Friday, April 26, 2019

Well at least the volume of rain falling has decreased although it is still coming down with 561mm (22+ inches) of rain since February 1 and rain recorded on 50 out of 85 days following the driest January on record.  The courses are now taking a long time to dry out with the water table as high as it can just about be in non-flood times.  There is a wet patch on 6R fairway that is nowhere near any irrigation pipes and the water is coming out on the surface so is preumably groundwater.  The same thing has happened before on that fairway after a prolonged wet period and is an indication of just how wet it is.

One of the benefits of the rain is the flushing effect it can have on the soil structure, particularly on the greens.  I have mentioned previously that the irrigation water supplied to us is our lifeblood but it does have high sodium and chloride levels which do build up after time.  A soil test was taken on February 1 before the rains , then again on March 14 prior to the really high falls and again April 1.  The total soluble salts on 18R green were at a high of 1544ppm on Feb1 then dropped to 535ppm in March and then 267ppm in April which has had an obviously dramatic effect on turfgrass health.

Elsewhere on the courses the turfgrass is starting to slow down as we head towards winter.  Mowing heights have been lifted on tees and fairways and frequency of mowing operations is also reducing.  Divots on fairways (and greens) will become prominent now with slow recovery so more sand will be visible on the fairways.  That is as long as people use their sand buckets which is sometimes a challenge as the photos below show from the past 2 weeks.  Generally it is not worth replacing the divot unless it is very deep and long and even then some sand over the top helps to return to a level surface.

No attempt at repair.

Divot replaced on the left but sand would be better.
And when you do sand your divots it would help if the sand was levelled out by first of all not over filling the divot and then standing on the sand to smooth it out, unlike this effort below.

And then there was this one that was well sanded but unfortunately it was on 5W green during todays members competition!!

And from the history books this week is a shot from the early 80's with work being done on 9R green.  The old course maintenance shed can be seen in the background where the current TifEagle practice green sits.  And yes that trailer on the left is still in use today!!

Pre clubhouse extension.

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