Thursday, April 15, 2010

Close Down Day

April 12th was a very important day for TPC Sawgrass Golf Maintenance. This was the first day we were closed to the public for golf on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. TPC Sawgrass has a three week closure period prior to THE PLAYERS.

Our main focus for the first close down day is filling divots and working the greens. 2010 has been completely different weather wise for us compared to years past. We had a devastating winter. We were completely dormant on the golf course and greens for fifteen weeks. In the past two years we did not loose color in the fairways. We covered the greens 36 times this winter. Past winters we only averaged covering two nights in a winter. Needles to say, we had very little recovery potential from play. We played over two hundred rounds of golf a day leading up to the close down period. The greens were worn out, especially in entry and exit points for the greens. The three week recovery period will definitely be tested.

Step one for greens recovery included verti-cutting, topdressing, adjusting plugs and sodding/plugging any areas that we felt would not recover in time for the championship. Eight staff members worked two fourteen hour days to complete the task.

All divots on the property were filled on this first closed down day. We had thirty staff members split between odd and even golf holes to fill all divots in the short grass and rough. Our goal by the Championship is to not have one divot or ball mark on the property by the time the majority of the players show up on the property.

The staffs work ahead includes: topdressing all tee boxes, approaches and weak fairway spots, edging all bunkers, repairing worn out bunker faces, fertilization of the property, landscape additions, spreading twenty two semi loads of pine straw, edging irrigation heads and cart paths, and mowing. Cutting heights for the Championship are .100 for greens, .375 for tees, .400 for fairways and approaches, 2.5 inches for in play rough and 3.25 inches around the greens.

We are hoping for warmer weather and fertigating. The ocean temperature is a cold 64°F. Winds have been out of the East dropping our air temperatures significantly.