Monday, June 28, 2010

Too much, too long...

Rain, heat, humidity...  it all fits into the "Too much, too long..." title.  Recently we've endured the toughest stretch of weather for several years with heat, and rain approaching record levels in June.  Consider the following:

-  As of today (June 28th) we are finishing up the 2nd wettest June on record, dating back to 1895.  The average rainfall throughout the state is at 7.92", 4.1" above normal.  Here at CCC we have recieved closer to 9" for the month, more than double the average.

-  The month of June has been a warm one with the average temperature of 74.9 degrees, 3.9 degrees above normal.  As of June 25th, this is the 10th warmest June on record.  While 74.9 degrees does not seem all that warm, consider that it is the average, not the high.  Our daytime high tempertures in the month of June were regularly in the upper 80's and lower 90's.

Anytime you combine near record heat and precipitation, you're bound to run into problems... and we did.  Over the past week we had excessive rain, creating multiple areas on the golf course that were saturated with water, and in some cases submerged for days.  With temperatures exceeding 90 degrees during the day and not dipping much below 75 degrees at night, the turf (specifically the Poa annua) in these wet areas was brought to the breaking point and we have been left with areas in our fairways and first cut of rough that will need some seeding and special attention.  Over the next week or two we will be addressing these areas to bring them back to health.  You will likely see some rope or stakes directing you away from the newly seeded areas.

Pictured below is #18 fairway where water sat for several days.  This area has a higher Poa annua population due to the persistant wetness and suffered damage.

Now have a look at #9 fairway where we recently patched some damage with bent sod.  This area stayed rather wet throughout the recent heat and the Poa suffered.  Notice the healthy bent.  This is a pretty good reason to press forward with our Velocity work to eliminate Poa and allow bent to flourish.

As I have said before, only bad things happen quickly on a golf course.  Most of this turf damage happened in a matter of days, yet it will take weeks to recover.  We will be treating the affected areas with extra special attention to ensure the fastest recovery possible.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hot, Humid, and Wet...

Three words us superintendents don't like in combination.  Unfortunately we are in the middle of them and there doesn't seem to be much end in sight.  Although our course is covered with fungicides and the immediate threat of a disease outbreak is minimal, the conditions are wet.  We have roped off several areas (like the one shown on #17 fairway) to keep traffic out, hoping to minimize any golf cart damage during the wet period.  The forcast is not showing much for rain over the next few days, so it is likely the ropes will be coming down.  I would ask that all golfers use some common sense while negotiating our course and steer clear of noticeably we or roped areas!

In the meantime... go after those pins, the greens are holding!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Persistance Pays Off

Over the past four weeks we have been watching a mallard hen sit on her nest near our bag drop.  She managed to pick a spot that was in the middle of two of the busiest sidewalks at the club, and right in the middle of a flower bed!  Why would a duck pick such a spot that is so far from water and completely void of any sort of peace and quiet?  Maybe she knew something... bowls of water and oyster crackers appeared as members and staff did their best to keep her comfortable, and from what I hear she even inherited a name... "Madeline" I think it is...

Either way, "Madeline's" persistance and patience have paid off as she has hatched a brace of baby ducks!  Carley Cresap, our club horticulturist, counted seven babies and two unhatched eggs.  Seeing that "Madeline" has some mothering skills, we will let her care for the babies and not disturb her.  If you see children harrassing her, please instruct them to let her be.  We will be excited to watch her raise her young..