And although the Januaries of 2010, 2011 and 2014 were all colder than this year, the drastic difference between this year and last (January 2017) was one of vast proportion.
Mean Avg Jan Temps - Charlotte 1879-2018
The area circled in red indicates the mean average January temperatures for the years 2008 - 2018.  Just look at the far right and notice the drastic plunge from Jan 2017 to Jan 2018.  No wonder rounds played were down nearly 50% from a year ago (589 vs 1153).

Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be warming up anytime soon either as long term forecasts are expecting a return of cold, Canadian air to make its way into the eastern half of the U.S. for a significant portion of February.  Considering Feb 2017 was one of the all-time warmest Februaries in Charlotte history I guess this month's graph may eventually look similar to the one above, at least the course should be well rested when spring finally arrives.  

If there is a silver lining to be found within this cold winter, the lack of activity has allowed the team to accomplish several important course care items without undue delay.  Recently the entire network of cart paths (over 4 miles) were edged and the overgrowth removed.  We have been busy raising and leveling irrigation heads around greens, patching all tee and fairway divots, and making selective herbicide applications to remove unwanted winter grasses from our dormant bermudagrass playing surfaces.  Later this month we will apply our annual pre-emergent herbicide to all tees, fairways, and rough to prevent crabgrass and goosegrass from infiltrating our playing surfaces this coming spring and summer.  As you can see, our work is never done.

This coming Monday I will be heading off to the annual Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, Texas where I will attend accredited lectures and seminars at the education conference, view the largest gathering of exhibitors to discuss the latest products and services in turf and facility care at the trade show, and represent my chapter, Carolinas GCSA as official voting delegate at the GCSAA Annual Meeting and Election.  But despite the busy schedule next week there is one fun thing that's going to take place.
Once again Golf Course Industry magazine and Aquatrols are hosting the Super Social Media Awards and this year I was selected as the recipient of the Kaminski Award for Leadership.  I was totally shocked when I received the news for I have never thought of my social media use and communication efforts as anything more than my means of conversing with you about Carolina Golf Club.  I had no idea those efforts have made a positive impact on others to the point they would bestow recognition upon me.  It's very humbling to say the least.  GCI's Senior Editor, Guy Cipriano wrote a very nice piece about my receiving this award and I shared it on Twitter when first announced a couple weeks back.  In case you missed it you can find it here.  America's Greenkeeper.

In other but related news, the Greenkeeping Team at the Home of Golf (St. Andrews Links Trust) are also being recognized for their communication and social media prowess with an award in the category of Best Use of Social Media.  Recently their Director of Greenkeeping, Gordon Moir sat down for an interview to discuss the type of work typically accomplished on the historic links in winter months (there's something needing to be done no matter where your course is located) and how their blog, has helped them share their message of environmentalism around the globe.  The podcast interview is just under twenty-three minutes, and Gordon does possess a Scottish accent, but if you love the Old Course it's definitely an educational listen.  Hope you enjoy!  CLICK HERE 

Well, that's all for now.  Time to prep the course as much as possible today as we prepare for a bitterly cold night tonight in advance of tomorrow's Saturday Shotgun.  Sunday's forecast appears to be another wet one so maybe more Super Bowl viewing than golf.  Feel free to follow my adventures in San Antonio next week on Twitter and I'll be back to recap soon.

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Matthew! We are so proud that you call CGC home. I think we all recognize that our club is a fabulous place to play golf in large part due to your continued study and hard work. It's wonderful that you are being recognized nationally.