Saturday, May 6, 2017

What a difference a year makes.

After 2016 's record shattering heat and drought, we are now breaking records due to the polar opposite. Rain fall totals at Whitevale for the 48 hour this past Friday and Saturday measured 70mm, or almost 3 inches, fell onto an already saturated soil. Making the call to close the golf course and driving range was not done lightly. Severe and long lasting damage would have been done to many areas had any traffic been permitted. Most recent inspection of the golf course happened about 12:30 today.  While some neighbouring clubs are flooded out, we are lucky enough to have very little standing water anywhere at this point. While we have had excessive damage to different parts of the club during past storm events, very little damage has been seen due to this event. The only bunker washout that I found is this greenside bunker at 16.
This is not from rain flowing down the face of the bunker as is usually the case with washouts. This is from water percolating into the green. When the water gets below the roots zone that we have been able to impact with aerification by way of traditional coring, deep tine verti-drain and Dry-ject, the water hits a layer of compacted, poorly draining soil causing the water to move laterally along the top of this layer, finding its way to exit in these two spots 

All other bunkers held up very well. No trees came down and not other issues were identified other than soft ground that needs time to dry down, and firm up. Depending on where on the golf course we inspected, we found some areas that had already made significant progress toward drying and firming. Generally speaking everything along the south end of the club dries and firms up much better than everything along the north end due to much higher levels of sand in the soils. Holes 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and 13 are always able to handle rain events much better than 16, 17, 18, 9, 1, 2 and 3 which have higher amounts of clay and loam which tend to hold water.

As we get staff back out onto the course to continue getting all maintained areas dialed in, we will have areas that we wont be able to cut grass in because of areas that hold water and are far too soft to support mowers.
 Using heavy equipment to haul sand into bunkers that still need sand added will not be possible in a number of areas. Rest assured we are in great position for getting all areas finished up in the not too distance future.

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