4 Weeks Ahead

It's not news anymore that spring, (or summer?) came early this year.  9 straight days of record temperatures has brought the grass to a stage that we would usually see in late April or early May.  The weather has come 4 weeks ahead of schedule, which has left us behind - on a relative basis.  The greens, tees and fairways have all been mowed multiple times, we have mowed some of the rough, and have already needed to make a spray as a result of the warmer temperatures.  We have been forced to do this with our early spring crew, which is smaller than we will have 4 week from now.  Last year greens were mowed for the first time on March 30th and tees, approaches and fairways were mowed the first time the following day.  A more normal pattern of mowing is once a week on fairways and tees through April.  We have been forced to use our labor to keep up with the mowing this year rather than our normal opening procedure.  We are making our way through the bunkers now, and getting the spring flowers planted.  Tee accessories, beverage stations and other course supplies will be out on the course soon.  This is one of the earliest springs we have had in 25 years, so come out and enjoy the conditions.

Here is a chart I created to illustrate the difference in temperatures from this year to last year.  The 2012 high/low temperatures are in red, and the 2011 high/low temperatures are in blue.  The string of 80 degree days for highs is obvious, but what brought the course progress along faster is the low temperatures.  This majority of the low temperatures this year, were higher than last year's high temperatures.  This allowed the grass to break dormancy and begin growing much quicker.  The 10 day forecast shows the unusually warm weather will continue with several days near 70.  If we were going to have 9 straight days of record high temperatures, I'm glad it happened in March and not July or August.  Let's hope mother nature gets all the warmer than normal weather out of the system before then.
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