Winterkill potential

We missed the bad winterkill from last season that devastated many courses in New England, and other parts of the country. Hopefully we will again but we have had the perfect weather for such circumstances. The 14+ inches of rain in Nov and Dec set us up for soggy conditions. We continue to receive rain and it does not drain real fast as one would expect this time of year and after all that precipitation earlier, not to mention if the ground is frozen. We had a great weekend for pond skating so be sure to look at the new page (next to "our staff") where I have posted pictures and videos. Unfortunately, Monday we received almost an inch of rain and then by Tuesday morning we were below freezing again. A week of fluctuating temps and afternoon squalls has not helped. Yesterday it drizzled all day and the temperature was well below freezing so a light coating of ice covered everything. It is above freezing today so some stuff is melting but not much. Tomorrow's forecast is bitter cold and Sunday in the 40's. Hopefully we can get some melting and draining.
I am not much of an alarmist and there is very little I can do to change the weather and deal with flash freezes. Driving the course and seeing the puddles everywhere did give me serious deja vu from a decade ago. I was going to dig through the archives to show Chris but then remembered the display I created for the Board and membership showing the damage and recovery. So I took a picture of the picture. See the similarities in the pattern of the puddle on 4 fwy? This is the same on every fairway where there is a puddle.

 There is no guarantee that we will experience turf loss but seeing all this water and having these warm days and cold nights does leave a pit in my stomach. So you might ask yourself what can be done to avoid this? Simple answer is strip the sod, re-grade the fairway to remove the low areas and install internal drainage to take excess water away. Depending on how large the area the cost associated with such work is not so simple, however. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope we won't be the ones dealing with dead grass this spring.

9 Pictures do not show how shiny/icy everything is.

Winter is here on MV and precipitation wrap up

Whenever the rain was not falling we either had a great day in the 40's even 50's or it was really cold and windy. We peaked yesterday with 10 degrees but parts of the island were low single digits and a strong wind made it feel even worse. Luckily the grass had a dusting of snow which might have helped insulate it somewhat. The good part of the cold weather is that it makes it easier to get some tree work done. We have many trees that have died this year either from ants, wasps, drought, old age or a combination. You can see the rot on this hollow stump in the picture below. With the age of our course and subsequently the trees on it this is going to be more common every year.

right side of 1 green

First hole getting its first coating of the season

I told you in the last post I would share the weather data. I went out on a limb at the end of the summer and predicted we would have a wet Fall. It turned out to be a very nice one actually but the end of the year was murky at best. We had over 7 inches of rain in Nov. and then again in Dec. My prediction was not an attempt to play weather man but simply a common sense review of my personal rain total spreadsheet since my arrival in 1995. The numbers do not lie. I have seen some very dry stretches at all times of the year but in the end the total is pretty close, so I was gambling that 2014 would be the same. The good news is we survived a very dry summer and the precip in Dec. was mostly rain and not snow.
Rain totals spreadsheet
 The sheet is straightforward where the monthly total is listed and then totaled for the year at the bottom. You can compare month to month and year to year. You can also compare them to the 19 year average which is the column to the right. These do not show the full story however so the bottom two rows are the irrigated months separated out. 2014 for the year was roughly 4" below the average but not the lowest year even in this abridged graphic (04-14). Separating the irrigated months tells a truer story because a dry January is completely different than a dry June. You can see the two arrows I placed showing the two lowest years and compare them to other years. By that measure we were down 10" from the average in 2014 and that is more reflective of the season we had.

Google year in review


The video above was sent to me by Google.They make a movie of selected pictures and videos that you have posted throughout the year. It is pretty cool to look back over the year in this format. It starts with Murph's daughter Dr. Kim Burke accepting the Charter for the MV Toastmasters club of which I am Secretary. It then shows quite a few storms some being snow others rain, a video of our beach in a Nor'easter. Some great sun rises and sets. A snowy picture of my back yard in Sandwich. Lots of Bert. A few projects and it even tossed in the one of Mark Yale, one of our former members. I hope you enjoy it.

We are in the beginning of yet another rain event here on MV with 5.64" so far in December. I will wait until after the new year to do a recap of the season. The wet weather I predicted back in August or September may have been a bit delayed but it did not disappoint. It has been wet.

Best wishes to everyone this holiday season.