Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper! Today is Wednesday, February 10th and I'm blaming the Groundhog for the fact we are still in winter's grip at Carolina Golf Club! One of the great advantages to living in the southeast is winters can be mild, especially when compared to the snowier northeast and mid-west regions. I grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in far southwestern Virginia at a time when snow was plentiful and common.
Through the years winters back home have become wetter, with less snow but this year Mom tells me they've experienced quite a bit, including about six inches just before Christmas! I stated during the recent annual meeting that 2020 was our third consecutive year with over 57 inches rainfall, and you don't receive more than one foot above average with dry winters.
Our pattern seems to consist of bright blue skies and sunshine when cold air is in place. Radiational cooling each evening (this is the loss of heat to the atmosphere via the lack of insulating cloud cover) drops our temperatures well below freezing and in turn we wake to start each day delayed with frost. When warmer temperatures do move into the region they typically bring with them an influx of moisture and it rains, while the I40 corridor magically continues to be the sweet spot for snow.
What's the point of all this you ask? There isn't one, other than it's therapeutic in some sorts to put my thoughts on "paper". My wife is now just one week away from her last chemotherapy infusion, and to say the past three months have been stressful would be the understatement of the year! In that time I've tried diligently to be a good husband, a good superintendent, a good coworker, and a good team leader all while keeping my wife, my team, and myself safe.
There are times I'm thankful this happened in the winter as it's been easier (relatively speaking) for me to assist and accompany her to appointments and treatments. I would not wish anyone who is battling cancer to have to go it alone. I can't imagine trying to do all I am currently for her and simultaneously keep the course alive if this were the middle of summer.
But simultaneously she's been relegated to working from home during the most bleak time of year. Short days with gloomy cloud cover and/or cold, wet days are not really a great recipe for cheery happiness. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a few warm, sunny days and a chance to walk around the neighborhood together.
At the end of the day she and I are just thankful we have each other along with the support of each of you. Your thoughts, prayers and goodwill have carried us through and we look forward to the day when she can safely return to the office and everyone can enjoy seeing one another in person. Hopefully by then spring will be here and winter will be a distant memory. I know we're all ready for brighter days ahead.
I'm anxious for the course to green back up and for the new season to start at Carolina Golf Club. I look forward to working with my new chairman and the newcomers to the committee. I'm excited for the return of tournaments and events. And I'm ready to see each of you on the course in a manner that doesn't require an extended distance and/or a mask.
But before then we have to make our annual preemergent applications for the management of crabgrass and goosegrass. And believe it or not, spring greens aerification is now less than three weeks away (Mar 1 & 2). But in the meantime, she's going to ring that bell in one week! And I can't wait!
Thanks for listening,
Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG