Greening up! First Mowings

As a quick update things are progressing nicely. The saying is you cannot cheat the calendar so all though we had a slow start by a certain date everything is back to normal. The trees are budding, The osprey's are back, The turkeys too and the grass is starting to grow. Fairway Fred is back at it with the first mowing this week. We mowed tees also this week for the first time. The winter damaged areas on 3 green and the practice green do not look that much different and only time will tell whether they actually recover fully. The plugs I pulled out and grew in my office for a week were put back into the nursery and look pretty good so I am still optimistic.
4 from the left rough
3 green. Dye has not worked any magic yet
plugs from 3 green back in the nursery

Tom's are out strutting their stuff

New irrigation system computer upgrade
I spent a portion of last weekend driving to VT to help my son Josh pack up and move his belongings to a storage unit in New Haven CT. He has left Nectars night club in Burlington for a post as the stage manager of the former Paradise Theater which is being revamped and called College Street Music Hall It is right across from the Shubert Theater. He has also secured a part time job back in the golf business at Race Brook CC. Now if he could only find a place to live his mother could start sleeping again. In the move he had an old monitor that I was able to procure. With the new irrigation software we installed a map feature. The new software is area based so having the map is a great way to re-train your brain away from the old number based system.
I have looked at the Tee-up NE auction and there are certainly some DEALS to be had. It ends Monday so check it out and help support turf research in New England.

Catching up on turf conditions & Tee-Up NE

I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention the damage we have suffered from the Winter weather. Amazingly the majority of the course looks great. I thought for sure we would have damage on fairways where we have in the past. They were under water several times going into winter and some under ice coming out. So far it look like they will be fine. The greens looked very good also as they came out of ice and snow cover. The 3rd had a small section in the middle that looked a bit off but that was about it. As the frost came out of the ground and we had a few freeze thaw cycles the 3rd and the putting green regressed. The entire right side of 3 looked dead quite frankly while the PG had only two small patches. Standard operating procedure is to take a sample (plug) with a cup cutter and bring it inside to incubate in a sunny window. If it lives you have a decent chance the rest of the area will as well.
good news after only a few days inside

bottom of picture is the plug from the nursery

under magnification there was healthy turf. another good sign
As the pictures show it looks as though the turf will recover. Never any guarantees but a good sign to see green in the sheath  under magnification and then growth after a bit of heat being inside. So what happens now for the greens? Well we could cover the bad areas and try to promote some warming of the soil or we could wait for Mother Nature to wake up and send us some heat. The forecast this week showed little sun so a cover would not gain much. Plus 3 green gets very little sun to begin with (might there be a correlation there as to why this is the only green with this much damage?) We have plenty to do still cleaning up the course and trying to get the irrigation system on so baby sitting covers is not that appealing. It would also mean a temporary on 3 and the natives have suffered enough so we will wait. If this is our only damage after that Winter I feel blessed and have very little to complain about. It is that time of year again where we enjoy the epitome of green and opulence aka The Masters. I would like to continue to plant the seed so that you all link the end of the tourney with the beginning of the Tee-Up NE golf auction. This is a fundraiser for turf research in New England. We get clubs to donate rounds of golf and then have an online auction where you the golfer get to win and support turf research.

Shout it from the roof tops!

It is official we are open. I took a tour Monday and decided the hazards had melted enough to be able to stick some pins in the ground. We had one lone golfer. Not surprising since there was no sun an odd snow flake, or rain drop and generally raw conditions. I will leave the guessing as to who our "odd snow flake golfer" was but suffice to say he made the turn in the drizzle and played 18. The next morning Bobby Rose walked 9 and then Dan McCarthy and Bruce Stone played in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day with full sunshine and a crisp ocean breeze. Rusty Hitchings even made an appearance to chip a few balls on the practice green. I dragged him out for a tour and we got stuck on the 5 Tee cart path.

4 Green path

In the continuation of "first time I have ever done that" I had Will clear two sections of cart path with the bobcat. It is the only thing keeping us from letting carts out. The section in the picture above was passable but the section by the 5 tee still had enough snow to strand a golf cart. I sent Chris out with the bunker rake and a shovel this morning. What a crazy year. It sure feels like an April Fools joke to head to the beach to start the channel dredge and clear snow off a cart path.

9 green Monday evening after storm passed

My back yard this weekend. It did flurry on MV also

The pro-shop opens today so carts will be available from now on weather permitting. Here's to the start of what I hope will be a great season. I thought it was very fitting when Bruce gave me the 2014 West Tisbury Annual Report yesterday. They paid tribute to their long time Moderator and our beloved member and friend by putting his picture on the cover. It is hard to imagine that he is gone and that it is less than a year since his senseless murder in California. It gave me comfort to take a picture of it on the first fairway with a few golfers in the back ground. You all know he would have been thrilled to see the course opening up.

Every course should have a smiling Irishman