Plodding along

It appears that I have not been that inspired to write much lately. After almost three years of weekly updates I phased into every other week and now a record four weeks since my last post. We are in the Winter prep and put the course to bed phase. This may not be very sexy so not news worthy, I guess . It involves final mowing of everything, final leaf cleanup (we hope), bringing in the ball washers and eventually the tee markers so we can refurbish them, getting the plows ready, applying the last plant protectants and winterizing the sprayer and mix load pad. We also winterize the irrigation system and pump houses as well as the course bathrooms. This involves using compressed air to force the water out of the lines and using propylene glycol or non-toxic antifreeze where necessary. Our road maintenance duties continue and with all the rain we have been getting that takes time as the potholes mysteriously re-appear time and again. Speaking of rain we received 7.32" in November which is a record for my 19 years here. We are still below the normal seasonal amount but closing in on the deficit. I will post the numbers towards the end of this month for comparison.
irrigation blow out 6 Fwy looking over 15 green

The weather continues to be a roller coaster with some frigid days followed up by some real gems. Many golfers have taken advantage of these days but it still appears to be less than previous years. I have not heard any official numbers on our season but my guess would be similar to the last few years. In our peak season it appeared that the shoulder times of the day were a bit busier this year but that is just my personal observation. I will let you know if I get the official numbers. It is always good to see people using the course. We even had a visitor with an artistic mind recently. I posted this on Twitter saying "I often look at the course as a blank canvas also. Not the worst art I have seen in bunkers"
Bunker art
We will continue getting ready for the off-season and hope that everyone is enjoying their family holidays. I made a quick trip to my sisters in VT over the Thanksgiving weekend and it was actually nice to play in the snow they received, but equally nice to come home to 50 degree temperatures and no snow.
Bert loves the snow. It is water after all!

Back to Back storms

The second Nor Easter this past weekend had plenty of trick and certainly was no treat. It had all the right features: high wind and surf, power outages, lots of rain, temperature fluctuations as it swirled around hitting us in waves over a three day period. I had enough snow to turn parts of my yard white on the cape. Off- cape they received over an inch and if in the shade it lasted all day. The mountains of NE received several inches. Total rainfall here was approximately 2 inches. The event brought down limbs, leaves and sticks. Even a few trees. The storm also finished off the roof of the hoop house we use for additional storage. The tarp is in pieces all over the place as the winds ripped it into pieces. It took all hands on Monday and most of Tuesday to get the place back to normal. We are still picking up debris from this storm on the edges of the property. Yesterday we received another inch of rain so the course is quite soggy which hampers our efforts to get it cleaned up.
1 of  several trees down from the storm

sticks are the worst. we need to prune all our trees

lots of hand labor to clean up this type of storm

oak full of ants just waiting to fall

debris cleanup continues 5 days later
Needless to say the storm clean up and another rainy day delayed our greens aerification. All the work to get the course cleaned up also makes the idea of picking up plugs very un appealing indeed. Next week has a holiday and more rain predicted so it may be that we simply spike the greens and topdress them. The timing will be as soon as we can schedule it in. We closed the bathrooms this week and more of our winter preparations will continue. We are certainly paying for a perfect dry summer season right now with cold dreary rain days at least once a week. Better than snow I guess.

Where did October go?

The Fall seems to be flying by. The weather is still misbehaving with some great days then real cold then rain and back again. No definitive pattern to speak of. We just wrapped up a Nor'Easter (click on the blue link for a definition if not familiar) that dumped inches of rain on parts of New England and was supposed to hit us as well. You will see from some of the pictures it missed us most of the three days (typical duration). Our total for the storm was .58". The total so far in Oct is 3.92" which is way above the last two Octobers but still below the 19 yr avg of 4.07". Our deficit for the year is still substantial.
9th hole looking towards tee Tuesday afternoon

full sun late Wednesday afternoon
After one of the rain events last week I ran out and graded Golf Club Road. As a few of you zoomed past me I decided to take a picture as I worked up a great post titled "I need your help". I was going to explain how me and my staff feel punished for doing a good job. This is true for roads and many parts of the course. Before we took over road maintenance the roads were in really bad shape in between gradings. This led to inconsistency and lots of complaints, least of all from my lovely spouse. Since then the roads are more consistent and some of the best on the island. Now our biggest complaint is speed. This is where it feels like we are being punished for doing a good job. We have speed bumps and speed limit signs yet most people are going much faster than the 15 mph limit. This creates the washboard or ripple in the road and adds more work for us to repair. It creates a hazard for the many walkers, joggers, children and pets who use the road also. I am asking you to become aware of how fast you drive around the property and make a conscious effort to step it down a notch. I know traffic can be a bear in the summer and everyone is always in a rush but it will improve your golfing experience and even your entire day if when you turn onto the dirt road you ease back, take a few deep breaths and relax.
road repairs on Golf Club Road
The similar course feelings are unrepaired ball marks, unraked bunkers, divots not repaired or filled. We work hard everyday to try and give you the best course we can and then people cannot take the time to follow the etiquette of the game and repair their own ball mark etc. I need your help to slow down when driving and to rake the footprint you made in the bunker.

4th hole during the cold snap recently. heavy dew and fog settling down

Smurf village

family of White Tailed Deer crossing 4th hole
The next set is from Thursday morning on the last day of the Nor'Easter that was supposed to dump inches of rain on us but thankfully missed us most of the time:
Freight boat coming in

Sunrise Shenandoah

Looking over VH harbor towards the club and West Chop