Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Spring out of July

August has arrived - always a joyous occasion for the turf professional as the days become shorter and the finish line starts to appear on the horizon.  It is not said to wish time away, but intended as the joy that a marathon runner feels when they see the finish line - pride of accomplishment but still an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion.

This season is like most others - a wicked ride on a roller coaster of weather patterns.  What started out as one of the driest seasons I have experienced at Sawmill, has given way to a two week pattern with an abundance of rain and growth conditions that we generally see in May and June.  During the latest period of drought, our turf saved its energy and retreated to a dormancy.  All of those stored carbohydrates are now being released causing this influx of growth - leaving us short of our desired cleanliness goal as seen below:

Rough clippings everywhere!
Trying to keep up with fairway growth

It is easy to forget during extended weather periods such as what we are in right now, just how dry it was early in the season....fortunately we have this blog to remind us!  Bearing in mind that we have not had to run any irrigation cycles whatsoever in more than two weeks, we have still surpassed - this season - the total amount we used in all of 2017....a staggering statistic when coupled with the fact that we did so shortly after July began.

Which brings me to the question which has been posed recently as to why all of this wet weather has not resulted in our irrigation pond level rising.  During the period of July 16th to the 30th, we experienced close to 70 mm of precipitation.  These rain events occurred over several days, and were never much hindrance other than to keep everything growing hard. With the ground having been as dry as it was in the previous months, it simply absorbed all it could get, resulting in very little run off.  That run off is what typically refills our pond which has now resulted in its level remaining relatively flat.  With all of our storage ponds at, or near capacity and the calendar flipping into August, I am confident that we have more than enough water to get through the season, even should the tap in the skies shut off.

Pond Banks remain low

This is also a great time to point out just how great our greenside bunkers are performing after our renovation in 2016.  They are passing the wet weather test with flying colours!  Kudos to Dan W for the beautiful job he does at bunker setup each and every time he is out there.

Thanks for reading,


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