This week's focus was mainly based on the weather. It began on Saturday after the Invitation was finished, Chris applied a fertilizer containing Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium to the greens to be washed in during the rain Saturday night. This fertilizer helped strengthen the plant following a long week of mowing and rolling, and prepared it for a hot week with expected thunderstorms. The rain we received on Thursday and Saturday the 27th made June the wettest in history, surpassing 1970 when hurricane Agnes hit the area. To combat the moisture, we're doing a lot of venting on the greens and fairways and applying wetting agents to help the water flush through the profile.
On Monday, we vented the greens with the PlanetAir machine. You may have seen the small slits on the greens, which will recover quickly, but underneath, there is a much larger area of disruption, making room for oxygen exchange, root growth, and free drainage.
Tuesday evening, we were hit by a very strong thunderstorm. The 2" of rain came quickly with hail and a lot of wind. We didn't lose any trees except for a few limbs. The wind littered the course with a large amount of leaves. Our focus on Wednesday was blowing and cleaning up all of the leaves, and fixing the washed out bunkers.
Besides our work with the weather, you may notice a couple differences around the course. First, a lot of our bushes have been neglected for a while and need extensive pruning. Our horticulturist, Lola, has been cutting the deadwood and overgrown limbs, leaving healthy limbs that will push new growth and end up with much healthier, full plants. In the picture below you can see the left side that'd been pruned, and the right side that is overgrown. In a few months, the left side will look extremely healthy.
The other change on the course is along the cartpaths. We're installing "rumble strips" on curves where carts continually cut the corners wearing down the turf. These rumble strips will help deter carts from cutting the corners, but if they do, we won't have to keep resodding every year. This is a common solution at many courses and it helps limit the eyesores from excessive cart traffic.