COURSE CARE
Prepare Your House For Winter Visitors October 27, 2014 By Brian Whitlark

The post with the arrow alerts golfers to enter the fairway. The post is moved daily to avoid worn turf areas.

Fall marks the time of year when visitors from the northern states flock to the Desert Southwest in search of sunny skies, warm weather and plentiful tee times. Consider the following three tips to offer attractive golf courses that are fun to play and provide a warm welcome to winter visitors.

  1. Prepare for frost delays. If overseeding higher-cut rough areas around greens and tees, cut a closely-mown strip to the cart path which will enable morning mowing operations to continue on greens and tees during light frost days.
  2. Provide weed-free nonoverseeded roughs. If you missed the preemergence herbicide window, you may not be out of luck. Consider using the herbicide indaziflam to kill Poa annua that has already germinated and provide strong weed control through the early part of next year. If weed control immediately adjacent to overseeded ryegrass is necessary, consider using flumioxazin for early postemergence control of grassy and broadleaf weeds. Flumioxazin will also provide preemergence control through the spring of next year and will expedite bermudagrass dormancy.
  3. Mediate cart traffic with gates rather than stakes and rope. The “gate system” is already popular in the Palm Springs area and is catching on in other regions as well. The “gate system” utilizes two posts to indicate where golfers should exit the cart path and enter the fairway and an additional set of posts to alert golfers driving carts to reenter the cart path. This concept eliminates stakes and rope that can be labor intensive to maintain and an eyesore. A link to a video showing this concept is included here: Traffic Control at Shady Canyon Golf Club.

October marks the beginning of the primary revenue season for golf facilities in the Desert Southwest and course managers must produce a quality product on a daily basis to attract and retain golfers.

Source: Brian Whitlark (bwhitlark@usga.org)

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