Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Getting Closer!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper!  Today is Tuesday, August 21st and it's time for another update.  It's hard to believe it has been three weeks since my last post.  I was talking then about how summer will soon be over and the U.S. Mid-Am will be here before you know it, and here we are getting closer!  As for summer, a cool front is heading our way later today and we can expect and enjoy some much lower dew points (goodbye humidity) the next few days.  Don't worry, this isn't the end of warm temperatures, but if you haven't noticed recently the days are getting shorter and fall is getting closer.

Since my last update the golf course has benefited from a weather pattern change resulting in 4.32 inches of rainfall.  When you consider we only received 4.55 inches combined the months of June and July it's no wonder the course has greened up significantly.  Not only has the turf rebounded from the earlier dry conditions, but the density of the turf is also thicker putting a premium on playing the ball from the fairway.  We recently raised the height of cut in the rough an additional quarter inch per the USGA's request as we continue to prepare for our role as Stroke Play Co-Host in next month's Mid-Am.  I've been receiving lots of comments about the rough lately and all I can say is Director of Instruction Steve Stahl is standing by to assist you with getting the ball in the fairway.  ;)
Last week we topdressed all fairways and approaches with 250 tons of sand.  With the tournament getting closer this will be our final application this season, but after investing in the process the past four growing seasons CLICK HERE we are definitely making a positive impact to surface firmness, smoothness, and drainage.  More sand!

Speaking of the Mid-Am, we are now just 30 days away from the start of official practice rounds!  It's getting closer.  My team and I have developed a rather lengthy punch-list of items to be completed over the next four weeks as we continue to strive to prepare and present your course to the best of our abilities.  Yesterday's Maintenance Monday was like a marathon of agronomic and cultural practices taking place till late in the evening.  Our motto this year has been Whatever It Takes and sometimes that means taking advantage of the fact an approaching late day shower dissipates and staying late to apply one more tank of growth regulator before calling it a day.  Now that's #WhateverItTakes!

Now don't get me wrong, we're not there yet, but we're getting closer and I believe we are going to succeed in a presentation that will impress the field of 264.  In order to get there we are going to need your help.  We have several areas that need to grow and recover in these remaining weeks prior to the tournament.  You will be seeing more ropes and stakes and even netting in some areas as we preserve and protect the turf in order to fulfill the USGA's request.  One such area for example is near the Chipping Green and we ask that you please refrain from hitting full shots out

into the main range area.  Please utilize other areas around the Chipping Green and limit those shots to chips and/or bump & runs.  We will also be moving tee markers off certain teeing grounds planned for the tournament to ensure we present the best conditions possible.  Thank you all in advance for your cooperation and support!

Earlier I referenced the field size of 264 and you will be happy to know that at least two are our very own.  Congratulations to Brett Boner who was medalist yesterday at Cedarbrook CC in Philadelphia and Stephen Woodard who birdied the first playoff hole to claim the final spot at The Foundry GC outside Richmond, VA.  I also want to wish the best of luck to all our members attempting to qualify today, Thursday, and Friday in events in GA, NY and NC.  To read about Brett's great play at Cedarbrook yesterday click the link in the photo caption below.    
Medalist Brett Boner 
That's all for now, I need to get back to the course before attending a joint meeting of all event committees from both courses later today at Charlotte Country Club.  It's getting closer!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG