Today we received another .75″ of rain. While we wish this would have missed us we were fortunate that we did not get hit by the majority of the passing storm. Unfortunately, this made for some very tough decisions leading up to and after the rain event.
The past two weeks have provided some of the most challenging circumstances we can imagine while managing turf. Hot & humid conditions, 5.9″ of rain, night time temperatures above 70° (last night was 80°), sunshine between storms, and very little air movement; an absolute nightmare. These conditions create a perfect environment for disease outbreak and we all know how quickly that can take over and ruin the experience for the rest of the year.
Midwest summers do not provide much assistance in growing roots as soil temperatures can remain above the desired range. We focus our “off season” months trying to grow roots while we fight during the season to maintain the healthiest roots we can to combat any stress. Last weeks flood quickly compromised our turf grass as the saturated soils heated up and roots began to dieback. We worked hard to remove any surface water to minimize the leaf scorching but the soil conditions were out of our control. As we continue to improve our internal drainage we will help to remedy this problem as water will be able to evacuate the soil quicker.
The decision to allow carts or restrict traffic after a rain event always proves to be more challenging than one would imagine. We will always look for alternatives to assist in getting you on the course in a cart and today the best option was to restrict carts to back 9 rough only. I understand that the back 9 rough is likely to have more standing water but there are also far drier areas available to avoid puddles on the back nine than on the front. If we were to allow carts in the fairways we risked the potential to create more depressions and ruts due to the soft soil conditions. With stressed turf leading into the rain and squishy surfaces after, any cart traffic across the fairways would also have set back any recovery we have had since the flood.
Please be patient during the difficult weather with the decisions on carts. If you rely on a cart to play your round, please contact the golf shop prior to your arrival to confirm availability. If you have been delayed due to a storm, stop in the clubhouse and grab a soda and a sandwich while we evaluate and do our best to get you back out! I assure you that we do not like removing carts from the course, but sometimes it’s in our best interest to give the grass a break.
– J.R. Lynn, GCS