Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Sycamore Ridge by the Numbers

 When I was in high school algebra class, I remember asking when I would ever need to know the things they were teaching.  When I decided to become a Golf Course Superintendent, I thought for sure I was picking a career that wouldn't have much math involved.  I was definitely wrong.  I am constantly using math of all kinds in the work I do.  That is why I decided to do a post about random numbers concerning Sycamore Ridge.

43,560 = the number of square feet in an acre

3.8 = acres of greens

3.5 = acres of tees

27 = acres of fairways

80 = acres of rough

26 = acres of native grass area

80 = acres of woodland

1/8" = normal mowing height for the greens

1/3" = mowing height for the collars

5/8" = mowing height for fairways and tees

2+1/2" = mowing height of the rough.

5,994 = average area in square feet of the greens

7,200,000 = approximate number of holes poked into the greens when we aerified recently

4.5" = the average depth of  those aerification holes

511 miles = the total length if you placed those aerification holes end to end

300 gallons = the average amount of mixture sprayed on our greens

1800 gallons = the average amount of mixture sprayed on tees and fairways

1/4 ounce per acre = the lowest rate of any chemical we apply to the course

6,250,000 = the average number of seeds in a pound of creeping bentgrass seed

1,400 = approximate number of sprinkler heads on the golf course

2,100 gallons = the maximum per minute flow rate for our pump station

7 miles = the approximate length of the cart path

25.5 years = how long I have worked as a Golf Course Superintendent

5,320 days = how long I have been working at Sycamore Ridge

These are just a few of the numbers bouncing around in my head on any given day.  It is a real mess in my brain.  Numbers have become a lot of fun for me.  Numbers can be shocking, laughable, entertaining, and very important.  I couldn't do my job without the math skills I learned in school.  Some people think that all I do is grow and mow grass???? I wish!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

90 Day War

 Not that long ago, I was blogging about how great the course looked because of all of the rain that we had received.  Unfortunately for the month of July, the rain basically shut off.  The golf course has had all of 3/4 of an inch of rain since the start of July.  Our non irrigated turf is going dormant, and any areas on the course that do not receive adequate irrigation are showing signs of stress.  Rainfall is always a better source of water than irrigation is.  While we have virtually all of the sprinkler heads on the course operating, the distribution uniformity is never perfect.  The longer we go using irrigation as our only source of precipitation, we will get more dry areas, and along with that we will also make more wet areas because of the sprinkler head pattern.

When the season gets like this, as a maintenance staff, we do everything we can to just keep the grass alive.  We will be doing additional hand watering and setting up additional sprinklers on the course.  The cooler mornings that we are getting this week allow for a little bit of relief, because the lower temperatures will allow the grass to start each day with less stress.  High temperatures in the 90's and lows in the 70's are very hard on cool season grasses.  Zoysia and Bermudagrass love the higher temperatures.  Our Creeping Bentgrass fairways, tees, and greens can just shut down in the higher temperatures, consume all of their stored carbohydrates, and then just die off.  

The goal of everything we do throughout the year is to make the grass healthy enough to survive what we call the 90 day war(June, July, August).  We are inside the last 30 days, and hopefully we can make it through without any significant turf loss.