Thursday, August 18, 2011

Preparations for Club Championship

It has been very pleasant, and relatively dry around The Saw this week; something we haven't really had a lot of over the past month.  It is certainly nice to get the golf course back to a point where we can control moisture levels, and perhaps firm things up in preparation for the Club Championship.

We are starting to really notice how hard this summer has been on the golf course.  Between the extreme heat, and the very wet weather, I have really noticed a change in the dynamic of the turf over the past week.  The saving grace is that daytime temperatures are beginning to fall, as are night time temperatures, which will certainly aid in the recovery of the turf.  At this point, my main thought is that we need to get some air into the turf plant.  Having said that, we will be dusting off our tow behind Aerway next week, in an attempt to open up the soil profile in many fairways and tees, to allow the plant to breathe.

In addition to the weak and tired turf, we are still seeing our little Anthracnose problem attack the weaker Poa in the fairways.  Once again, this is not a terrible tragedy, as the Anthracnose is really only attacking the Poa, which is just fine by me!  For the time being, you will notice some isolated patchy areas looking something like this:



With the Poa receiving such harsh treatment from this awful turf disease, it is allowing the bent a chance to spread and take over the area that it once occupied.  And bent grass reclaiming its former territory is never a bad thing!  The amazing thing about this Anthracnose outbreak, is that this is the first year we have ever had to deal with it here at Sawmill.  It's simply a by-product of this very hot, very wet weather.

Our moss trial is going well after 7 days.  The bent grass is certainly making a comeback after being tested by this product, and I am starting to see some positive results on the moss front.  We will keep monitoring this experiment, and I will be sure to let you know how we make out.

With Club Championship week amongst us, and despite popular belief, we really don't do anything different than we normally do on a day to day basis. Okay sure, maybe we cut a little more at night to accomplish cleaner cuts, and yes there is the possibility of a double cut of greens if we find that growth patterns spike or we receive some rain, but for the most part, its status quo for this event.  This is a decision that both Paul and myself made, in an effort to provide the same test of golf, on the exact golf course you have become accustomed to all year long.  I suppose the only real difference you will find is that Paul chooses the pin placements for these two days.....and naturally I need to insert the joke here as to how much easier Paul makes the pin placements this weekend, then they are on any other day of the year.......sorry Paul, it had to be said!

On a serious note, our wonderful head Pro struggled to find a pin placement on both #13 and #17, that wasn't surrounded by ball marks.  It's unfortunate that it has come to this, that our club championship could be altered by something so unnecessary as a putt gone astray by a ball mark; but this is the reality of the state of these two greens......

Finally today, it is that time of the year when we do start to see the disappearance of some of our teammates, as they return to school.  This week, the Turf Department's very own "Monkey" as he became known to us, or Rory as his parents named him, has set off for school in Chicago, on a baseball scholarship.  This was Rory's second tour of duty with us here at Sawmill, and was always good company to have on the golf course.  Thanks for the help this summer Rory, and don't forget to remember all your buddies, and especially your former boss when you make your first Major League start in a few years.......

As always, if you have any questions please don'[t hesitate to contact me at jamie.downton@sawmill-creek.com.

Good luck this weekend!

Jamie

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