The end of a pretty frustrating week with a number of irrigation issues resulting in no water being available for the courses until Friday night. The problem was a number of leaks on the town water control line that feeds the satellites throughout the courses. Just a small leak is enough for sprinklers to either leak and/or fully come on and finding the leaks is very difficult, nearing on impossible some times. We use the services of a leak detector firm who are very adept at locating the leaks but it is a needle in a haystack situation even though we know where the pipes are located. It is generally only a 16mm pipe that services the satellites and often the leak can be on the underside of the pipe and spraying straight down in to the sand and not visible on the surface. Finally progress was made on Friday and a full irrigation program ran overnight in to Saturday. The new greens were starting to stress and I dare say that if we still had Bentgrass greens they may have been in real danger of perishing. Here's hoping for some settled time ahead with the irrigation system.
The bonus of the warmer sunny conditions this week was a bit of colour coming back throughout the courses though not enough to cause any real growth. It's still very important to sand your divots and repair pitchmarks on greens as a courtesy to other players and to give the turf the best chance. As I have said before "Leave the course as you would like to find it"!!
Obviously a lot of golf talk this week is directed at the US Open. I have a few friends who are there either as spectators or volunteering and they are unanimous in their opinion of the incredibly good turf conditions. I am yet to see any footage but have heard that the greens have been a little bumpy which is a common problem with the type of grass they have there which is the same as Oakmont who have some of the best greens in the world. A crew numbering in the 40's is the normal staffing level at Shinnecock so the 150 volunteers takes the crew to near 200 for the week!! Kind of shades the 9 crew at Cool Tweed on Friday which was unusually low though due to some annual and sick leave.
|The lunchroom at Shinnecock!!|
|Just some of the machinery in their shed!!|