They say April showers bring May flowers, but in Central Texas, April showers continued through May. The rainfall over the last 18 months, beginning in fall of 2014, has all but erased an almost seven-year drought that began in late 2007. Currently a little over 98 percent of the state is in the “none” drought conditions as I write in early June, as reported by the Texas Drought Monitor.
Long term forecasts are stating we could shift from the El Niño pattern to La Niña by the end of the summer. This would be one of the quickest macro-weather shifts in history. El Niño generally brings wetter and cooler weather to Central Texas while La Niña generally brings the opposite — drier and hotter weather. Now is the time to conserve water. Just because we have it doesn’t mean we should waste it! As a state meteorologist said in 1927, “Texas is a land of perennial drought, broken by the occasional devastating flood.”
The spring rain put our new Better Billy Bunkers to the test. I am happy to say they performed as expected or better. Little to no washing occurred throughout many heavy rain events. The maintenance staff was able to utilize their time formerly spent on repairing bunkers by addressing drainage improvements, storm clean-up and countless other items. Feedback from players has been very positive, especially now since the sand has had time to settle. We can all agree this was a very worthwhile investment.
The Clubs are constantly making improvements throughout all areas. This summer will be no exception on the golf course. A contractor will be here again for four to six weeks focusing on cleaning up contaminated zoysia around the greens. Contamination will happen over time, especially when growing three different grasses like we do. Our goal is to complete half the green surrounds, re-grass all of #14 fairway (the good zoysia will be used throughout the green surrounds), rebuild three tees, and possibly build a zoysia nursery for future use. We will cover as much as possible this year, with any remaining areas completed next year.
I hope you are enjoying your summer because once you close this issue of Cordillera Ranch Living, school will be back in session and the holidays will be right around the corner!
Mark Semm is the Director of Agronomy at Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830.336.3710.
Rain-soaked #16 green
#11 Fairway Bunkers after 1″ of rain