Friday, May 22, 2020

A wet week which hasn't happened for a while and considering the height of the water table we were always going to get wet quickly which is exactly what happened. The weeks rainfall totals were; Sunday 10mm,  Monday 20mm, Tuesday 2mm, Wednesday 27mm, Thursday 31mm and this morning 2mm for a weeks total of 92mm.  That takes us up to 1662mm for the year thus far.  In comparison Coolangatta airport had 41mm this week for a YTD total of 1276mm.   Making the call to restrict motorised buggies is always difficult but was certainly necessary this week with the ground conditions.  Another consideration at this time of year is also the lack of recovery weather so that if we do get damage it's going to remain evident for quite a while.

And you know it's wet when disease starts to affect the fairways as can be seen below on 9W fairway today.  This only happens after prolonged periods of leaf wetness which is exactly what happened this week.  And the other photo is of 12R on Wednesday morning at 7.15am and that was one of the fairways that caused motorised buggies to be restricted.

9W fairway disease.

12R fairway Wednesday.

We have been having some issues at the pump station with pump control and the automatic filter that is a vital piece of the irrigation system.  The pumps issue seems to be related to the software in the irrigation control program but the filter has even the technical department of the supply company stumped.  We are back up and running for now and fortunately didn't need any irrigation this week although we had to run some on Friday to activate the pumps.

And some juvenile wildlife on the course this week with a family of pacific black ducks waddling along 9W tee.  I don't mind these as they don't feed and poop on the greens the way wood ducks do.  I would much rather these juveniles than the one in the other photo below that was ''snapped'' on a course in Naples Florida this week.

Trying to keep up on 9W tee.

No thanks!

It was good to see some live golf earlier in the week with the charity skins game at Seminole in Florida.  Seeing the Pro's carry their own bags was quite a sight and obviously Dustin doesn't do it very often as he walked of the first tee with bag back to front.  He did however get smoothng the bunker with your feet right as shown in the video below.  He even raked Ricky Fowler's marks out as well and considering there was no one else following was a good effort by him.  I don't think the same could be said for Rory at the end of the video though with a good example of what not to do.

Seminole is quite an amazing golf club and I have been lucky enough to visit and play it twice.  On my first visit in 1988 I was hosted by long time Seminole Superintendent Bill Whitaker and he was a fabulous host.  It is an intensely private club and had a strict ''no photos'' edict so I have no photographic evidence of my visit although I did get some photos inside the maintenance shed. In 1988 I don't think any of the membership actually lived in Florida which is much the same today.  They only have about 300 members and it is probably the most difficult course to get a game on in the USA.  Bill relayed a couple of stories including the time the club President rang him and asked him to come up to the pro shop and join him for a round to make up a four ball.  Bill was a very handy player and resisted but finally gave in and on arriving at the pro shop shook hands with his playing partner who was the great Ben Hogan.  Hogan would practice at Seminole every year in the lead up to the Master's as he reckoned that if you could play Seminole you could play anywhere.  Another story was when Jack Nicklaus played there and on reporting to the pro shop was asked to pay a green fee.  Jack said ''you know who I am?'' and the reply was ''yes sir but all guests pay to play here''!!  Jack asked for a receipt as he said the tax department will never believe he had to pay to play a round of golf.

The course is closed from May to November as are many other courses in Florida but is still fully maintained during this time.  (Too hot to play golf.)  It also has a rule that it shuts the gates at 6pm every night no matter what is happening.  That was obviously broken last week with the game going overtime but it wasn't broken when Ernie Els had to come in after only 15 holes a few years back.  The TV coverage really didn't do the course justice as it is an extremely difficult course despite its short length by todays standards.

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