Back in the mid 1990s another rock band came out of a college town, this time it was Madison, WI and the band was “Garbage.” No, not their music, though according to their Wikipedia page an early listener of their music did proclaim the sound to be garbage, and the name stuck.
It is only our hope in the golf world that one of the band’s first singles “I’m only happy when it rains” does not become our anthem. But with all of the rain in 2018 and again to start of 2019 it really is starting to feel as if one main characteristics of golf course maintenance is Navy Architecture as opposed to Agronomy.
Earlier this year at the National Golf Foundation’s annual Symposium a chart was shared to show the location of golf courses in the United States. On top of this chart was a 2nd showing the areas that had just finished a soggy year – a top-10 historical wet year – if not the wettest. 2018 was the 3rd wettest year on record in the United States.
But as you digest these maps, what becomes abundantly clear is that most of the golf courses in the United States dealt with rain – and lots of it. In fact, an area of the U.S. that equals about 20% of the Country’s land mass, 48% of the courses and 44% of the rounds played in 2018 was impacted with major rain – a top 10 wettest year on record.
Add to this that the upper midwest – looking at you Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin had one of the heaviest snow falls on record and the ground is wet. Rivers in Iowa and Nebraska are flowing well above flood stage during the spring thaw as the melting snow had nowhere to go with saturated grounds.
How wet has it been to start off 2019? Just ask Jed Spencer, CGCS in Little Rock, AR. He made some great visuals to help demonstrate just how wet it has been.
This circles back to the golf course maintenance teams and of course how certain on-course accessories can help superintendents during a wet spell (you all knew I was going to get back to accessories being good for golf courses).
No, ball washers, trash cans and tee signs will not help when it rains, but as you know, there are many other accessories that can be helpful. Last week as rain pounded Dallas during the AT&T Bryon Nelson a great tool for Kasey Kauff and the maintenance team to keep greens and fairways playable made yet another TV appearance: the squeegee.
Standard Golf has two different styles based on your needs: a roller squeegee and a straight edge squeegee. The former is perfect for any turf surface while the latter is best for shop floors, cart paths or other hard surfaces. One can prepare the course and the other help to drain cart paths or parking lots. Each, you can imagine are available with different sized heads.
In addition to tools that help to get the course playable, there are several type of accessories that can be used along the course to help maintain or protect wet turf.
Not only does Standard Golf offer a wide variety of signs, but we also have a great number of different types of stakes, and rope / chains to help direct foot traffic or cart traffic away from sensitive areas.
One of our new products for 2019 is our Deluxe Steel Combo Rope & Chain Stakes. These steel stakes come in two sizes (25″ and 36″) three colors (green, yellow and chrome) and also can be used to hang rope or chains. These are a perfect addition to the tools used to help direct traffic on your golf course.
Though we are all hopeful the sun will come out once again and summer will appear as no one in golf is happy when it rains.