Old Palm News - Lee Bladen's Turf Talk: It's Been A Battle

Lee Bladen's Turf Talk: It's Been A Battle

July 02, 2013

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It's Been A Battle By Lee Bladen Old Palm Golf Course Superintendent Over the last two months we have battled the elements to keep the course open and in the condition our members are accustomed to. We have gone from excessive rain quantities through the months of May and the first part of June totaling 25 inches to very dry conditions the last half of June. During the month of May we had 15 rain events in 31 days totaling 14.1 inches. The the last 10 days of May we registered 5.6 inches and during the first 10 days of June we had 9.1 inches. This 20 day stretch of 15 inches was the most diffifult because it was too wet to do anything.  As you know, the course was closed the week after Memorial Day for our annual  renovation work on the greens, tees and fairways. Because it was so wet the majority of our work was delayed  about a week. Working between the rain drops we were able to at least aerify and topdress the greens and verticutt the fairways. As things dried out and we moved into the middle of June we could be selective in which fairways to topdress and finally finished the last ones on June 21st. Tees are still being aerified and topdressed which will finish the renovation projects. Even though these dry hot days have allowed us to finish these projects, we are now fighting to keep things from drying out. The order of priority for our daily irrigation schedule is greens, tees, green surrounds, and then fairways. The fairways and other areas throughout the course that are visibily dry will receive extra water as we continue to battle the elements. One area that has been exposed even more because of this excessive rain is the deterioration of the concrete cart paths throughout the golf course. The rain has created a soft sub-base beneath the cart paths leading to settling and obviously cracking. We are working on a cart path renovation plan  to replace deteriorating cart paths that we hope to begin this Summer and  implement  over time.

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