July 17 2013
The 18th at Annandale is a par 5 guarded by water. (Greenwood/Getty Images)
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM contributor
As with its fellow PGA TOUR venues in the South, Annandale Golf Club took a hit from the cold spring that socked the region a few months ago.
In this case, though, the calendar worked in Annandale’s favor.
A July date meant the course had plenty of time to recover in time for this week’s Sanderson Farms Championship. Considering some of the trials encountered by Al Osteen’s peers, no one would blame them for being a little envious.
“We’ve had something of a pretty routine year,” said Osteen, Annandale’s director of golf course operations for the past 13 years.
Osteen and his crew did have to take action against the fungal diseases pythium and leaf spot when nighttime lows dropped back into the 40s after the club’s primary Bermudagrass had awakened from dormancy.
But no turf had to be replaced, and there were plenty of warm nights in May and June to get the rough up to its prescribed 3 inches for this week.
“We were fortunate,” Osteen said. “Some places got really thin and weak and we had to do some babysitting, but they bounced back.”
If anything, the biggest challenge for Osteen’s crew was putting certain spring maintenance projects on hold until the weather warmed up for good.
“That basically had us try to cover more ground in less time,” he said. “Projects like a bridge replacement or cart path repair or tree trimming to do – it puts your behind. We’re trying to play catch-up from that poin forward.”
With several creeks running across the property, Annandale’s layout is dotted by more than a dozen bridges, some surpassing 30 years in use.
Forecasts call for temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s all week, with as much as a 40 percent chance of pop-up thunderstorms common to the Southeast. Thursday and Friday pose the greatest storm threats.