Micro climates

Everyone has heard the tales of it raining outside the front door and the sun shining outside the back door of a house. Thunderstorms can be funny that way. Anyone who has driven around the island is familiar with micro climates. As defined by Websters "the essentially uniform local climate of a usually small site or habitat". Who hasn't left one part of the island and headed to Aquinnah playing tour guide only to be shocked that the sunny clear weather you left becomes the fogged in cool weather you find. "I swear the cliffs are beautiful and right there, I guess we will have to try again tomorrow". The island has many micro climates. In fact, if you really want to get picky every landscape has them. Have a shady side of your house? Is one side always drier? The golf course is the same. The elevation change plays a role. The sun angle and height does too. On the right side of 4 in Winter the first 10- 20 feet from the woods never sees the sun. If we have snow it can last there for weeks while we are playing a clear fairway.  This is what makes forecasting the weather so difficult and also attempting to make the course consistent. I am not sure when the expectation for consistency started actually because it is quite silly when you think about it. If a bunker on one green is in full sun and another one on a different green is in shade most of the day they will dry out at different times and play completely different. You might say well remove the shade to make them more equal. Easier said then done when the shade is coming from trees that people get emotionally attached, or maybe it is a building or even the side of a mountain creating the shade.

Josh Baker pruning hedge

Ben Oppenheimer hard at work
Last Fall we shrunk the hedge on 8 tee. The boys pruned it this week to try and maintain this height. It casts a large shadow on the back of that tee and we had a lot of disease last summer during the hot humid stretch. A thinner hedge that allows more air and sun will do that micro climate some good. I have been told it is nice to see down the 8th hole from the road and the 7th green and I have also been told it is too short and they miss the hedge at 12-15 feet. You cannot please everyone but if we make the decisions based on what is best for the turf at least it is a valid reason. We all enjoy good turf.
We received some much needed rain this week but how much? Thursday morning Murph came in and said he had .24" at his house just off Franklin St. We had .02" It rained off and on all day Thursday (had to it was Ladies Day right?) and so we compared notes on Friday morning. He received another .45" for a total of .69" We had .14" for a total of .16". We went back and forth about who was right and whether we each had the gauge in a proper location. The fact is that we have two here: one connected to the weather station on top of the gazebo (which is very accurate measuring to 1/10ths), and the other by the fuel pumps. I checked in with a land owner by the third green who I know has a rain gauge and they received .5". So the top side of the property received somewhere around .5" and the lower side less than half of that? How's that for consistency? I actually attempted to water just the lower half of the property last night for the first time ever.
Hard to believe June is almost over. Here's to a peaceful summer and more consistent rains.

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