- On July 14th, I posted that we received rain on 22 of the past 37 days up to that point. We then proceeded to have 3 rain events over the following week leading us to July 21.
- Since July 21st, we have had 34 out of 37 days with out rain. Yep, that's right, just 3 rain events equaling a little over an inch spaced out over almost 5 weeks.
Simply put, we have gone from one extreme to another. Here is a update on the conditions of each playing surface:
All putting surfaces are continuing to slowly recover following Aerification despite the environmental factors that we have been dealt. This recent cool spell has allowed drastic improvements in the dinged up areas on collars and localized bent spots on a handful of greens. We have started to spoon feed these surfaces via chemical applications to aid in the filling of holes. A supplemental granular application will be given this coming Monday to help expedite the process.
We have been mowing daily over the past week and have begun to lower heights, as the heights lower in combination with small doses of food, the holes will begin to fill. I know we all want the putting conditions that we have grown accustom to, but it is important that everyone realizes the delay in progress is a direct result of the conditions that we are facing. I have stated before that Poa is not a big fan of the heat, you throw in a drought and the stresses of aerifying in with that and you have a bad recipe. City water used with our irrigation isn't going to provide the same beneficial nutrients that Mother Nature can provide, in the meantime we just have to be a little patient and they will be back in a matter of no time.
Tees have a night and day difference since my last post. The fertility used with Aerification in conjunction with the cool week we are experiencing has brought most tees back to a full recovery. The tees that experienced damage from the process have also showed signs of improvement as the voids have slowly decreased over the past week. There are a few areas that need to repaired (example being #10 upper tee, #11 and #18 blue/white) and we will start that process on this coming Monday.
Both surfaces continue to be our strong point as of date in my opinion (largely because of the aerificaiton process on Greens and Tees). Just a few drain-lines and localized dry spots continue to plaque a few areas. Overall appearance and playability is up to my standards and I hope your enjoy the extra roll as well!
Ahh, the problem child. I touched on the aesthetic and health issues with our rough in the upcoming September newsletter. The rough has multiple factors leading to its appearance and playability during these stressful periods. Irrigation is the biggest factor, with the layout of our system, a majority of rough doesn't have coverage during nightly waters and some areas are hit with fairway or approach heads (which we don't want to overwater). Soil structure and the hodge-podge of species also contribute. The soil is extremely compacted, rocky, poorly drained and acidic...all factors that contribute to lack of rooting. The hodge-podge of species requires a variety of inputs for plant health such as water and nutrients. Both of these factors are being addressed over time with applications, cultural practices and introduction of hardier plant species. Finally, cart traffic. A lot of the worn, thin areas of rough are a direct result of cart traffic while entering and exiting cart paths or in areas that receive concentrated flow without cart paths. The only remedy would be to encourage "Scatter" while using carts. Try to avoid the discolored thin areas of rough during your next round and keep carts on paths at all times.
Overall, I think we are pretty fortunate with the state of the course after the past two and half months of environmental challenges. It goes to show that plant health can prepare you for whatever Mother Nature throws your way, although I would like to have a sit down with her and give her a piece of my mind. Outside of executing the right practices to exhibit plant health, the staff from top to bottom continues to go the extra mile and the result is showing throughout the property.
I'm excited with this place going into the next month of events and bringing the 2015 season to the close. A little rain wouldn't hurt my feelings, but it has been great seeing so many out enjoying the golf course!