COURSE CARE
Mid-Continent Regional Update June 19, 2012 By Bud White

Trees continue to die as a result of the severe drought experienced over much of the region. This facility lost approximately 520 trees.

What are the long-term effects of the record-setting droughts of 2010 and 2011 in the lower Midwest? While irrigated turf survived for the most part many trees outside the irrigation coverage did not fare so well. The 36-hole complex pictured lost an estimated 520 trees. Pines and cedars were especially hard hit while oaks and other native species also suffered significant damage.

Most courses that are now facing costly tree removal did not anticipate such expenses when they prepared their maintenance budgets. As a result, either trees are not being taken down, which may be a huge liability to the course, or tree removal costs are absorbed into the existing golf course operations budget. The difficult economy has already forced many courses to trim the budget to the bone so tough decisions have to be made as more cuts are implemented.

What is the best route for your golf course? The Green Section has a great deal of experience with this and other difficult issues and can help you and your course leadership determine the best option for your course. If you would like more information about a Turf Advisory Service visit please contact me, Bud White, at (972) 662-1138 or (budwhite@usga.org).