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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.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Making The Call!

Major Club Tournament...
Preparation began weeks ago...
Everything in our control is executed exactly how we planned it... Even anticipation of rain!

2:30am... it's raining heavy
5:00am... consistent heavy rain
5:30am... 2 inches rain but looks like it should be done by 6:30. We have prepared for this. Course is as dry as we can make it. The firmer the better. Heavy rain will roll off the top and we won't damage the course.
6:30am... send staff out to pump bunkers clear drains and squeegee greens. Our goal is to make course playable for 10:00am shotgun (27 holes today)
7:30am... unexpected "pop-up" showers start
8:30am... showers and heavier rain keep coming!
9:00am... staff pulled off course because everything we've accomplished so far is now back to where we started
9:10am... send another mass email to members saying we will hope for 1:00 shotgun and only play 18 holes (keep enough staff on hand for cup changing and squeegee greens)
10:45am... despite our best efforts, no way this tournament is going to be played today. Send mass email, update website again and personally inform players that have already arrived.

It is the worst case scenario for everyone. The entire club staff has been preparing for weeks to provide the best experience for the members! We have everything ready! I don't just mean the course. There is food preparation, pro-shop preparation, etc., etc. Communication between departments is imperative this morning because we all rely on each other.

At what point do we make the call for the day? We don't want to string the members along too long and then say the course is closed for the day. We don't want to jeopardize the integrity of such a major club event by just sending everyone out to play in such sub-par conditions. We don't want to sacrifice the short and long term health of our turfgrass for the sake of one day.
We had 2 inches of rain at 5:30 am. We had another .7 inches by 10:00am. We made the call and it was the right call. Even as I write this at 3:55 and the sun is shining... there are still puddles on several greens and carts would not be available.

Front of #15 tee looking toward #17 fairway at 6:00am

Same shot from #15 tee looking toward #17 fairway at 7am

#18 green

Heavy rain separating turf from soil on #9... ready to cut with knife

Turf cut with knife on #9 to relieve pressure

Maintenance staff pumping water out of bunkers in futility

#1 green and bunker at 10:30am... Time to make the call!!!
See you in the morning for the first 27 holes of the event!