Monday, June 30, 2008

Irrigation CSI

Last weekend we had a major irrigation break that took place in the fourth fairway. The PVC tee shattered under the cyclical pressure stress that is problematic with our current irrigation system. I have seen a lot of PVC failures over the years and I can honestly say that I have never seen one that has broken like this before.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spray Time

Waitea circinata is a cool season turfgrass pathogen that has recently increased in occurrence in the western, mid western and northeastern U.S. On putting greens the disease appears in the form of yellow rings that range in size from several inches to a foot in diameter. As the disease progresses, the rings can turn from yellow to light brown and even reddish brown. After the turf has been infected the recovery tends to be slow, so it is important to closely monitor the disease activity and decide weather a fungicide application is necessary.

Controlling the disease is the hardest part at this point, due to the disease being relatively new and people are still trying to understand it. Both University and field testing are taking place to evaluate the efficacies of various fungicides against this new pathogen.

We applied a fungicide application several days ago, to get the disease under control before any significant damage occurs. Chemical applications are always my last choice of attack, but since the disease has been present for several weeks with little improvement something had to be done before any secondary infections occur.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Keeping the Message Alive

In efforts to help with awareness of proper golf course care, the staff uniform shirts have become walking billboards. We have taken the opportunity to design shirt logos that will help remind you about the importance of your responsibilities while playing golf. Do your part and help make the course a better place for all to enjoy.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Supply and Demand

The golf course industry is feeling the pain with the rising cost of energy affecting the bottom line of fertilizer budgets. Average prices that are being paid for major fertilizer nutrients have reached the highest level on record in April 2008, 228% higher than the same time eight years ago.

Natural gas is a feedstock in the production of ammonia, which is the building block for all nitrogen fertilizers. The cost natural gas accounts for 70 to 90 percent of the production cost of ammonia.

Key Factors Contributing To Dramatic Price Increases

  • U.S. Ethanol Production is Increasing Domestic Fertilizer Demand.

  • Global demand for fertilizer has placed upward pressure on fertilizer prices.

  • The U.S. ethanol boom is driving fertilizer demand higher.

  • Increased transportation costs to move fertilizer products is factoring into increased delivered fertilizer prices.

  • The value of the U.S. dollar has fallen significantly in the past few years,
    increasing the cost of Goods imported - including fertilizer.

  • High natural Gas prices in the United States continue to lead to higher
    fertilizer production costs.

    The Fertilizer Institute

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Predictive Models

Fertilizer technology has improved just like everything else around us. Today many of the fertilizer producers have spent a tremendous amount of time and money developing highly predicable fertilizer products. Previously slow release products relied on sulfur coatings that were applied around the fertilizer particle to control the release. These products were touted as having a controlled releases of anywhere between 8 and 12 weeks. Unfortunately this was not always what happened in the field due to failures in the coatings.

Now days the coatings that are applied to the fertilizer are made from hi-tech polymers that are not subject to the same failures as previous coatings. These newer coatings will now allow release times of up to 12 to 16 weeks of nutrient supply. This has now allowed for more predicable releases of fertilizer products that help Golf Course Superintendent’s better manage their fertility.

Several of the fertilizer producers now make available software that can be used to show the projected releases of the individual products. This has been extremely useful in allowing the end user to better schedule fertilizer application timings, so that excessive growth is not produced.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Do You Know The Three R’s?

We have begun posting signs on the golf course stressing the importance of course care. The latest is about the three R’s, but these are different than what you think.

• Repair Ballmarks
• Replace Divots
• Respect The Course

Learning these three R’s will help improve the conditions found on the golf course for everyone to enjoy and be proud of. Do your part; learn the new Three R’s.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pretty in Pink

The Ladies Member Guest had their practice round yesterday and they were surprised with a new look to the golf course. They were greeted with the flags on the greens in hot pink with the clubs logo on them. These flags will be used for special occasions such as the Member Guest and The Rally For The Cure.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Photosynthesis is a series of steps for the conversion of light energy into chemical energy by living organisms.

All living plants use light and water to make sugar. Sugar is created in the green parts of a plant and every animal on earth depends on it. Without plants we would have no food to eat or oxygen to breath.

