Monday- Today started out with a half inch of some early morning rain. The greens are growing quickly so we planned on a double cut, followed by our "Invitational Spray" which will significantly slow down the growth on the greens, thus increasing the speed. Luckily, we don't have an outing today and the course is closed for maintenance, so we're able to push back our mowing until the greens dry, and do the spray when there isn't a risk of it being washed off from more rain. We have a fair chance of rain today, Thursday, and Saturday so we will be prepared to adjust our practices accordingly.
I mentioned it in my last update, but I'll repeat it here, we won't do anything on the course that will put it in jeopardy for the remainder of the year. As special and important as this week is, its not worth doing something drastic to the greens that will damage them for the rest of our members and guest for the entire season. I've always believed that the course should be maintained for tournament conditions at all times, so this week won't be drastically different than others. One misnomer I'd like to clarify is about greens height. There are many ways to get speeds up on greens without lowering the height of cut. We will not be "cutting them down" or "shaving the greens" to get the speeds up. My goal is to have the greens rolling 12-12.5, and we will increase our frequency of mowing and utilize growth regulators, our brushes, and rolling to achieve that, but the weather plays a big role in the speeds as well. If we receive a large amount of rain, or its hot and humid like last week, we will need to back off. Please know I will do everything possible to make this a fantastic event, however, everything we do will be with the best interest of the club in mind.
Tuesday- This morning, we mowed our greens with the brushes down to help stand up some of the "runners". This temporarily slows the greens down (especially since we didn't roll) but when we mow without them afterwards, the speed is dramatically increased. In order to get the texture and speeds where we want them for the weekend, we will brush the greens today and tomorrow, then not use brushes for the rest of the week.
We have a third rough mower that we borrowed from Finch Services Inc, so we will be doing our best to stay on top of the rough mowing. Once play catches us on Thursday, we won't be able to be out on the course until the evening, so we're trying to get as much accomplished as possible right now, then we will do 6-8 loops around each fairway in the evening on Thursday and Friday.
With the rain we've had, and rain in the forecast, we applied wetting agents to the greens last week to help dry them out so they can remain firm. We've been so wet that we needed to add more to the greens so there was an extra green spray today to get the wetting agent in the ground.
You'll notice the native area between 5 and 6 now has a "step cut" around it right now. In order to help improve pace of play in this extremely dense native area, we mowed a few passes down around the "in play" areas.
Wednesday- This was our last full day where we could spend the entire day on the course without interfering with too much play. We completed a lot of time-consuming tasks such as mowing a lot of the rough, mowing bunker banks, and string trimming most of the course. We did an afternoon mow on the greens and our speeds responded very well. It looks like we could have a half of an inch of rain tonight but with the wetting agents on the greens, they should drain quickly.
Thursday- We arrived at work to a wet, dreary morning. We received .75" of rain overnight. The fairways are extremely wet but we expect them to drain quickly due to a wetting agent application. The greens are holding up well. We're mowing this morning and we'll roll a little later once the rain subsides. The tee sheet is packed from 11:30-3:30 so we'll be off the course until this evening when we will do our night mowing to prepare for the first rounds of the event tomorrow.
Friday- Day One! We received another .2" of rain last night. We still mowed and rolled the greens and the speeds reached 12' 3" A lot of the course was extremely wet but that was expected with so much rain recently. We returned for work at 5pm (after a 5am-9am shift) and mowed greens, bypassed rolling due to the moisture, mowed fairways, approaches, and the rough. It looks like we won't have any more rain overnight, so we anticipate greens to dry a bit overnight for tomorrow's final rounds.
Saturday- In the morning, we finished our preparations of mowing, rolling, rough mowing, approaches, and bunkers, and looked forward to the final rounds concluding. Myself and my assistants returned for the playoffs and prepped 7,8,and 9 by changing the cups, raking bunkers, and rolling the greens. The playoffs were extremely exciting and we'd like to congratulate Mr. Gajewski and Mr. Dorsey on their victory. We received many compliments on the course conditions and I would be remiss if I didn't thank my assistants Mark Jones, Sean Whiston, and Chris Swenson, and my entire staff for working their tails off for the last few weeks preparing for this event. Its very rewarding to see how much the members and their guests enjoy playing the course we put so much effort into. Saturday Night, we received about 1" of rain so we gave the greens a break on Sunday and will get back into our routine on Monday.