Friday, March 26, 2021

Course News, Good News, and Best News!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper!  Today is Friday, March 26th and it pleases me to bring you this brief update on and off the golf course.  I will touch on the recent greens aerification and recovery progress.  We'll talk about spring preemergent herbicide applications, mowing operations, and other tasks as we continue to ready the course for the upcoming season.  Then I'll share with you some good news, followed by an update containing the best news.  So let's get started.

Putting greens were aerified and topdressed back on the first and second.  This is the earliest we've performed spring aerfication and I know some folks were curious to the modification of the schedule.  Granted, in order to fully recover from spring aerification we need growing conditions and these are controlled more by soil temperatures than ambient air temperatures (this is why the course is never immediately in spring form when we get unseasonably warm temperatures in February or early March).  

So, why would I aerify greens when the soil temperatures are not in the optimum range you ask?  Great question and the answer is a couple of reasons actually.  One, our greens had been subjected to the most intense traffic in their history with record rounds played each month since the beginning of the pandemic last spring.  Not to mention, our last aerification took place in early June meaning the greens had endured nine consecutive months of heavy play without relief.  This in turn negatively impacted water infiltration rates causing puddling and ponding even after small rain events in spite of our wetting agent regime.  Two, the busiest month for golf last year was April.  That's right, more rounds of golf were played in April 2020 than any other month and that includes May, June, July, and August which all have more daylight hours.

So, when you're trying to ready the course to accommodate high demand in April, some compromises and adjustments are made.  We may have stumbled out of the starting blocks, but it certainly appears things are trending in the right direction for what we hope is a spectacular spring golf season at CGC.

March 26, 2021

March 26, 2021

Following the completion of greens aerification we managed to treat the entire course with preemergent herbicide for the management of crabgrass and goosegrass this coming year.  If you haven't treated your home lawns for crabgrass do not delay much longer.  Forsythia hasn't dropped its blooms yet across town but the clock is ticking.

All of our cool-season natural/native areas were mowed and cleaned up using our Super 600!  This removed both old and unwanted growth and permitted us to get a good application of our preemergent herbicide combination in those areas too.  The predominant warm-season areas will be mowed in early June.

As for the remainder of the golf course, we mowed all rough this week and again used our Super 600 to clean up the clippings.  The first mowing of rough is always at a lower height of cut than normal play to open the canopy and allow sunlight to penetrate and warm the soil (this is why you always see the tees, fairways, and approaches green up faster than the rough).  

Mowing Native

Preemergent Application

Mowing Rough
We had planned to make the first cut on fairways and approaches this morning but Mother Nature had other plans by dropping over 1.5 inches rain last night.  So you can expect to see these areas get trimmed and groomed next week when the course dries out.

In other news, I'm excited to announce Assistant Superintendent Matthew Rollyson was selected to join the Agronomy Volunteer Team at the upcoming Augusta National Women's Amateur.  Mr. Boilermaker will be heading down to Georgia on Sunday to help prepare the courses this coming week.  Rounds 1 and 2 are played at Champions Retreat on March 31st and April 1st.  The final round is played at Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday, April 3rd.  We are thrilled here at CGC Agronomy to have Matthew selected for this opportunity.

Mr. Boilermaker!
And, in the best news department, Darless beat cancer!  Yes, you heard correctly, following four long months of chemotherapy followed by surgery just one week ago today, she received a clean bill of health yesterday when we met with the surgical oncologist, Dr. Turk to get her pathology report!  We are thrilled to come through this arduous journey and we cannot thank everyone at Carolina Golf Club enough for your unending well wishes and support.

Dr. Joshi, Medical Oncology

Dr. Turk, Surgical Oncology

Flowers from CGC
Flowers from CWGA

That's all I have time for now, we're still tidying up the course in preparation for tomorrow's Donald Ross event.  Unfortunately I believe it will most likely be cart path only, but best of luck to both teams!

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG