Friday, May 7, 2010

Wet Spring Delays

Weather Plays a Part in Everything We Do

I feel like I am stating the obvious when I mention the weather in our course updates but it truly does effect everything we do on the golf course. Additionally it is major contributor to course conditions both past and present effecting everything from surface speed to maintenance procedures.
I mentioned in our last update that our plan was to take the entire month of April and do a through job of core aerating the entire golf course. As you know we have traditionally maintained two partial closure days in both spring and fall for putting surface aeration which went very well this spring. We are currently coming up on four weeks out from the procedure and the greens are performing well. Immediately following the greens our plan was to core aerate tees and fairways. This is where the wet early spring weather caused some delays.

To remove cores from an entire fairway requires dry weather. We typically core aerate the surface and drag all of the cores a bit to separate the soil from the thatch. Then we added a procedure of slicing the turf removing additional thatch and chopping up the cores even further. Following this we sweep up the remaining mess with sweepers picking up all of that removed thatch. Next we mow and blow the surface and we are done, simple. Simple, yet messy if it is dry, virtually impossible and a disaster type mess if it is wet.

Wet weather in the spring also hinders our ability to mow and keep turf under control. This problem is particularly noticeable in the longer mowed turf such as around the greens and tees and native rough. The longer days and somewhat warmer temperatures cause the turf to grow at a faster pace and the wet weather hinders our ability to mow. When we can finally get to an area and mow after it adequately dries out, we sometimes end up scalping some areas, which can lend to some temporary unsightliness.

On the bright side we have not had to purchase water or irrigate very much so far this spring. Bottom line we are a little behind on aeration and we have some really tall native grass that we are chasing. Dealing with weather issues is, and always will be something that is part of maintaining and playing a golf course, part of the charm and part of the fun.

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