Plants absorb carbon dioxide, pull water up through their roots and use light to make sugar. Plants use the sugar to grow. Plants give off oxygen as a by-product. The green parts of the plant make the sugar and oxygen.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Water Feature or Irrigation System???

This morning’s latest water show took place on the golf course with a break in the middle of #4 fairway. The PVC tee fitting actually split in half due to years of cyclic fatigue that caused the failure. As we have been saying all along things with the irrigation system will only get worse as time goes on. This was the second major irrigation break to occur in the last three days.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Divot Replacement 101

While playing golf it is your responsibility to leave as light a footprint as possible during your round of golf. This is done by properly caring for the course by, repairing your ball marks, raking bunkers and replacing your divots.

I am often asked do we fill fairway divots with sand and seed or replace the divot. The answer is sometimes both, because it depends on how large the divot is. There are many times that a divot is complete shrapnel or to thin and small to replace, when this occurs used sand and seed. With Bentgrass fairways the divots tend to be large and when a sizable divot is taken it should be replaced. There are also times that a divot should be replaced and sand and seed used to fill in around the edges. Unfortunately there is not a black and white answer on how to repair your divots, but with the above information you will now know how to properly repair your divots.

A properly Replaced Fairway Divot

A Replaced Divot With Sand Filling In Shrapnel

Improperly Filled Divot With Sand and Seed Mix

Friday, June 20, 2008

What’s in an irrigation system?

The irrigation system is the heart of the golf course and without it functioning properly everything else suffers. The system is 23 years old and in a rapid state of failure that many of you have seen first hand. We have spent the last year and a half working on the details of a new system design to be installed.

Two weeks ago, only the most highly qualified contractors were invited to bid on our project and we are now analyzing the numbers that have come in.

Most people have no concept of how involved the various irrigation system components are such as pipe, power wire, communication cable, pump stations, valves and sprinkler heads. Of the entire irrigation system nearly 90% of it is underground and out of sight.

To give you an idea of the scale and complexity of the irrigation system, many of the components can be measured in miles.

Sprinkler Heads 3500
Wire 343 miles
HDPE pipe 36 miles
Valves 758

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dragging Hose

As the heat is increasing and rainfall decreasing the inadequacies of the irrigation system are showing through. As mentioned in an earlier post about the color of brown being acceptable, some additional water still needs to be applied to these areas.

Hand watering will hit full swing this week as numerous hot spots are now in all their glory. Anywhere you look on the golf course that is brown or looks bad is due to poor irrigation coverage. The only way short of natural precipitation that these areas can receive water is from hand watering by my staff.

In the heat of summer there are as few a two people hand watering and as many as nine on any given day. This is very labor intensive, but it is the only was to ensure the course is not over watered. From an agronomic stand point this is the best way to properly water, by focusing in on the localized spots with hoses and not running sprinkler heads which cover too large of an area.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ball Mark Recovery

The additional fertility that has been applied to the greens is helping with ball mark recovery. If you look closely at the ball marks that were actually repaired, you will se new growth forming and beginning the fill the mark back in. Additionally other un-repaired ball marks are beginning to fill in as well, from the fertility and use of PGR’s.

The plant growth regulators help the turf by increasing plant density and production of additional tillers. This additional growth is mostly in the form of lateral movement which helps grow over and into old ball marks. This type of lateral spreading is the normal growth habit of the Pencross Bentgrass, but this movement is enhanced with the use of PGR’s.

Close Up Of a Recovering Ball Mark

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Love Monday’s

Monday is my favorite day to work on the golf course because, no golf is being played, the course has a chance to rest and we get an incredible amount of work done.

Maintenance Monday goes a long way around here allowing us to perform highly disruptive to play agronomic practices. After a weekend of play with over 500 rounds pushing through, the golf course looks and is tired. It is on days like today that we can help the golf course recover from the abuse that it is subjected to from the sheer volume of play.

Today alone, we did more work on the course than most people will do in several days. The highlights of today’s activities would be the following; topdressing greens, spraying fairways, spraying tees and fertilizing both rough and greens.

