We have always said that it takes one good rainfall to help the course completely heal from aerification. Unfortunately, that didn't happen this year. As of last Wednesday, we were over 3.5" behind in precipitation for the past 60 days. Given this lack of rain, we have relied almost exclusively on the irrigation system to provide the water the "patient" requires following major surgery. Over 800 man hours have been dedicated to hand watering fairways this season, as a supplement to the irrigation system sprinklers. Yet, with no rain, it's been a battle trying to maintain moisture at a uniform level, which will help the turf recover most quickly.
|An unirrigated section of the course.|
The second blow from this one-two punch has been the excessive heat. Last week, we enjoyed heat wave number five, and this week we may be dealing with number six. For the first time in 42 years, September started with four days in the 90s. Again, this has proved to slow recovery from aerification and lead us to irrigate more than we typically would under normal growing conditions this time of year.
|Our on site weather station's recording last Wednesday.|
With cooler temperatures and timely rainfall, late summer and early fall often allow us to provide some of the best playing conditions of the year--firm and fast. Undoubtedly, we will get there...just not as quickly as we'd like.