March 18--Now I know how many people actually read this blog. Only 1!! ( probably 2 because my mom reads this too!) That is how many guesses I have received for the number of sprinklers on the course from last weeks entry (see below). I hope there are more people reading and just not guessing. Come on you always need more golf balls-give a guess! Going to give it another week and then reveal the winner and number.
Warm weather has hastened the green up of the fairways but the greens are lagging behind. That is due to the prolonged exposure this winter with no snow cover to speak of. The plant tissue was totally dessicated down to the crown. So the plant has to regenerate a whole new leaf which takes more time until you start seeing the green leaf tip emerge. It was another tough winter (although not as bad as last year) but you can see the cumulative effect of cold, dry exposure on the plant and its ability to get going in the spring. For the most part the greens look like they will be OK but there will be a few knobs with some thinning. It can be tough to assess just how much yet because some of the plants are just starting to emerge from the crown- a testament to how tough they really are but scary knowing just how precarious their situation is during the winter.
March 10-- The course is open for play and the weather is great for early March so dust off your clubs and come on out. The turf is still very brown but is starting to darken up and with these nice temps should be looking a bit greener by the weekend. We get lots of "when are you going to mow the greens?" questions this time of year and that all depends on the weather. The best guess is around March 25 which is our average first mowing, but if it stays warm it could be earlier. One reason we don't mow too early is that our reel mowers need moisture in the leaf to lubricate the blades and reduce heat buildup. If there is only brown tissue with no moisture, damage can occur to our freshly sharpened blades-definitely not what we want. Also, the sand topdressing from last fall can exacerbate that issue so we like to wait until we have some green in our greens before we mow.
The irrigation system has been charged and we are in the process of auditing it to reveal any problems caused by the blowout. Sprinklers are designed to run with water, not air, so winterization can potentially damage them. So we check each head in the spring for problems like non-rotation, busted nozzles, etc. to ensure efficient irrigation for the season. Trivia question is how many sprinkler heads are on the entire course (including clubhouse lawn, practice area, and range)? Email (address below) your guesses and I will reward the closest guess with a sleeve of balls.