With all the rain we’ve had lately, the requirement for irrigation watering has been minimal. In fact, I don’t recall a year when we have had to use less irrigation water this far into the season. On a positive note, the reservoir pond is completely full.
On the other hand, this quantity of water does bring its fair share of challenges. There are days when we haven’t been able to cut fairways and roughs. This significantly affects the playability as it takes a couple of days to catch up, and roughs can get pretty long.
It also makes it harder to maintain bunkers. Luckily the bunkers were well built, so washouts haven’t been a concern. However, with heavy rainfall some of the sand does slide down the slopes and has to be pushed back up. (photo below)
This means there can potentially be small pockets of fluffy sand on the top faces. Our team spends countless hours trying to make the bunkers as consistent as possible for playability. We regularly add sand, move sand around within bunkers, and mechanically plate tamp the sand to ensure its firmness. Nevertheless, there is always the odd time when a ball might land softly, and a golfer may get unlucky and be left with the proverbial fried egg lie. Although it is always our goal to have perfect bunkers, (photo below) this is a good article written by a USGA agronomist explaining why maintaining perfect bunkers is virtually impossible.
Happy Canada Day!
Andre Aymar, Golf Course Superintendent