August Letter from Matt Corbridge, Director of Grounds
If this past month was a book, it would have been titled “A Tale of Two July’s.” The first half of the month was truly seasonal – we had hot, dry summer weather, if not a little lower humidity than usual. Then at the end of the month, the rains came. The finish to the month seemed a lot more like a warm April – with highs in upper 70’s to low 80’s and precipitation for what seemed like two weeks straight.
The break to the hot weather did the course some good, as it provided a window to recover from some heat stress that the Woodlands fairways and some of the greens and tee bank rough suffered. The ample rain allowed us to slit seed and solid-tine aerify the worst of these fairway spots and we have already seen germination of new seed in these areas. While the soil conditions on the Woodlands course will prove to be a challenge each season, aerifying in both the spring and fall should help to improve overall turf and reduce compaction. Several thin spots on greens have also been plugged out and repaired.
We also ran our Planet Air aerifier twice on the greens and topdressed with sand just prior to all the rain events toward the end of the month in order to help get the excess moisture down through the soil profile and off the surface. This process really helped us get through all the saturated conditions without any additional stress to the turf and helped us dry out quickly once the rain stopped.
After some delay to the shipment of our porcupine grass from out west, the ornamental grasses at the entrance to the golf club have finally been planted and landscaping completed. These bunch grasses will widen over time and next season, we should be able to divide them and add an additional offset row of plants to really block stray balls from reaching Blue Hill Road. These grasses should also be much simpler to maintain and will reach similar heights as the old hedges.
As always, thank you for your help in maintaining the course we all love. Get out and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts!