COURSE CARE
It’s Hot And The Grass Is Growing May 27, 2014 By Todd Lowe

This rough was recently scalped and is beginning to show signs of drought stress, but storm clouds are building and rains are soon to come.

This time of year play declines considerably in our region as intense heat and humidity can be brutal on golfers. Early morning rounds are bearable, but tee times after 10 a.m. can be agonizing.

Unfortunately, this does not mean the golf course staff can slow its pace, because warm-season turfgrasses grow rapidly this time of year. Increased turf growth coupled with reduced play means that aggressive summertime cultivations will soon begin. Practices like scalping, deep verticutting and core aeration are beginning to take place. These practices are necessary to manage aggressive growth and maintain premium bermudagrass playing conditions.

Summertime rains are starting to return, bringing much needed water to many areas throughout Florida. Localized dry spots have been common during recent Course Consulting Service visits. While they have little impact on long-term turf health, localized dry spots do affect short-term aesthetics by causing turf to turn off-color in affected areas. The rains will soon become a welcomed occurrence and will not only improve turf color but also flush salts from the soil.

Source:  Todd Lowe ( tlowe@usga.org

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