July 26, 2013

View from behind 3 green this afternoon

It has been hard to find time to blog lately. Each time I think about it, there are always things to do on the golf course. This is the 30th consecutive day without measurable precipitation at Sandpines. Typically, there is at least a shower or two sometime during the month of July. While its not much, the rain we normally receive in July helps keep the golf course from getting overly dried out in areas with poor irrigation coverage. Jerry and I have been busy hand watering when we can, but it has been hard to keep up. We recently trained Thaddeus to hand water, which should help us out a great deal.

Earlier this week the greens were top dressed, and are rolling nicely. So far this summer, we have been alternating between mowing and rolling greens daily with good results. We are at the point in the season where the bentgrass is growing more than the Poa (annual bluegrass) on the greens. This is just the opposite from the rest of the year when the Poa is growing more than the bentgrass. If you look closely, you will notice the greens have quite a bit more bentgrass right now than they do during the winter months. Poa has the advantage in our climate for most of the year, but during July and August, the bentgrass is usually thriving. On the other hand, these are the months when the Poa is the most stressed. It is important to limit stress as much as possible in order to maintain healthy turf. With any luck, we will get a rain shower or two, which helps to relieve the stress on the Poa. It has always been my dream to receive a 1/3 of an inch of rain every third night. While I am wishing, I would also like a day time high of 72 degrees (we are not to far off at Sandpines) with a gentle afternoon breeze (5 mile per hour max).

14 green

You may have noticed the water level in lakes is pretty low lately. Two of our 5 wells on the golf course have been offline for the entire irrigation season so far. For that reason, we are not filling the lakes on holes 2 and 5. The lake on hole 18 supplies the irrigation system with water, so we have continued to keep that lake as full as possible. This should not have much of an impact on play, other than for those who skip their balls across the water (I witnessed someone make par that way just yesterday). Hopefully, we will be getting at least one of the two offline wells up and running in the near future.

18 lake level looking a little lower than normal

Yesterday, I spotted three bucks hanging out between 3 tees and 13 green. I was not lucky enough to see any sparring take place, but I did capture a few pictures. It won't be long before the bucks start locking horns.

On another wildlife note, this is the year of the rabbit at Sandpines.  I routinely see 3 or 4 rabbits while traveling on hole 9 each morning. I have seen nearly as many rabbits this year as I did in my previous six years at Sandpines combined.

The coyote population seems to be a bit more normal this year (which might explain why there are more rabbits). I have seen one here and there, but certainly not as many as last year. Come to think of it, there are also more ground squirrels running around (another coyote favorite).

3 bucks enjoying the Sandpines experience