Sunday, July 10, 2016

Riding the Roller Coaster

We're approaching mid-July, and as always seems to be the case, it feels like we're on the weather roller coaster ride!  We received close to 8" of rain in May, followed by less than 2" in June; and as of July 10, we have already gotten 3.5" of rain this month.

One of the most challenging aspects of water management at this time of year is dealing with the uncertainty which comes with the typical heat, high humidity, and pop-up thunderstorms.  We often see storms split around Philadelphia, missing us to the north and south as they cross the Delaware River.  However, on Friday evening, the golf course got dumped on, while some surrounding neighborhoods experienced only light showers.

The rainfall total Friday was 2.4", or 65,000 gallons of water per acre.  Looking at the bunkers on Saturday morning, it was clear that the velocity of this heavy rain was way too fast to infiltrate the soil.  Instead, most of it quickly ran off, causing significant damage to these hazards.

Many hands may not have made for light work, but the team did a great job trying to get the sand back in place.

In addition to what we saw in the bunkers on Saturday, pulling a couple of plugs on #9 fairway confirmed that the quick-hitting storm did little to wet the soil profile, leaving many localized dry spots.

Obviously, water is just one piece of the puzzle in maintaining the course now.  The extreme temperature swings make for another gut-wrenching part of the ride, which certainly keeps grass growing interesting in this region!

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