The greens were topdressed with nearly seven tons of sand, which was drug in and will be virtually invisible to the eye.

The fairways were sprayed with a tank mix of liquid fertilizer and plant growth regulators for Poa Annua suppression.

The tees were sprayed with an insecticide, wetting agent and a sodium mitigation product.

The rough was fertilized to stimulate growth and recovery from heavy cart traffic and general wear and tear from play.

This list is only a portion of what actually took place today, because most of the tasks were normal maintenance items that take place every day.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wetting Agents

Since we have not had any significant rainfall and the summer heat is beginning to kick in many localized hot spots or hydrophobic areas are stating to appear. Preparations have been made weeks ago anticipating these weather conditions and wetting agents were applied to minimize this problem.
Wetting agents, work by lowering the cohesive and/or adhesive surface water tension. This reduction of surface tension allows the water to spread out more evenly and allow for better penetration into the soils, especially soils that are hydrophobic. The infiltration of water into these soils can often be improved by applying a wetting agent. Wetting agents are detergent-like substances that reduce the surface tension of water, allowing it to penetrate and wet the soil more easily.
Hydrophobic soils exhibit the inability to absorb water to the point of repellency. This situation is made more problematic when soil also contains high levels of sodium and chlorides. Combine these three factors and the soil turns cement like and produces poor conditions for turfgrass to perform well. Play areas such as greens and tees are treated every month with wetting agents to prevent hydrophobic conditions from developing. Areas such as fairways and rough are spot treated as they appear.
The picture below demonstrates how wetting agents lower surface tension and help remove dew from the leaf blade of the grass.

Another tool that we are using to combat hydrophobic soil conditions is the use of a Seair ozone diffusion water treatment system. Laboratory testing has shown that this diffusion system actually lowers the surface tension of the water, allowing for better water penetration.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pick Em Up

You will see them everywhere especially on the driving range tee, a virtual forest of broken tees strewn across the turf. This is problem because people just grab handfuls of tees to take with them to go and practice, when in reality you should only be taking a few with you. Most of the time you will find more than enough tees already laying on the ground when you arrive to hit balls. I would have to guess if the tees were not freely given out and a cost was associated with them, you would be hard pressed to find any laying around.

On the course the problem is equally bad, but there is a solution right in front of your eyes. Each tee marker is equipped with a cut out for broken tees to be placed in after use. Many people are already great at using these devices, but I would encourage everybody to start using them more for your broken tees.

Tee Marker With Broken Tee Collector

The benefits of discarding your broken tees would be a cleaner neater appearance on the tee surface as well as less damage to the mowing equipment. The mowers are designed to cut grass not wood and these broken tees can cause damage to either the reel or bedknife of the mower. After each mowing my Equipment Manager has to sharpen and re-adjust all of the cutting units to ensure that they are properly cutting for the next use. This process is made more difficult by the numerous amounts of broken tees that are mowed each and every time.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Frosty Pumpkin

Having worked at Country Club for the last fourteen years, I can honestly say that I have never seen a frost delay in June. Both yesterday and Thursday the temperatures dipped into the low 30’s and a frost/ ice formation occurred.

On Thursday we were lucky not to have a delay, but Friday we had to hold tee times by 20 minutes. Golfers are not the only ones delayed when frost occurs, so is daily maintenance of the course. When there is frost on the grass, we cannot drive on or mow without causing significant turf damage. The delay in starting times allows us to get out ahead of play and begin our daily maintenance and complete the tasks at hand. Allowing us this head start helps us finish the scheduled work in a more efficient manor as well as minimize interference with play. Everybody is a winner.
Light Frost/Ice in Rough

Friday, June 13, 2008

Looking Good

With all of the moisture we have received this spring and early summer the native grass areas are doing well.

Native Grasses Doing Well

Each year the quality of the native is solely dependent on the amount of natural precipitation we receive. Without this early season moisture the quality of native grasses we are seeing now would not be possible. One negative associated with the abundant moisture would be that the weeds have thrived as well. We have sprayed all of these areas once already and have begun going around a second time. In certain areas it would appear that nothing has been treated, but that is not the case.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

2000 Hits

The blog continues to receive an increased level of hits per week and appears to be turning into a regular stop for a lot of people.

