I thought that this would be a good opportunity to share my thinking on several subjects that have come up recently. Hopefully this will help everyone understand why we make the decisions we do regarding the golf course.
Cart Path Only Due to Excessive Heat
When the air temperature, dew point, humidity level and soil moisture levels are in the correct proportion wilting occurs on the fairways. The damage done by carts when driven through these areas is obvious and can be seen throughout the fairways. Through education, training and experience we can determine when the turf is wilting. While the turf may be ok in the morning, when the conditions are just right it happens quickly. Unfortunately we do not have a reliable way to determine exactly when this will occur. So while it may be ok to drive on the fairways in the morning, once wilting does occur, it takes a long time to inform everyone on the course that it is cart path only thus causing damage to the turf before communication can occur. Therefore we make the cart path only decision in the morning based on the information we have.
Long term we are looking at wetting agents (types and rates) and a turf type sunscreen to reduce wilting and get golfers on the fairways. While I do not believe we will a solution this weekend, it is something we are actively working on so carts can be on fairways as much as possible.
So far there is undoubtedly marked improvement in collar health since last year. Although July and August are still ahead of us! We've decided to take a proactive stance and are doing some cultural and fertility practices on areas that traditionally have thinned out in the past. Especially collars on holes #3, #6 and #8. There is no doubt we are moving in the right direction and am appreciative of everyone's patience and understanding.