Recovery continues on the golf course with a very good seed catch on the 7th green-the one most punished area by our terrible winter. While the green is certainly not race ready, the recovery is gaining momentum and accelerating. Before and after pictures from seven are below:
7 Green April 28, 2018
7 Green June 7, 2018
7 Green June 7, 2018
Note the abundance of seedlings on the picture. This area was completely and thoroughly smoked a month ago. Considering that the early part of May was quite cold at times (we had a frost on May 20), I am pleased with this kind of progress after really only about three weeks of decent growing weather-with the wear and tear of golfers on the turf. Temporary greens are not really an option at this facility. Now that we are moving into some summer-like weather, I expect the recovery to accelerate rather quickly.
Overall, the golf course on the whole is looking more like its old self with the passing of every day. Most of the golf course looks much like the picture of 18 below:
Hole 18 June 7, 2018
Other than some low lying parts of fairways that are still in the recovery process, the golf course is actually growing through the damage quite well. This does not just happen on its own.
We have been continually seeding, fertilizing, and watering to get the course to where it is today. The work load has been unusually high for this time of the year. I am just glad that I have such a great crew to work with throughout this whole experience. The two biggest things to be learned from the recovery process are:
1. Patience. Grass will only grow as much as temperatures permit-even with the excessively high levels of fertility we are running at the moment. Waiting for the work to payoff-like it finally is now-is like watching a pot boil.
2. Balance. The other work involved with maintaining a golf course does not go away while we sling seed around. This is always one of the busiest times in a normal year with other types of work as well-such as ornamental plantings, aerification, and bunker maintenance. We have to be able to focus on everything, not just problematic areas. I think a lot of supers get in trouble when other work gets neglected due to a single focus on a recovery.
I look forward to these next few weeks as our recovery accelerates and we begin to round into mid-season form. When we are satisfied that the recovery is virtually complete, we will at that point begin to lean the golf course back and try to shoot for a firmer, faster playing surface. This is something that is impossible to do while we are recovering-but will be something that we will accomplish as soon as we can. In the meantime, the golf course remains highly playable and while the course is softer and slower than we would like, it still remains a great test of golf and a great place to be.
Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of our efforts. I have been very impressed by the understanding shown by almost all customers. I am stopped almost daily by those who understand just how long this past winter was and how intense our efforts have been to make them happy. Very encouraging indeed.
See you on the course.