Wet start to the holiday weekend but it should clear up in time to enjoy a beautiful Sunday and Monday! Next week looks to be a roller coaster of weather but hopefully the trend doesn’t stick with us long. Last night we received 1.5″ of rain and it has been a pretty constant drizzle since my arrival.
The condition of greens this morning was far too soft to mow, and we had hoped it cleared up in time to still get them cut. Unfortunately the weather did not clear. Without a doubt we will mow them tomorrow, weather should be much better and greens should have time to firm up prior to mowing.
If we decided to push the limits and mow when greens weren’t ready we run the risk of scalping because the mower will sink in more and cut lower than desired. When turf is scalped or put under additional stress during unfavorable times we are more susceptible to injury from encironmental conditions and disease.
While our greens were built to USGA standards some 20+ years ago, they do not react the same during rain as new greens would.
One of the main reasons our greens get softer and stay softer is due to the quality of water we apply during dry times via irrigation. Our water is very high in bicarbonates, sulfates, and suspended solids (silt). When it comes to the composition of our greens and the USGA specifications they were built to, the amount of silt in our water is freightening. As the small silt particles accumulate in our sand based greens they clog up the pore space which results in slower infiltration. One way to battle this problem is with ongoing aerfication to remove some of the contaminated material and replace with clean sand (completed in spring and fall). Another beneficial practice, that we should incorporate more often, is venting of greens with needle tines. This will help with gas exchange as well as breaking through the silty layer that is forming to allow better infiltration.
CCC has always fought this battle and will continue to do so. Bad weather just stresses the importance of our cultural practices and standing on guard when conditions are unfavorable. We never want to sacrifice the experience at the club. Bear with us when greens are slower; they aren’t dying and we haven’t stopped trying. We have the course health and playability in mind with every decision we make.
J.R. Lynn, GCS