Saturday, June 20, 2015

US Open, I Don't Have A Clue

I've been watching like most of you with interest regarding Chambers Bay and The US Open. Do I have an explanation what is going on there, sorry to say I don't have a clue. 

I do know that most tournaments no matter if it's the local 9 hole muni yearly championship, The Invitational at Glen Echo or a US Open, the #1 goal of a Super is firm and fast. The men who manage this course work in cooperation with Mr. Davis from USGA and have committed the last 5 years of their lives for this tournament. They have forgotten more than I will ever know about fine fescue and the facility they manage so I trust in their plan. Arm chairing from 1500 miles away is something that I can't even attempt to do because of my lack of knowledge about fine fescue.

When turf is placed on the edge like it has been the last couple of weeks, it takes just a slight drop or increase in humidity, wind and temperature to create extreme conditions.

I fully understand what weather does to a facility. 2 years ago we had a white out rain on Tuesday afternoon. Nearly 2" in less than an hour. The Thursday of practice round I was questioned about green speeds, are they going to be faster. By Saturday of the event, hot spots were coming out on the greens because of the heat and drying conditions and some were calling for Uncle to show up. We can attempt to manufacture speed at the risk of damaging turf for the rest of the season but my green committee and myself have agreed that this type of behavior for one single event at the club is not the right thing to do. A major loss of turf on a green is catastrophic for a club.

Current Speed Of Our Greens

Speed of our greens is kind of non-existent right now. We have skipped mowing greens this week 2 out of the last 4 days because of excessive wet conditions. Excessive moisture and temperature increases microbial activity in which more nutrients are released increSing growth. The greens have not been rolled since last Saturday which is a major contributor to our ball roll out program. Rolling each day has s tendency to keep ball roll out elevated. 

We reduce mowing during soft conditions to prevent scalping. Scalped greens can lead to Basal Rot Anthracnose and other stress related diseases that are not easy to manage during the potential for high temperatures of the summer. 

 I'm 5 days away from my National Championship and my course is not where it needs to be right now because of the rain. My greens are slow and soft, growing like crazy, and are close to being damaged if I attempt to get speed  out of them in there current condition. We are in need of a regulator application which I will apply tomorrow, Sunday. This will slow growth and improve ball roll out. It will also delay growth during PM rounds of Invitational. The speed we will receive will occur from rolling. We have not rolled since last Saturday. We can usually gain 2' of ball roll out before a tourney. Drying conditions and lower humidity can increase roll.

The fairways are nearly as long as the intermediate and the intermediate is almost as long as the rough but everything is green and growing.

My experiences tell me to stay calm and be patient. If the weather cooperates, we will be able to provide the best conditions possible for our members and guests.

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