COURSE CARE
Florida Rains Are "Hit And Miss" And We Need Many More Hits February 27, 2015

Florida Rains Are "Hit And Miss" And We Need Many More Hits

By Todd Lowe - USGA Florida Region Agronomist
June 13, 2008

It is difficult to talk about rainfall when some states are currently being flooded; but rainfall, or lack thereof, has been an important issue for Florida golf courses over the past year. The impacts of limited rainfall and severe irrigation restrictions have been discussed thoroughly in regional updates over the past several months; but lingering drought conditions are still a significant issue for many courses in our region.

 
Where there is water, there is life. This grass is taking advantage of every spare drop.

Like clockwork, our summer rains began the first week of June and have been a welcomed event. The West Florida Green Section office has experienced a thunderstorm nearly every afternoon since June 1 st and my lawn has transformed from a completely brown wasteland into a thriving green yard again. While this now means I must begin weekly mowing, I am not complaining. The same has been true on TAS visits lately, as the golf courses that receive rainfall show immediate improvements in turf quality.

Still some areas have not yet received any rainfall and are suffering in quality. Florida Green Section Regional Director, John Foy, recently visited a club that is putting a positive spin on the drought conditions. The club is marketing Scottish link conditions without the airfare. Each of the courses that I have visited have enlisted prudent drought management programs including raising mowing heights, managing cart traffic, hand-watering and applying wetting agents on a regular basis. However, there eventually reaches a point where bermudagrass shuts down and turns brown. It will return once it receives adequate moisture, and, until that time, expect firmer conditions and practice your bump-and-run game.

Source: Todd Lowe, tlowe@usga.org or 941-828-2625