August has finally brought us some relief from the high and dry conditions we've been battling with throughout the Midwest. Throughout the past three months our main focus has been hand watering greens and fixing irrigation leaks as they appear, and it seemed like they were appearing daily. With cooler temperatures and even some light rain, we were able to relax with hand-watering and turn our focus to other parts of the course.
Pictured above is Hole 18, this month was the first time since last season that we were able to get our fairways completely mowed out during the week. With more rain in the forecast and warmer temperatures expected for another week or so, it will still be a chore to keep them in ideal playing conditions.
Here we are venting 7's green. The venting process uses a small diameter tine to punch a hole in almost every square inch of our green surface. This process relieves environmental stress by allowing fresh air to get to the roots and also allows new turf growth to fill in the holes created.
As always, we try to stay environmentally aware out here at Swope Memorial. Not only do our native grass areas help our course keep that natural Missouri look, they are also home to the Milkweed Plant, pictured above. These plants are one of the main sources of food for the Monarch butterflies during their migrations. According to the Mo. Dept. of Ag., mowing of native areas should be held off until the first frost, to maximize the Monarchs use of the weed until they have all moved on. Keeping these areas un-mowed until that frost date will be bad news for the ball hawks and rookie golfers, but will hopefully keep us in the good graces of Mother Nature.