Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Happy Christmas!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper! Today is Wednesday, December 22nd and I would like to wish each of you and your families a happy Christmas! Hope everyone enjoyed themselves yesterday during the annual Christmas Balls tourney and now you're getting ready for Santa's arrival, assuming you've warmed up by now. ;)

Santa should be in a good mood considering this past weekend he won the PNC Championship partnered with John Daly II. Hopefully this means we're all on the nice list and can expect lots of goodies to help with our golf games in our stockings this year!

John Daly and John Daly II

As is customary, the golf course will be closed this coming Friday and Saturday (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Of course you and your family, friends, and guests are welcome to play provided you receive permission from Mrs. Claus. ;)  The current forecast calls for a morning low temperature of 35 degrees Friday morning, so frost is likely, no early bird arrivals please. Saturday looks unseasonably warm so no issues there. 

5-Day Forecast, AccuWeather

Mrs. Greenkeeper and I are headed to Virginia to visit our families after the pandemic induced hiatus last year. We are both so thankful for our health after the challenges of the past twelve months and look forward to spending a few days with loved ones once again. 

Well, it wouldn't be my final post of the year without a quick weather breakdown. For those of you anxiously waiting the current 2021 rain total at Carolina Golf Club is 40.28 inches following yesterday's intermittent drizzle and sleet. That makes 2021 our driest year since 2016 and more importantly it is more than 18 inches less than the average rainfall received each of the past three consecutive years (58.50 inches)!

Here's hoping 2022 brings us all the peace and joy we've craved the last two years and I look forward to seeing you on the golf course next year! 

Happy Christmas Carolina Golf Club,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Dry Ground for Golf!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper! Today is Tuesday, December 14th and we are now just eleven days away from Christmas! And can you believe there are only seventeen more days remaining in 2021? I know, it's crazy! Tonight is the Past President's Dinner at Carolina Golf Club. After a one-year hiatus brought about by the pandemic it will be good to once again gather with fellow senior staff, the Board of Governors, and Past Presidents to discuss our love for the game of golf and Carolina Golf Club. 

Recently I shared something on Twitter that garnered a good deal of support and I wanted to discuss it with you here and provide a little more context.

Last month I posted a few details about a recent trip to Royal Dornoch. One of the gentlemen on the trip was Tom Colombo, the golf course superintendent of Hyannisport Club in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. We were admiring the contours of the green pads, bunkers, and closely mowed surrounds and I commented how Carolina Golf Club possesses similar features but we cannot replicate the links playing conditions until the Bermudagrass goes dormant.

Despite the ability of Bermudagrass to tolerate close mowing, its growth habits (lush and grainy) during warm, humid summers make for a sticky surface that can baffle golfers attempting to play the ball along the ground. But when dormant, and dry, those shots are made less difficult and a wider array of options are now at your disposal.

But the key word in that last sentence is DRY! For the past three years Carolina Golf Club has been subjected to above average rainfall of nearly epic proportions. In 2018 it rained 58.60 inches. In 2019 it rained 57.20 inches. And last year (2020) it rained 59.71 inches!

So far in 2021 it has only rained a total of 39.02 inches! More importantly the rainfall received since the beginning of September has only totaled 6.59 inches as of today. We have always said the best time to play golf at Carolina Golf Club is fall, and this year we have been treated to a dry autumn for the first time since 2017!

NC Drought Index

As you may imagine, if we haven't received much rain then we must be entering into a drought. Above is the latest update on the growing conditions across North Carolina. You can see Mecklenburg County has entered into the Severe category. But the 0.95 inch of rain that has fallen on Carolina Golf Club this month all came after this map's valid data was recorded. Although I don't expect a lessening of our category, just know things are not as dire as they may appear.

The current La Nina is providing us once again with some unseasonably warm conditions as record highs may be reached by the end of this week! Below is the 10-Day Outlook from our friend at WCNC, Brad Panovich.

Don't be surprised if we receive more rain when the cold air arrives this weekend. It is hard to go from record high temperatures to drop-offs of twenty degrees or more without triggering showers and storms. Regardless, the dry conditions we have experienced the past few months have brought about some of the best playing conditions this time of year in quite some time, so please, get out and enjoy them! 

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG