COURSE CARE
Summertime Maintenance Plans: Don’t Forget About The Collars April 15, 2014 By John H. Foy

Collar ridges that restrict surface drainage develop as a result of topdressing sand and organic matter accumulation. Over the past winter, restricted surface drainage and the persistence of excessive regionalUpdateContentzone moisture contributed to an increased incidence of disease activity around the perimeters of putting greens.

The winter golf season in south Florida will be coming to an end in another few weeks and, shortly thereafter, summertime core aeration and other cultural management practices will be undertaken. While never popular with year-round golfers, these practices are needed to begin the recovery from wintertime traffic and wear damage. Course maintenance practices throughout the remainder of the summer are also important to correct problems with the golf course and prepare for the next playing season.

One problem that has been encountered on a more frequent basis is the development of a ridged condition in the collars around putting greens. This condition, caused by a buildup of topdressing sand and organic matter, is problematic because it can prevent adequate surface drainage. This past winter there were a number of cases where outbreaks of Pythium regionalUpdateContent rot were experienced due to the persistence of saturated conditions in perimeter areas of putting greens. Collar ridges can also increase mower-scalping damage and negatively affect play of approach and chip shots onto putting greens.

One program being conducted at some courses to level collar ridges involves deep verticutting of the collars, removing the verticutting debris, double core aerating the collars, removing the aeration debris and rolling the collars with a 1- to 2-ton roller. Conducting this program once or twice each summer can prevent an excessive buildup of topdressing sand and organic matter at the collar-putting green interface. If the collars are not included in the summertime maintenance plans, much more disruptive and expensive renovation work will eventually be necessary.

Source: John Foy (jfoy@usga.org)

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