Sunday, August 28, 2016

More Than Just A Weather Issue

The fight to survive continues, but I wanted to add some photos to clarify that weather isn't our only foe. Some heavy morning shade issues on several greens as well as some design features that concentrate foot traffic are the common denominators among all our troubled areas.  Areas that have both heavy morning shade as well as concentrated wear are the worst looking areas.  When May is saturated and the temperatures ramp up in June, July, and August the added stress of foot traffic and shade can send turf packing.

A green like 11 (pictured below) has no bunkers to concentrate foot traffic, the path is a long way from the green allowing for even more dispersion of on/off traffic, and it is in full sun as soon as the sun rises.  Not surprisingly we have very good turf throughout number 11.  The chipping green is the same way.  It gets almost zero foot traffic.

Conversely, number 8 (pictured below) is in full shade well into the morning, almost all the on/off traffic crosses the back middle of the green, and the contours of the green limit the number of pin placements.  In fact two of the six placements are on the back portion of the green where all the on/off traffic crosses.  So regardless of where the pin is located the back portion of the green gets traffic.  It also stays in full shade until 10:00 each morning and gets full sun during the hottest part of the day.  Not surprisingly this is one of our weakest greens. 12 is the same way.   A chainsaw would be our best friend in several places although some of the problem trees are not on our property.  The trees are 23 years older than they were when the course was built and they've grown a lot.  

The two pictures below are of 12 green.  The trees to the east side of this green (right side of each picture) need to come down.  Also, much like the 8th hole pictured above, most all of the entry/exit foot traffic comes across the back middle of the green.  Morning shade plus the bulk of all foot traffic each day = Weak Turf.

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