Sunday, January 31, 2010
The greens are recovering nicely. 2/3 of them are in perfect shape, but some of them like #5, 7, and 13 need another week or two for full recovery. #4, 10, 15, 16 and the putter are all getting better, but still far too weak and thin to allow golfer traffic. The weather has been wonderful for both the project and the greens recovery, so let's hope it continues.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
So far we have not had to close a golf hole. Tuesday we had to move the pin back into the fairway as they crossed in front of the #8 green and Wednesday we had #4 play as a par 3 from the 200 yard marker in the fairway. These are both good examples of what we may have to do from time to time.
Speaking of good weather. When was the last time I had anything good to say about this subject? Maybe the El Nino is starting to kick in. We really needed this warmth and sunshine for a speedy recovery of the greens. We are seeing tremendous recovery over the past 7 days since we closed many of them. We have also aerated all of the greens for a second time in the last 3 weeks with 3/8" solid tines which do not remove a core. They are spaced 1.5" apart and penetrate 3" deep. That's a lot of holes! This will allow the roots to breath and expand, thus strengthening them over the next couple of months. The holes should close up in about a week once the greens are rolled a few times.
We will be opening greens #1,2,3,6,8,9,11,12,14,17 and 18 on Saturday morning. They were mildly affected and have come back to full health already. We anticipate #5,7,13 and the putting greening returning to play in about 2 weeks if the weather holds up. Expect #4,10,15 and 16 to be even longer with #10 being closed perhaps until mid April. These are merely estimates at this point based on mild weather patterns.
Let's hope this author continues the feel good messages and doesn't have to write anymore horror stories.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The 10th green is becoming more difficult to manage each year as the trees directly south are growing taller. These trees are not on club property. It is becoming an identical problem to #4 and 15 which we have dealt with every winter. #10 however has the unfortunate addition of being the coldest spot on the golf course and also has almost zero air circulation. #10 stays closed days after the other greens are cleared for play from frost.
We can all agree the weather patterns over the past 12 months have been quite extreme for our region. These extremes have spelled doom for our root system. We have roughly 45 to 60 days of poor growing conditions ahead of us before we start to see significant improvement in the greens. The sun is still too low on the horizon and temperatures are still too low for recovery. If we continue to allow foot traffic and mower traffic on the greens in question, we will undoubtedly experience even more turf loss over the next 60 days.
The greens need a break. We are doing everything we can to promote root development right now, but it's a losing battle as long as golfer traffic and mower traffic interfere with progress. We need to accept that we have a problem on our hands and look forward to the spring and summer when the turf is expected to be in perfect shape. This approach is being taken at many other courses in the Portland and Seattle area, as they too have suffered dramatic turf loss and thinning over the past month.
Please be patient in our efforts to bring the greens back to their normal condition. We do not have a timeline for them since every green will react differently and the weather needs to cooperate. Thank you...your humbled superintendent!