When the blog was first started I wanted it to become a conduit for presenting information about what is taking place on the golf course. I believe it has served that purpose well and has provided a lot of people, members and non-members alike a lot of quality information. For the blog to reach the first 1000 hits it took over ten weeks, to reach the second 1000 hits it took only four weeks.

Thank you all for faithfully visiting and I hope that I can continue to produce material that holds your interest.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not So Rough After All

As the summer heat begins to kick in the rough is finally showing signs of slowing down. The early fertility that was applied to the rough in the spring to promote active growth and recovery from winter damage worked well, a little too well.

Now that the excess fertilizer has been exhausted from the soil, the over active grow is subsiding. The additional factors of higher daytime temperatures and low humidity have also worked to help slow down the growth of the rough. The rough is still very thick, but it now has become easier to find your ball as well as hit from it.

Additional fertilizer will still be applied to the rough as the summer progresses mainly to allow the grass to have a chance to repair itself from the beating it takes on daily basis with heavy cart traffic.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Have you ever wandered how the bunker grass faces are mowed? The bunker slopes are mowed with a specialized mower called a Flymo. The Flymo is a mower that floats above the ground much like a hover craft. The mower itself has no wheels and utilizes the blade and deck of the mower to create lift. The blade acts just like a helicopter rotor that helps create the lift necessary to fly. If it were not for these specialized mowers, the bunker banks would not look as clean and crisp as the do after being mowed. This look would be hard to achieve with a weed eater or any other type of mowing equipment.
Flymowing Taking Place

Crisp Clean looking Bunker Nose

Monday, June 9, 2008

Weed of The Week


Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterized by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins, mostly in the plant family Asteraceae. Prickles often occur all over the plant - on surfaces such as those of the stem and flat parts of leaves. These are an adaptation to protect the plant against herbivorous animals, discouraging them from feeding on the plant.

The two most problematic Thistle species we deal with are Canada and Bull thistle. You will routinely see our staff out spraying these weeds throughout the growing season.

Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense): is an aggressive, creeping perennial weed that infests Crops, pastures, rangeland, roadsides and non crop areas. Generally, infestations start on disturbed ground, including ditch banks, overgrazed pastures, tilled fields or abandoned sites. The Thistle crowds out and replaces native plants, changes the structure and species composition of natural plant communities and reduces plant and animal diversity. This highly invasive thistle prevents the coexistence of other plant species through shading, competition for soil resources and possibly through the release of chemical toxins poisonous to other plants.

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare): It is a biennial, and sometimes annual or perennial in the sunflower family, a widespread weed that can grow in a wide range of environments but is most troublesome in recently or repeatedly disturbed areas such as pastures or home construction sites. It is found on dry and wet soils, but is most common on soils with intermediate moisture.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Cattails are a common plant found in many ponds. They are best described as having long, slender, grass-like stalks that can grow up to 10 feet in height. In late summer and fall, they form the brown seed heads that so many of us associate with cattails. A small area of cattails can be visually pleasing as well as provide fish and wildlife habitat. However, cattails rapidly spread via seeds and roots. In just a few short years without management, cattails take over pond shallow water areas. It is not unusual to see ponds that are completely surrounded by cattails. This ruins the pond’s visual and recreational benefits. Fortunately, cattails can be successfully managed.
Last year we began a major cattail removal on the sixth hole to improve the aesthetics as well as the playability of the hole. It appeared that we were able to kill all of the cattails, but as the summer has progressed a portion of the cattail population has returned. We will be treating these areas as they appear throughout the season, so that we can reach our goal of a clean pond edge.

