Fall Update

We survived the tropical storm OK. It was very windy and wet with boats not running for more than a day which always makes things interesting. We lost a few limbs and trees and lots of twigs and leaves but the crew did a fabulous job cleaning the course. Some areas were cleaned several times before the wind stopped. We had our last tourney of the season the Bass Ackwards. Always a fun event. Greens were aerified this week and came out very well. They should be back to 100% soon. They are putting fine this morning as they still grow through the sand topdressing and heal from the procedure. As they get longer and require mowing they will get slow but this is a good thing since it means they are healing.

Jonah & Kelly did a great job on signs this year!!
This week we made some more headway on solving our salt water intrusion issue. We selected two locations within the range allowed for replacement wells and drilled several test wells. Each location had soil samples taken at intervals so we could get an idea of what the structure was and they also help set the screen size for the eventual production wells. Each location had two wells so during the pump testing measurements could be taken. We also drilled an observation well at the pump house so we had data there in case we needed a third production well and also how the pumping on either side influenced that area. All the tests showed positive results. Having multiple wells at more shallow depths than current wells should give us enough water and clean water.
soil cores, well screens, setting second well, well rig
 Another milestone since the last post was Bert had his 10th birthday. He has definitely slowed down since his arrival at 7 months old but he still loves to be on the course and the beach.
Bert turns 10

Fall Season

I cannot believe it has been almost a month since the last post. September has flown by or maybe blown by as the latest storm is upon us as I write this. We have had our share of massive storms this season luckily down south and not up here but our thoughts and prayers should be for those affected. The Caribbean has been devastated and parts of this country have had their issues as well. We are no stranger to wind, rain, and tide damage on MV but hopefully these big storms do not add up to much more than the typical Nor Easters we get.

I went through my phone camera for some of the highlights of the last month:

4th tee before thunderstorm shut us down
almost finished

The trees had started to creep in on both sides of the 4th tees. From the back tee it was becoming a shoot only a PGA Tour player could get through without clipping a branch. Our tree company was going to be at a neighbor's house so we scheduled to sneak them in with the lift to open this area back up.

Every year the trees grow taller and wider. We need to keep in mind that the playability of the course should be our priority. If allowed, the forest would close in and take over. Trees need to be pruned and even removed to keep the course design and integrity intact. This includes shrubs planted as distance markers that now have become full size trees and may be a hindrance to play. They certainly have no distance function anymore as everyone has some electronic device to tell them distance, wind speed, elevation, temperature of the water coming out of the fountains etc.

Fun with fescue mowing
I started to mow some tall grass areas in preparation of the Bass Ackwards. Chris Morse was playing and mouthed to me "can't you leave some?" as he walked by. I too like the definition the tall grass areas give the course but as I posted here mid-summer, this year it is so thick it is unplayable. I started mowing a labyrinth pattern and probably should have left it for a couple of weeks. I found an irrigation leak on the hill so became distracted and decided to mow it all before we fixed the leak. 
Tall grass leak, Bert supervising Murph's glue job.
break at the test head. no thrust block on original. Bag of cement this time

Rotted nipple on 3 and end of a wire spool
The bad luck of irrigation breaks came in 3's with the last being on the 3rd hole. Luckily we caught this one before it was a major blow out. It certainly was ready. We discovered a massive amount of extra wire in the ground. Our guess was they were at the end of the spool so simply hooked it up and buried it. This is never a good idea since while digging up the head it is hard enough to avoid hitting the regular amount of wires in the ground. We cut it out when making the repair. Every hole is an adventure. 
Lastly, I had the pleasure of playing golf with the President of GCSAA Bill Maynard, CGCS. He was invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Cape Cod. We were originally slated to host the Sept meeting but it became the perfect month to have this celebration and New Seabury volunteered. We do not have the facilities and as luck would have it I heard they were the first location 50 years ago. It was a perfect day and the current board did a great job with lots of memorabilia, a slide show of historic pictures, 50th pin presentations and great gifts. The foursome pictured is Bill, Brian Smoot, President GCSACC, Paul Doherty, Past Pres. GCSACC, and me Way past president GCSACC.
GCSACC.org turns 50

Change of Schedule - Aerification

As the club changes so to must our cultural practices. We have aerified greens the day after Labor Day for as long as I can remember. There used to be a two week gap before the busy Fall tournament schedule commenced. Well, per my suggestion, the club has moved the championship out of the summer season and so the gap is gone this year. My thoughts were that the majority of people playing in this event are here in the Fall and maybe we could get it back to a 3-day event if it was out of the high-season. What this means is we will not aerify greens in the normal fashion until October 10th. We will do the tees sometime before that. Greens may get a smaller tine aerification such as we did in August. This is much less disruptive and heals very quickly. As with everything we do this new schedule will be evaluated and we will adjust if needed. This is the first year trying the championship in the Fall so who knows how that will be received?

Greens aerification on 10/10 this Fall.

We have had a great season so far and the long range forecast is for a warm Fall so we should continue to have a great year. We all know that Fall is the best season on Martha's Vineyard and the weather is perfect for golf. It would appear that we had a much cooler and wetter year compared to 2016 so I did a bit of comparison and it is interesting to see the difference.

personal rain totals
Rainfall is not that far off from average in most months. It would appear we are in for a few dry months if we are to stay "average".

2016 weather station data

2017 weather station data. note: thru 8/28

The rainfall totals include the storm this week whereas the weather station data does not. I uploaded the weather station on 8/28 and we received 1.15" on 8/29. The interesting columns for me to look at are the mean temps, total rainfall and rain days. For what appeared to be a hot dry year it is not far off from this year which appeared to be cold and wet. Amazing what a couple of degrees can do I guess.

sunrise gazebo