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It is my intention to give the readers a better understanding of what we do to maintain The Farms Country Club's 18 hole championship golf course and grounds.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's Raining Here But It's U.S. Open Week!

Six inches of rain in the last week and still climbing! Today’s heavy rain, coupled with the already saturated ground conditions, will ensure that our weekend’s course conditions will be soggy to say the least. I’m pretty tired of posting that “Carts must stay on paths and follow white lines”.

One positive of this weekend is the U.S. Open! One of my favorite tournaments of the year! This year the tournament is being played at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. I was lucky enough to watch a little of the first round yesterday. While the course was set up long, 7,514 yards, it looked pretty fair.

Course Preparation!
Photo by the USGA's John Mummert
One thing I did notice was some of the areas on and around the greens where the creeping bentgrass was definitely stressed. Congressional went through a complete rebuild of the greens in 2009 and used an A-1 / A-4 creeping bentgrass blend. These are two of the newer, denser cultivars of creeping bentgrass on the market and are rated very highly. Included in the rebuild was a “state-of-the-art” Sub-Air system. This is basically a system which is attached to the drainage pipe network under the green and has the capability of sucking excess moisture out of the soil profile or pumping air in when oxygen levels are depleted.

The hot weather of late, in conjunction with the increased maintenance required for this type of tournament looks to have taken a bit of a toll on the turf health. No matter how good or how many tools are at the superintendent’s disposal, Mother Nature still holds the cards. I’m glad to see that no one is painting the turf green or hiding the brown spots with green camera filters. I think it’s important for the golfing public to see what happens to turf when we stress it to that extent.
I’ve been enjoying the “behind the scenes” blogging by Scott Hollister and his team at GCM. GCM is the official blog of The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America's, Golf Course Management Magazine. The entries have covered everything from first round course set-up, to course conditioning, to “what’s up with the greens”? They even have Twitter updates. Great Stuff!

Check out GCM’s Blog at… http://gcm.typepad.com/gcm/

Good luck to Congressional CC’s Director of Golf/Superintendent, Mike Giuffre and his maintenance team this week! I’m looking forward to one of my favorite things about Father’s Day, final round at the U.S. Open!