Friday, January 12, 2018

2017 Weather in Review

The highest temperature recorded at Leslie Park Golf Course during 2017 was 91.9 degrees on September 22nd. It was one of six days that got above the 90 degree mark. The lowest temperature was just - 11.7 degrees on December 28th. Four other days had lows below zero, all of them coming in the last week of December. Thirty-seven days never got above the freezing mark in 2017, while 104 days dipped below 32 degrees at some point.

For the year, the golf course received 36.01 inches of rain, which is almost 7 inches more than 2016. The most rain in a single day was 2.07 inches on July 7th. October took the gold for most rain during the year with 5.58 inches, April took Silver with 4.29 inches, followed closely by July with 4.13 inches. There were 115 days with at least a trace of rain, while seven days had over an inch in a 24 hour period.

The average wind speed for the year was 2.6 mph. The highest sustained wind speed was 41.0 mph on March 8th.

December 2017 Weather Summary

December 2017 had an average temperature of 26.5 degrees, down another 15 degrees from November. The high temperature was 59.8 (December 5th) and the lowest recorded temperature was minus 11.7, Dec 28.) Twenty-nine of the 31 days had low temperatures below freezing (only the 18th and 19th stayed above 32 degrees)  while 15 days never got above 32 degrees. Four days had lows below zero.

We got  just 0.36 inches of rain at Leslie Park's weather station during December. Some of the precipitation came in the form of snow, which the weather station does not record well.. The rain fell on 6 different days, with the largest amount coming on the 16th (0.14 inches.)  That brings the total for 2017 to 36.01 inches.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Solstice

December 21st at 11;28 AM (EST), the tilt of the earth's axis reaches the farthest away from the sun (for the northern hemisphere) and the point of least solar radiation for the year. This is called the winter solstice and marks the beginning of winter. It is also the shortest day of the year. Sunrise today comes at 8:01 AM and sunset occurs at 5:06 PM, giving us just 9 hours and 5 minutes of sunlight in Ann Arbor. After this point, the days get longer and the weather, eventually, starts to warm up. From this point, we can start looking forward to spring and a new golf season.



 A Fall Prescribed Burn


Friday, December 1, 2017

November Weather Summary

November 2017 had an average temperature of 39.9 degrees, down almost 15 degrees from October. The high temperature was 65.2 (November 28th!) and the lowest recorded temperature was 18.8, (Nov 10th.) Fifteen days had low temperatures below freezing while one day (again, the 10th) never got above 32 degrees.

We got 3.96 inches of rain at Leslie Park's weather station during November. The rain fell on 11 different days, with the largest amount coming on the 18th (1.59 inches.) Eight days recorded more than a tenth of an inch. That brings the total so far to 35.65 inches for 2017.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Catching up

The fall has been busy at the golf courses for the City of Ann Arbor. I want to apologize for not keeping up with blogging more. I will make up for it by offering up a quick summary of some of the projects we have been doing.

New Practice Green for Leslie Park

At the beginning of September, we stripped this area of rough behind #1 tee.

We added 60 tons of sand mixed with top soil.

Shaped it and seeded it with bentgrass. This will be an additional practice putting green. 

Five days later, the grass was starting to germinate.

Two weeks after seeding, it looked like this. We have now mowed it three times at 0.400 inch. In the spring, we will slowly bring it down to our normal green cutting height of 0.125 inch.

Level and expand tees at Leslie Park

Some of the smaller tees are getting noticeably mounded in the center. This comes from golfers taking shots from the same spots and maintenance filling the divots with sand and seed. After 20 years, the center of the tee may have grown by 6 or 12 inches. 

This forward tee on #9 was stripped of sod and leveled.

Sod from a different tee was laid out on the level surface.

It looks like we will only get to the two forward tees on #9, the white tee on #18 and the right side tee on #7 this year.

Rock wall on #7 tee at Leslie Park

As part of the leveling of #7 tee at Leslie, we are also trying to expand the usable teeing area on the back of this tee. In order to accomplish this, we are adding a rock wall, which will allow us to build up the back corner of the tee.

Geo-textile fabric is laid out behind the rocks to keep erosion to a minimum.

Cart paths and rock walls at Huron Hills

New cart paths were added to #13, 14 and 15 at Huron Hills this year. They tie into the path that was put in last year on #12. In order to keep to contours of the holes as close to original as possible and still have a fairly flat path, rock walls were also put in here.

#13 at Huron.

#15 at Huron.

Fertilizing Oak by #5 at Leslie

This oak on the right side of #5 fairway has been declining in recent years. Last year, we pruned all of the dead wood out of the canopy and de-compacted the soil around the tree.

We had a leaf tissue analysis done this year and found out that there were some micro-nutrients the tree was lacking. Micro-nutrients are nutrients aside from the big three of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.  Here the arborists are preparing to inject the nutrients into the tree's bark.

A close-up view of the system of tubes and injection sites.

Greens aerification and top-dressing.

During aerification, I would always break tines on the front, left corner of #2 green at Leslie. After doing so again this year, I decided to dig up the rock that we kept hitting.

This little guy will love it's new home in the rock wall on #7 tee.

October 2017 Weather Summary

October 2017 had an average temperature of 55.8 degrees, down just under 10 degrees from September. The high temperature was 84.7 (October 3rd) and the lowest recorded temperature was 30.6, (Oct 26th  which was also the only day during the month that the temperature dipped below the freezing point.)

We got 5.58 inches of rain at Leslie Park's weather station during October. The rain fell on 15 different days, with the largest amount coming on the 11th (1.64 inches.) Nine  days recorded more than a tenth of an inch. That brings the total so far to 37.33 inches for 2017.

Friday, October 6, 2017

September 2017 Weather Summary

Dr. Kevin Frank from Michigan State University said that it seemed as if August and September switched places this year. I couldn't agree more. September had five days with high temperatures above 90 degrees. The rest of 2017 had only one, as June 12th got to 90.0 degrees exactly. The highest temperature at Leslie Park was 91.9 (September 22nd,) which was in the middle of a stretch of seven days with high temperatures above 85 degrees and had all five of the 90 degree-plus days. The lowest temperature was 41.5 (10th,) while the average was 64.6 degrees.

We got 1.34 inches of rain at Leslie Park's weather station during September while Huron received less than one inch. The hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico kept high pressure and clear skies above Michigan for most of the month. The rain fell on six different days, with the largest amount coming on the 4th (0.77 inches.) The next highest rainfall was 0.32 inches, just three days later. That meant just a quarter of an inch of rain fell from September 8th through the end of the month. That week of hot temperatures also fell in the last half of the month, so these factors combined to make the grass think it was mid-summer. Only 2 days recorded more than a tenth of an inch. That brings the total so far to 26.11 inches for 2017.

As I write this on October 6th, we have gotten 0.27 inches of rain today, so we hope we have turned the corner on the dry weather.