Mechanical Management:
Physically removing cattails is a viable option when they first invade a pond. New cattails can easily be pulled by hand once the new green growth is about 6 inches above the water surface.
Biological Management:
There is currently no good choice to achieve biological control of cattails. Grass carp (white amur) are often mentioned as a potential control method, but in reality they prefer not to eat cattails.
Chemical Management:
The use of chemicals is the most commonly used method to control cattails, because it is easy to accomplish and does not require persistent vigilance

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Traffic and Erosion Repair

There are many areas found on the golf course that cart traffic (member play, beverage cart and maintenance) all contribute to worn areas adjacent to the paths. Some of the wear and tear is avoidable, by parking all four wheels of the golf cart on the path at green and tee locations. Other worn areas area created at bottlenecks where heavy traffic going in both directions forces either one or both vehicles off the path so that one can pass. These areas are most commonly found in native areas at the tee locations. These native areas are not equipped with irrigation nor can these grasses handle any recurring traffic.

We have begun to repair several of these areas throughout the golf course, but keep in mind that many of these repairs are more than likely temporary. The reason being that once these areas have reestablished themselves and are once again exposed to repeated cart traffic they will fail again. The correct way to deal with these problem areas is to widen the cart paths, so that two carts can pass each other without leaving the path. This has been done over the years with success at several of the green and tee locations that have been problematic.

The repairs of the worn areas begin with loosening the compacted area with a tiller or pick depending on the size. Next amendments such as compost are added to the soil and re-tilled to properly mix the two together. The final step is to re-seed and cover with a fabric or hydraulic much product.
Worn Area With Some Erosion Taking Place
Soil Prep Done With Compost Added
Final Seeding With Hydraulic Mulch

Friday, June 6, 2008

Some Days Are Less Than Perfect

Yesterday morning I was awakened at 3:30 am to the sound of rain and I knew it was going to be a great day for work, but not necessarily for playing golf. It is days like this where we can take advantage of limited play on the course and get a lot accomplished with little interference.

We were able to spray some fairways in the rain with a product that helps us deal with the high levels of sodium, chlorides and bicarbonates in the soil. The timing of this application was perfect due to the fact that the product needed to be watered in.
Spraying in The Rain

This soil treatment is a revolutionary sprayable soil amendment that helps
reclaim damaged soils by aggressively lowering bicarbonate levels and solubilizing hardened deposits in soil. Bicarbonate in the soil interacts with calcium and as it dries forms calcium carbonate. This cementing action minimizes flocculation, water penetration, fertilizer efficiency and access to nutrients in the soil.

This new soil treatment reacts instantly with the deposits, freeing bound-up nutrients previously unavailable to the plant. The newly solubilized calcium also helps flush unwanted salts. The result is an improved soil profile and a plant renewed with increased calcium, phosphorous, nitrogen, zinc and other key nutrients.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lightning Safety

Colorado has the second highest amount of cloud to ground lightning strikes in the United States and it is for this reason that extra caution should be taken when lightning is near by.
It always seems to happen when you are having the round of your life. The sky darkens, the wind picks up and the thunder begins to roll across the golf course.
The temptation always exists in these circumstances to convince yourself and your playing partners that there is enough time to finish your round, or at least a few more holes. If you play on instead of seeking shelter, your great round could become the last round of your life.
Every year more people are killed or injured by lightning than by tornadoes, floods or hurricanes. In fact, it's estimated that in the United States, as many as 300 people are killed by lightning each year.
Because they are generally open areas with scattered individual trees, golf courses are dangerous places during a thunderstorm. A lightning bolt will take the shortest route between the cloud and the ground, which means that a golfer standing in the middle of a fairway or huddled under a tree is a prime target for a strike.

However, there are several safety measures you can take to avoid being hit by lightning:

  • Seek shelter at the first sign of a thunderstorm.
  • If the course's warning system sounds, take cover.
  • If possible, get off the golf course or go to a designated lightning shelter.
  • Do not stand under a lone tree. This is where most people are injured or killed.
  • Stay away from water.
  • Stay away from your golf clubs.
  • Move away from your golf cart.
  • If stranded in the open, go to a low place such as a ravine or valley.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hanging In

The Ponderosa Pines that have been under stress throughout the golf course are showing signs of improvement. We have been actively treating these trees every two weeks with soil amendments to help correct soil problems. The soils contain high levels of sodium and chlorides that are a by product of the effluent water.

