COURSE CARE
On The Road With The USGA - January 2010 January 28, 2010 By R.A. (Bob) Brame

All indicators so far this winter suggest there has been no significant turf damage through the lower North Central Region (Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio).  We experienced some very cold weather, but the snow cover offered beneficial buffering of the harsh cold.  

Currently, there is little to no snow cover and, as such, the predicted cold snap on the immediate horizon could have a different impact.  In fact, it is the late winter and early spring when typically we see the most cold-weather- related golf turf injury.  While, warm season grasses, bermudagrasses in particular, are vulnerable throughout the colder months, Poa annua is particularly susceptible through the latter half of winter as freeze–thaw cycles often become sharp and pronounced.  This is particularly true with low mowed Poa annua.  Healthy, deep regionalUpdateContented plants, which means good drainage is in place, are less vulnerable to damage from weather extremes.  Thus, while little can be done to prevent possible damage now, the maintenance program in place through the growing season is vitally important and will have far reaching implications.            

The Indiana Green Expo, held in Indianapolis on January 6th - 8th, was once again a success.  A few quotes collected from various speakers include the following.  

  • “Deep and infrequent watering cycles can intensify the development of isolated dry spots.”
  • “Preventative pest control is more economical and environmentally friendly than curative control when there is site specific history.”
  • “Invite the USGA to visit if you need or want to get rid of trees.”
  • “Yellow patch (cool season brown patch) hits both annual bluegrass and creeping bentgrass.”
  • “Brown ring patch (waitea patch) affects annual bluegrass and not so much creeping bentgrass.”
  • “Prostar or Heritage work best on large patch (zoysia patch).”
  • “Civitas seems good on anthracnose with one year of trials, but other concerns, as yet, maybe hidden.”

If you are interested in the sources of the above quotes or if other questions arise, give me a call.

That Time of Year

Information about our Turf Advisory Service (TAS) will be mailed to all courses in our database over the next few weeks.  The fee structure remains the same as 2009 – $2,300 for a half-day visit and $3,100 for a full-day.  A $500 discount is offered with early payment (received by May 15th), but visits can be scheduled anytime during the season.  Capitalize on this valuable savings.  There are no additional costs (i.e. travel, etc.), and value satisfaction is guaranteed.  

With the golf course being the primary asset at most operations, a comprehensive review by a USGA agronomist is money well spent.  The tight economy further elevates the benefits as the recommendations more often will generate savings that far exceed the visit cost.  If your course does not receive subscription information or if you’d like to nail down a specific date, give us a call.  We look forward to working with you in the days ahead.         

Source:  Bob Brame, bobbrame@usga.org or 859-356-3272