Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thankfully, the past two days have been mostly rain free and the course is beginning to slowly dry out.  The maintenance crew has been working overtime to make up for time lost due to weather over the past week and will continue throughout the weekend.  Pond levels are slowly receding with the help of additional trash pumps, and should vacate the fairways over the weekend allowing us to complete the first cut on every surface by Monday.

  While the course is getting drier, it is important to remember that while we are able to begin mowing most of the surfaces, the mowing heights had to be raised significantly to avoid causing a decline in plant health that would be felt throughout the winter months.  The standard rule of mowing heights is that removing any more than 1/3 of the leaf tissue at one time will significantly reduce the health of the plant.  With the height of all short grass surfaces being below 1/2 an inch when the golf course is open, missing multiple mows means we have had to raise the heights significantly and will need to work them back down one day at a time.

  The greens are mowed seven days a week to achieve acceptable green speeds, with the fairways, tees and approaches being mowed a minimum of three times a week to avoid removing too much leaf tissue at one time.  In order to account for the missed cuts we will be increasing the number of times each surface is mowed over the next week allowing us to work the mowing heights down incrementally without shocking the plants.

  Another point to remember is that each surface, with the exception of the rough, is only 90 days old, and it takes a year for the plants to fully mature.  While it would be possible to simply scalp down all of the playing surfaces in order to open sooner than next Friday, doing so would be a disservice to the entire membership as the shock to young plants would cause a slow decline of plant health throughout the cooler months and likely result in less satisfying playing conditions.  Both the pro shop and golf maintenance staff are just as disappointed by the unavoidable delay as the membership is, but to disregard the conditions of the golf course for the entire season in order to gain one week would be unforgivable.  We ask that you bear with us for one more week and allow us the opportunity to provide you with a golf experience worthy of your patience over the past four months.

The greens were fertilized on Thursday to replace nutrients flushed through the soil profile by the excessive rain.

A close up view showing the difference between our target height of cut and the current height.

View from the cart path to #4 green.  The pond is nearly halfway across the fairway, but is receding quickly.

The tee and approach mowers filled their carts with clippings after only 5 holes.

This shot from the afternoon shows how far the water has retreated thanks to the addition of a second pump.

The water feature at the fourth tee will recede as the level of the pond it drains to drops.

We were able to mow a number of the fairways at the increased height of cut this afternoon.

Despite the increase in mowing height, the fairway mowers still removed a lot of grass.

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