Wednesday, December 10, 2014

All Green, All Season

At this time every year I reflect on and evaluate the past season.  Some years I'm thrilled to be done with the past season and in some I'm thankful it was a good one with good weather and lots of productivity.  This year presented a mixed bag of emotions.  On one hand, everything was green all season.  On the other hand, everything was green all season.  This all green, all season has its obvious upside but also has a down side.   

The obvious upside was a fully green golf course that looked and played great throughout the entire season.  The non-irrigated rough didn't go into dormancy as it normally does in mid summer as temperature increases and rainfall decreases.  In fact, we had so much rain that we only ran our irrigation system twice, and one of those was a short test run to make sure it was still working properly.  From a superintendent's standpoint, it was nice not to have to fret over whether or not to run an irrigation cycle or if a little hand watering was the best course of action.  Ma Nature took care of that for me.  Thank you!

The obvious downside was the affect all this rain had on the playability of a few holes.  #14 and 16 on the Lake Course to name a couple.  The not so obvious downside was the impact it had on our budget and, at times, the morale of my staff.  With all season green comes all season turf growth which leads to increased mowing, which, in turn, leads to increased labor, fuel, equipment maintenance/repair costs, and time not spent on projects.  Crew morale had nothing to do with the green grass, but rather the constant process of moving sand back to the bunker edges after each and every rainfall.  It wears on a person after a while.

What will 2015 bring?  A hot dry summer as in 2011 and 2012?  Another washout like 2014?  Or, perhaps, one of the rare years of perfect weather?  Only time will tell.

I sincerely wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year.