New Candles Pushing Out

If you look closely at the trees there is significant candling or new growth taking place, which is a very encouraging sign. I believe that we would be doing ourselves a tremendous disservice, by cutting down these mature Ponderosa’s without doing everything in our power to save them first.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Down With Brown

The warm weather has finally hit and it is beginning to show on the golf course. As mentioned earlier this year in both newsletters and blog postings, the color of brown will be more acceptable on the golf course.

The intent is to have the fairways to become firmer and allow for more ball roll off the tee shot, with the visual result being a more off colored golf course. The Bentgrass fairways require less water than the surrounding Bluegrass rough and as a result of this is the fairways receive too much water due to a lack of area separation of irrigation areas .

The new irrigation system design will allow for a separation of watering areas such as greens, tees, fairways and rough will all be controlled and irrigated separately. This will allow us more control over the water and keep it out of the fairways when they do not need it. Currently there is no separation of watering areas, so we have heads that water both fairway and rough areas together. The result of this is that for the rough to receive the proper amount of water the fairway then becomes too wet due to the overthrow. We will be letting the rough dry out and even turn brown, so that the fairway conditions do not become overly wet.

Outer Edges of Rough Drying Out
A higher Level of Drought Stress Taking Place

Monday, June 2, 2008

Understanding Turfgrass Nutrition

In order for a turfgrass to grow and thrive, it needs a number of different chemical elements. The most important are:

· Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen - Available from air and water and therefore in plentiful supply
· Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (a.k.a. potash) - The three macronutrients and the three elements you find in most packaged fertilizers
· Sulfur, calcium, and magnesium - Secondary nutrients
· Boron, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc are micronutrients
· Every amino acid contains nitrogen.
· Every molecule making up every cell's membrane contains phosphorous
· Potassium makes up 1 percent to 2 percent of the weight of any plant and, as an ion in cells, is essential to metabolism.
If any of the macronutrients are missing or hard to obtain from the soil, this will limit the growth rate for the plant. In nature, the nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium often come from the decay of plants that have died. In the case of nitrogen, the recycling of nitrogen from dead to living plants is often the only source of nitrogen in the soil.
To make plants grow faster, what you need to do is supply the elements that the plant needs in readily available forms. Most fertilizers supply just nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium because the other chemicals are needed in much lower quantities and are generally available in most soils. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium availability is the big limit to growth.
The numbers on a bag of fertilizer tell you the percentages of available nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium found in the bag. So 12-8-10 fertilizer has 12-percent nitrogen, 8-percent phosphorous and 10-percent potassium. In a 100-pound bag, therefore, 12 pounds is nitrogen, 8 pounds is phosphorous and 10 pounds is potassium. The other 70 pounds is filler and has no value to the plants.
So why don't people need fertilizer to grow? Because we get everything we need from the plants we eat or from the meat of animals that ate plants. Plants are factories that do all of the work to process the basic elements of life and make them available to us.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Play It Where You Find It

Playing the course each and every day can become monotonous when a similar tee setup occurs. We are fortunate to have on average five different tees to utilize on each and every hole. This can be a burden from a maintenance standpoint, but from the playability side there are opportunities to vary how the course plays on a daily basis.

Over the years as new men’s and ladies tee have been built, some of the former tees have not been utilized in the fullest capacity. With as much play as the golf course receives it will better protect and spread out the traffic on the tees if every setup option is used.

New tee combinations have evolved for both the men and women in the form of a “Combo tee” setup. This has been done to either pick up additional length or shorten the hole, both of which have improved the playability for both groups using these types of tee setups. Both the Green and Golf Committees are looking into other “Combo Tee” setups to provide more variety on the length of the course without have to build any additional tees.

Over the last week we have begun to move both men’s and women’s tees forward or back from the normal tee locations. On the men’s side of this there is several old one Pine tees that are rarely used and allow us to occasionally add additional length to the two pine tee setup. This is also being done with the ladies tees as well, by moving some of the five pines from the newly constructed tees back to the old four pines. Keep in mind this will not be done every day, but it will be done occasionally so that the setup becomes more interesting and fun to play. The movement from the normal tees will not have an impact to you normal handicap, due to the fact that this variation is not statistically significant in your long term handicap calculations.