COURSE CARE
It's Spring - The Best of Times! February 27, 2015

It's Spring - The Best of Times!

By Stanley J. Zontek, Director
May 5, 2008

Spring definitely is here. There are always a number of things associated with golf and turfgrass management in the spring - both good and bad. Generally though, spring is good because the flowers are in bloom, the birds are returning, the grass is growing, golfers are playing the game, and, for those associated with the business aspect of the game, the cash register is ringing.

There also are a few negatives mixed in that literally bring reality back to focus. These include:

  • Bugs on the car windshield; what a curse. They are a reminder that turf insects are active. Do you have your insecticide applications planned?
  • Birds are nesting. While this positive is a beauty of spring, it also reminds us that Canada Geese also are nesting. Obviously, if these birds are a problem, begin your diversion efforts.
  • The grass is actively growing. Unfortunately, so are the weeds. Have your dandelion control sprays been applied? Are your crabgrass applications down? Get cracking if they aren't or get ready for some pretty yellow flowers in short order.
  • Do you have enough labor to keep your roughs cut? While golfers appreciate the importance of rewarding a good shot and penalizing a bad shot, they tend to forget this point when the rough is long and thick. What a curse.
  • Green speed. Have you heard the question, "why aren't our greens faster?" As USGA agronomists, we have heard this question asked throughout the region. April only ended this week so it is hard to achieve peak season green speeds when the grass is frosted in the morning and Poa annua seedheads exist. The greens will get better, but has anyone ever wondered why the US Open championship is played in June and not earlier?

Enjoy the spring, but prepare for the summer.

Our USGA Green Section Turf Advisory Service's (TAS) early payment discount expires May 15 th . If you can pay by May 15 th , you save $300.00 on a full-day or a half-day Green Section visit. In these difficult economic times, if you can save some money, why not take advantage of all discounts that come your way?

The Mid-Atlantic Region agronomists are part of your agronomic support team. If you have a question or concern, especially now, give us a call or send an e-mail. You may contact Stan Zontek ( szontek@usga.org ) or Darin Bevard ( dbevard@usga.org ) at 610/ 558-9066 or Keith Happ ( khapp@usga.org ) at 412/ 341-5922.