“We have only had 4 inches of measurable rain in three months so, there have been a lot of windy days, low humidity,” Robert Mackie, Dunes West Superintendent said.
And not just one… but two types of grass to care for on the beautiful Dunes West course.
“That ryegrass is still there so we’re watering trying to keep it alive and trying to keep our native grass which is the Bermuda grass alive as well and then obviously the greens we water typically every day,” Mackie said. “But yeah it’s more spot watering. You see your weaknesses in your irrigation system as well.”
As Mackie says, being good stewards of the water we have… because when the whole course is watered..
“It usually starts around 8 or 9 at night and then we’re usually done at 1 or 2 in the morning so we usually run about 300 thousand gallons a night,” Mackie said.
Thats enough to make any rain chance in the forecast a sight for sore eyes.
“The driving range, it gets a lot of play, so we welcome the rain honestly. The problem is when we get too much rain like we did in January, February, then the driving range isn’t overseeded so it gets really wet and the balls tend to plug,” Mackie explained. “But as far as the tee, we overseed it with ryegrass and it stays busy all the time.”
The combination of ryegrass and bermuda grass keeps the greens in tip-top shape year round.
“The Bermuda grass, as you know with the frost, it goes dormant, so it’s not growing for our peak season which is typically March-May,” Mackie said. “Through the winter it provides color and more of a playing surface, and we just choose to do that. A lot of courses do not choose to do that.”
While rainy, soggy conditions definitely slow down most greens, the ones at Dunes West still usually play fast.
“It’s a touch and go situation with that but our greens we redid in 2019 so they’re still pretty firm even after a rain,” Mackie said.
That being said, Mackie doesn’t want a washout for his course, but a nice steady rain would be perfect.
“Half an inch would be ideal. An inch might be a little much, we might get some washing and some debris.”