What's Happening in Turf?
16 JUL 2021
Wet wet wet!!
Over the past 13 days we have received over 95mm of rain, yes that’s almost 4” of rain! I would bet we received about an inch more as our rain gauge does not catch the precipitation when it's coming down sideways! Rain is quite welcome at times during the summer but let’s be honest …not this much! Our grass is so green and growing fast, lots of clippings from growth, there are many saturated areas, carts and equipment getting stuck out there, drives bouncing backward, and over 11 acres of wet firm sand in our bunkers.
During these excessive wet periods, our bunker sand gets extremely saturated. With the heavy storms we received, sand does not stay on the steep faces and gets washed down. When this happens the rain then starts eroding the subgrades and we end up with mud contaminations in our low spots. Our process to get our traps back in shape is to remove the contamination using rakes and shovels, push up, shovel up the washed sand back onto the face, and then rake the edges and sand from the bases. This is back-breaking work on our crew, and when it's 30+ degrees C out it's even harder on them. We received 3 ‘events’ in 10 days that washed the face down (33mm, 37mm, and 22mm) this may be the most unrewarding task our crew has to take on. As I write this, we have just got the bunkers back in half decent shape and the forecast says 30+ mm and thunderstorms over the next 24 hours…ugh ugh. Fingers crossed we do not get the amounts they are calling for!
We also just tilled the bunkers with the tractor mount rake. Believe it there is lots of sand out there it's just very firm and wet. I hope you all notice some differences over the next few weeks.
Turf Tip of the week
With all the wet weather there is quite a bit of cart traffic damage out there. Please remember to keep all 4 tires on asphalt at green and tee sites and keep high and dry when on the courses. I often see a cart pulled just off the path and that’s where much of our traffic damage happens. Lastly when taking a cart please make every effort to empty the sand seed mix bin by the end of your round…it sure helps a lot.
Bill McAllister, Golf Course Superintendent