Believe it or not, today's rain was a help in the agronomic department. While the torrential rains of late have exposed many classic and not so classic wet areas, we actually had some wilt on greens. In a normal year we would never even think about wilt on April 8th! We shifted gears quickly yesterday and fired up the irrigation system. As of noon today, we were operational short of normal fixes after a long winter.
Superintendents have a tendency to get a little nervous when laying sod the first week of April and we reach record temperatures stretching into the nineties.
The sod was laid on the practice green and surrounds yesterday. Some of the sod that was installed on the practice green is looking a little weak. The sod was cut from a farm where the bentgrass had not yet broken dormancy. In addition, it wilted on the truck before arriving at The Farms. The next week or so will tell if some spots bounce back. If not, they will be replaced immediately.
We will be performing many types of maintenance to the green in the next few weeks to facilitate a quick recovery. Remember this was major surgery! I will have a much better idea in the next week or two when we will be able to re-open the green. It will be worth the wait. We will finally have a quality practice surface and surrounds.
The next big step in the project is some functional yet aesthetically pleasing landscaping between the two greens. We will be picking landscape materials which provide a barrier for sound and errant shots without creating another seventy foot sun-blocking, grass-killing wall. This will be completed before April 24th.
As far as the course...
Greens- I have heard lately that the greens are slow. Absolutely right! They are still breaking dormancy. They are healing from early aerification. It is April ninth. The air temperature may be ninety-three but soil temperatures are still near fifty-five degrees.
We lowered the height of cut three weeks earlier than normal because of the weather. The greens just need time to get to the level the members are accustomed to. I'm waiting for genetics and mother nature just like everyone else. Remember... April ninth. I promise it will happen.
Bunkers- The bunkers have been edged repaired and are all playable. We have added one-hundred tons of sand to improve playability.
Tennis- The tennis courts are being prepared for the season and we are expecting everything to be ready for early next week. Peter Wilson will be heading up the maintenance of the tennis and clubhouse areas. He will not dissapoint!
Pool- Sorry next month!