COURSE CARE
News and Notes July 29, 2012 By Patrick O’Brien and Chris Hartwiger

With long, hot days and plenty of rainfall, high volumes of bermudagrass clippings are a common sight on golf courses in the Southeast.

Travel and Turf Advisory Service visits to golf courses have been the focus of Green Section activities in the Southeast Region recently. Below are a few observations at the conclusion of June and July.

Ready, Set, Grow – After a good spring, it took a little while for the trifecta of longer days, high temperatures, and plentiful rainfall to come into place and send the bermudagrass into rapid growth mode. After the heat wave in early July, rain has arrived in most places in moderate to high volumes and the bermudagrass is off to the races. Plant growth regulators once again demonstrate their value when multiple days of mowing are missed due to interruptions by rain and wet soils.

Bentgrass Holding Its Own – The spring and early summer were favorable for bentgrass growth this year. The blast of heat in early July fortunately was accompanied by low humidity and steady winds. One golf course in middle Tennessee reported that one day in early July they experienced a low of 57 and a high of 109! 

The weather pattern shifted following the heat wave. Rainfall quantities have been all over the map. Reports of rapid loss of bentgrass have come following multiple days of rain with cumulative rainfall totals of 5 to 15 inches or more. Although many golfers believe rainfall helps bentgrass putting greens, superintendents know better. Too much rain accompanied by temperatures in the 90’s is not a good combination.

Educational Opportunities 

Below are links to upcoming turfgrass field days in the region. These are excellent opportunities to support your local and regional turfgrass programs as well as pick up a few ideas that may be useful to your golf course.

August 8, 2012  N.C. State University Field Day  2012 N.C. State Field Day Info 

August 14, 2012 Clemson University Field Day – No online information available.  Contact Dr. Bert McCarty for more information.  bmccrty@clemson.edu  

September 13, 2012 University of Tennessee Field Day  2012 Tenn. Field Day Info 

Remainder of the Summer 

With August now upon us, it isn’t too soon to be looking forward to agronomic issues related to the Fall. Please contact us at any time if we can be of further assistance. 

Patrick O’Brien (patobrien@usga.org , 678-591-7340) and Chris Hartwiger (chartwiger@usga.org , 678-591-7410)