COURSE CARE
It’s Always a Factor March 31, 2010 By R.A. (Bob) Brame

Yep, it’s always a factor. We talk about it frequently and no doubt always will. It directly and persistently affects golf course maintenance. No matter how well we plan, there are times it gets the best of us. There are times it compromises what we’d like to present to those playing the course. There are times when it prevents us from playing at all. There are also times when it gives back more than we could ever accomplish on our own. Some say don’t use it as an excuse, but the reality is it can be the reason. The ‘it,’ of course, is weather. Whether or not all agree, weather is a factor in both the preparation and play of golf courses. If nothing else, the past should teach us not to fight against it, but to work with it by preparing for the unexpected.

A solid infrastructure, with an agronomically sound maintenance program added, maximizes flexibility when the unexpected happens. A good example has been the extensive gray snow mold disease (Typhula blight) experienced in the lower North Central Region. Unusually heavy snows, for much of the area, opened the door to gray snow mold disease activity further south than typically seen. Who could have foreseen this, and yet those with a sound maintenance program have experienced quick recovery without having to make any changes. Additional information on snow mold disease, from Purdue and Ohio State, can be reviewed by clicking on the links below.

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/2010/03082010_snowmold.html

http://buckeyeturf.osu.edu/index.php?option=com_turfnotes&Itemid=84&noteid=2457

 

To comprehensively review your total disease management program, check out the publication by Drs. Vincelli and Williams at the University of Kentucky.

/content/dam/usga/pdf/imported/course-care/ppa1.pdf

 

There have been a number of recent questions about managing Poa annua seed heads. Here again, not surprisingly, weather is a factor that must be carefully considered to formulate the best strategy. The GDD (growing degree day) tracker from Michigan State University ( http://www.gddtracker.net/) is an excellent tool for improving timing. There is also information about preemergent herbicide timing.

Clearly, there are more golf course management resources available today than ever before. Yet, economics and politics must be considered along with the agronomics. An onsite visit from your local Green Section agronomist is the best way to effectively merge agronomics, economics and politics. Recognizing that it’s hard to effectively review your own program, we can also provide a candid and unbiased review of your course’s maintenance operation. Are you prepared for the unexpected? Give us a call, or drop an email, to schedule a visit.

Source: Bob Brame bobbrame@usga.org or 859.356.3272

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