History Behind the Bass-Ackwards Tourney & an alternative to the Big Cup movement

Can you believe it is Columbus Day weekend already? Our final tourney is this weekend. It has an interesting story of how it began so I thought I would share it with you all. When our previous Pro, Allen Menne came he thought it would be a fun idea to have what is generally referred to as a Superintendent's revenge tourney. I was somewhat familiar but had never been at a club where we had one. He was enthusiastic as he explained to me that this was supposed to be a fun event for me and my staff. We get to put the pins in collars and all sorts of weird places. The tee markers could be placed on the sides of the tees. The format is virtually limitless. The players have a blast playing this goofy set up. Being somewhat of a pragmatist I asked "what happens for the rest of the day? We are open to member and also public play?" He answered "yes". "OK so the goofy set up stays or we would then have to go put it back to normal?" Silence and total deflation of exuberance as he answers "yeah I guess so." I then asked that this was a tourney for us? If that is the case then my revenge would not be for double the work but no work at all. You get the course as it is: dew covered, un-mowed, un-raked bunkers etc. and we get to sleep in. The compromise is that we set the course up fairly normal and the pro-shop puts out an extra set of tee-markers in the rough and fairways and you play the course backwards. Brilliant. Due to our unique orientation you always go around counter-clockwise. It is a completely different feel to approach greens from strange angles when you play it clockwise. It is similar to what is referred to as cross country golf where you zig-zag all over the property. A fairly common treat for employees late in the day or in the off-season when looking for a fun way to just play golf. I have played in the tourney several times and it is a real treat and something you should try at least once. It has become a staple and our closing tournament for the

Mink Meadows from the sky

Late season rose and a yellow dog
As I was mowing greens today the pin on 6 caught my attention. Chris placed it right in the middle of a patch of bentgrass. We still have some of the original grasses the greens were seeded to in 1936. The seed blend was called South German Mix and contained several varieties. I am sure there are several biotypes of these and other bluegrasses in these greens as well. The old bentgrasses really show up starting this time of year as the soil temperatures start to dip. When the soil gets cold the phosphorus gets bound up and harder for the plant to take it up. Phosphorus deficiency manifests as a purplish color so as we head into Fall the greens will once again look like the patchwork quilt that they are. It occurred to me that maybe what golf needs is not a bigger cup but a bigger target instead. Check out the pictures below and anyone playing this weekend let me know if it was distracting to putt to this cup or helpful.
patch of old bentgrass

Target golf

Prognostications and a visit with an old friend

I guess my career in predicting weather is over. If you remember I posted my personal rain records which showed we were way behind this year and predicted we would get a ton of rain in September to catch up. Well we did get rain finally but not enough to even things up. I updated the spreadsheet and as you can see we did get more this September then last but the total  for April thru Sept. is well below any other year.
A-Sept 12.65" this year vs 22.58" for 19/yr avg
So again the numbers do not lie and yesterday's weather proves my point. We are in the soup. The weather pattern has changed and we are starting to get more rain. We have more in the first couple of days of Oct this year than we did for the entire month last year. Maybe this month will be the one to catch up?

For those of you reading this you may have been fortunate to either travel away from the coast or be away from the coast already. I know what you will be thinking as you read my account of yesterday, "That is a long way to go for a round of golf" and I agree, but it was worth it. We had attempted to play on Wednesday but moved to Friday due to rain. Good thing because it rained hard and even though the forecast was for clearing skies Thursday and Friday it never happened along the coast. It was spectacular however inland where we went. Connie O'Doherty was a member of a club outside of Hartford called Ellington Ridge CC back in the 80's. He still has stock and can play the course. He raves about the place often reminiscing about his time there and so decided to put a foursome together and make the trip. It is a little over two hours from Woods Hole and about the same from Saratoga Springs NY where our old friend and former member Mark Yale lives. He rounded out the group and we enjoyed a beautiful sunny day and a fine golf course. We were stunned as we headed back to see this cloud cover and wet roads. The temperature gauge plummeted and the realization hit that the lousy weather never left this area. It was a long day and the course was tough but the company and weather was great.
Getting ready for another NY winter with a full beard going Mark Yale

not really our thing here but some stunning flowers on most tee boxes
 Things here are about the same. We continue to try and repair some of the weak areas on the course, mostly rough, and prep the course for Winter. The acorns are falling as well as the leaves in a few spots. We are wrapping up the Charity tournaments with Big Brothers/Sisters this weekend. Last week we had the Tisbury fire fighters and I just had to take a picture of their golf cart. It was painted the same color as the trucks and had chrome hose hook ups, an axe and ladder. Pretty cool.
pictures do not do it justice

They used it to put out the hole sponsor signs

Glorious Rain

We finally received a decent rain event. Not quite the predicted 1-2" but a solid .85" that was the perfect type being slow and steady over a long period. This is just what we needed to start the recovery of the dry areas. It will help with the salt water intrusion in our well which has also been at an all time high. Other than affecting our abilities to keep a green course the weather has been stellar. Perfect warm sunny days and cool nights.
Woods Hole sunset after a great day playing Fall River CC
The weeks are flying by and the golf season is closing in on us. We have managed our green and now tee aerifying. We will begin to punch some of the abused areas of the course mainly rough. These areas are on the edge of the irrigation coverage and so have been dormant for weeks and need a little love to get them back. Now that we are starting to get some rainfall we might see some germination and recovery in these areas.
interesting sunrise sky 5 green

6th hole
Some of you may have wondered what the odd green pattern is on the first green. When we aerified I applied a fertilizer and had trouble with the spreader in the beginning. It was not coming out quite right and so this is actually a miss-application. Don't tell the fertilizer police. It actually shows how little we use since the rest of the green is no where near this color or density.
fertilizer spill on one green