COURSE CARE
It's Project Time! February 27, 2015

It's Project Time!

By Darin S. Bevard, Senior Agronomist
September 23, 2008

Many golf courses have completed their traditional fall aeration, topdressing, and renovation programs. Weather conditions have been favorable for turfgrass growth and healing from aeration has generally progressed well. Depending upon your exact location in the region, you may have received as much as six inches of rain in the last two weeks, and another inch from the tropical systems and cool fronts that have moved through the region. Fortunately, overall temperatures have been cool and golf courses are in good condition for the fall golf season.

Project planning is now in full swing. Major renovations and regrassing projects are already in progress. The trend toward golf course improvements continues in the Mid-Atlantic region. In spite of a slowing economy, clubs continue to find ways to invest in their futures with putting green reconstruction/regrassing, bunker renovations, and upgrades to practice facilities. These improvements help to attract new members and to retain existing members. The market is competitive, a quality golf course is important and these aspects of a "better" golf course remain important.

Note:There is one important note regarding putting green regrassing. It appears that methyl bromide will only be available for use on golf courses through the end of 2009. This includes existing stockpiles of this preferred fumigant. While proposed restrictions on methyl bromide have been put off for several years in the past, it seems that the EPA is intent on making 2009 the end of methyl bromide use on golf courses. This is important to keep in mind if regrassing is planned for your golf course. Other fumigants are available, but ease of use and effectiveness are not the same as methyl bromide. If anyone has any questions, give our agronomists a call.

Animals foraging for white grubs are exposing areas where there were skips in insecticide applications or where control products have broken down. The damage caused by the actual grubs is far less than the damage created by skunks, crows, and other animals that use white grubs as a food source. Applications of contact insecticides may be needed to control this problem. As soil temperatures cool, grubs migrate deeper into the soil where insecticides will no longer be effective. However, if not controlled this fall, expect more grub-related problems next spring.

It is safe to say that the 2008 growing season was a good one. This is not the same as saying it was an "easy" year. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, there is no such thing.

As always, if the Mid-Atlantic Regional agronomists can be of assistance, contact Stan Zontek ( szontek@usga.org ) or Darin Bevard ( dbevard@usga.org ) at 610/ 558-9066 or Keith Happ ( khapp@usga.or ) at 412/ 341-5922.