Friday, May 13, 2011

Ball Mark Blitz

This is an email which I sent out to the Sawmill Creek members this morning.  The purpose of this experiment was to give a visual as to how bad our ball mark situation has become in the past few months..........
 
Good morning Sawmill members, 
 
This is the second straight day of some very summer-like weather - hot, hazy, and the constant threat of thunder storms!  Although, from what I hear, we were lucky to dodge the bullet that Sarnia took yesterday......
 
This is the first mass email I have sent in quite some time, as I have converted my form of communication from email, to an online blog.  If you have not yet visited the blog, you can find it at http://sawmillcreekturf.blogspot.com.  I tend to update the blog on a daily basis; whether it be through twitter, or as an actual full-length book which you have all come to expect from me!  To stay informed with the comings and goings of everything happening at The Saw, I suggest bookmarking the site and having a daily peek.....
 
So in case you missed it, as Paul mentioned in his Pro Shop update on Tuesday, I was in a bit of a sour mood on Monday morning.  And no it didn't have anything to do with the fact that my two kids only allow me to sleep all of three hours a night; I've gotten used to this unfortunately.....
 
But moving on........
 
I was quite disturbed with the shear volume of fresh ball marks located on our greens on Monday morning; a trend which has seemingly continued through this week.  In fact, this has not just become a problem which we can brush aside and not worry about; it has become a serious issue which must be dealt with immediately.
 
Yesterday morning, I sent Bryan out to #13 green, armed with 700 golf tees and 40 yellow marking flags.  The purpose of this exercise was to give everyone a clear sense as to how deep this problem has become.  In other words, I am hoping that a picture will tell a thousand words.  So what you see below, are 40 yellow flags indicating all of the fresh ball marks created during Wednesday's play.  The 700 tees indicate ball marks which have been left alone over time, that were ever repaired incorrectly, or were never repaired at all and have therefore left a nasty scar on the green.  Have a look..........
 

And here is some more...............




And one more for good measure.........


 
So the reason why we used 700 tees was simply because that is what we counted in the shop yesterday morning.  Unfortunately we were wrong.  We ran out.  My best guess is that we could have used another 200 tees.  This is the same story as the yellow flags.
 
We had 161 rounds on Wednesday, of which there were only 13 non-member rounds during the day.  I think this shows us that this problem lies within.....
 
I as well had the pleasure of playing the golf course on Wednesday afternoon, and I will make one note about the ball mark issue; it can be difficult to see your own mark as the sun begins its descent in the sky.  With our greens still sporting a brownish hue due to their dormancy, it was difficult to find your own mark.  Having said that, it certainly wasn't hard to find other ball marks, other than your own in a quick 15 second scan.
 
In my professional opinion, we are at a very critical point with the ball mark issue.  In some cases, the damage on our greens has been done.  By leaving ball marks unrepaired, we have allowed the intrusion of Poa annua into our greens. Poa is more susceptible to disease and drought issues, which will no doubt hinder turf quality come the difficult summer months.  And of course there is the obvious issue of ball marks in that it will affect ball roll every single day.
 
Let's take a step back in time to August of last year.  I sent out an email update proclaiming how great the girls during the Royale Cup were in regards to golf course etiquette.  I could not find a single ball mark during that week, which showed me the respect that these ladies had for both the golf course, and their fellow competitors.  This is something that each and every one of us here at Sawmill should mimic in our daily rounds.
 
I am hoping that this is an issue that is about to disappear.  Golf is meant to be a fun, enjoyable game, enjoyed in the beauty of the environment and all it has to offer.  It is not meant to have the distraction of a grumpy Superintendent harping on and on about ball marks.  I know we can be better than this.
 
It is time to make a change......
 
As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at jamie.downton@sawmill-creek.com
 
Enjoy the sun!
 
Jamie

2 comments:

  1. Fix you ball marks!

    Fix yours - plus two more!

    ReplyDelete
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