This year gets better and better. We start with an extremely dry April and early May followed by an extremely wet late May and June. This pattern has continued going into July with consistently high humidity resulting in violent storms that have rocked the golf course in a variety of ways. Some of these storms have dropped excessive amounts of rain on the golf course in a very short amount of time, resulting in washouts on bunkers and in some cases creating springs underground that cause persistent wet areas that take weeks to go away-if the rain stops. Some storms bring the added benefit of lightning which has, on two separate occasions, caused damage to irrigation satellites and computer components. These two items take labor and money to repair but are things that we are accustomed to dealing with and really not a huge deal. The latest gift, however, is not something that happens every year.
The relentless rainfall that we have received during the latter part of May and into the middle of June created numerous challenges for the golf course and crew. We received close to the entire monthly rainfall amount for June in the first half of the month and the place showed it. Numerous cart path only rulings and difficulty in accomplishing routine maintenance. Fortunately that appears behind us for now and the course in moving into summer form.
Fires across Northern Minnesota this May were a pretty good indicator of just how dry conditions were throughout the entire month on the golf course. I do not recall irrigating as much in any other previous year and while many would think that this makes things tougher, the fact is most superintendents prefer this over the opposite-too much rain. We can always add more water but on this site it is not so easy to remove it. We like to be able to have control of conditions and with dry weather this control is much easier to achieve. Our production as a golf course staff this May has been outstanding as a result of dry conditions. I may say it too much but my staff makes me enjoy coming to work in the morning. They all share a commitment to the golf course that makes me proud.
To me the most enjoyable time of the year to be working on the golf course is the time period from when snow melts and the course opens to play and the time period from closing day until conditions become too harsh to work outside productively. While there is definitely more physical, “character building” type of work that requires completion before we open, the feeling of accomplishing projects that make the golf course better in the future makes it worthwhile. Add to this the fact that you do not have to look over your shoulder wondering where the next player is and spring/fall work is pretty cool stuff.
Much has changed since our last newsletter and I am pleased to report that the golf course came through the winter in outstanding condition-thanks to a mild winter and our proven methods of protecting the property from winter turf diseases. The photo below is a great example of just how effective our techniques are for ensuring consistent, quality conditions for our customers on a steady basis year after year. Sometimes turf loss is inevitable after the worst of winters, but this year was not one of those years.