COURSE CARE
March Roars In! February 27, 2015

March Roars In!

By David A. Oatis, Director
March 17, 2009

Plenty of snow, extended and periodic ice cover, and plenty of cold temperatures characterize the winter weather that has been experienced in many areas of the Northeast Region. It was certainly good for skiers, but the weather has caused some turf injury on golf courses. Several courses in the New York metropolitan area now are reporting localized cases of suffocation and crown hydration injury, and while the damage does not yet appear to be extensive, it will necessitate some courses keeping greens closed for a while this spring. Damage is likely to be more extensive in northern parts of the region where an ice layer has been in place since early winter. Reports of damage also are coming in from southern Canada. If you have any doubt as to whether your turf sustained injury, be sure to bring cores in and incubate them so you can gauge the extent of the damage.

Listed below are links to articles on promoting rapid recovery from winter injury. However, the first step in fostering a rapid recovery is to keep the affected greens closed for a few weeks in the spring. Impatient golfers often are reluctant to close greens, but failure to do so retards the recovery process. It also guarantees a weaker recovery as more annual bluegrass will be reestablished rather than the more desirable creeping bentgrass. A little patience now will pay big dividends later in the season.

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With the conclusion of last week's New England Regional Turf Conference, the conference season is drawing to a close. However, there are still some educational sessions to attend, most notably, the USGA/MGA Green Chairman Seminar on March 19 at Hackensack Golf Club. Call the MGA headquarters at 914-347-4653 to register for this conference. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Environmentally Friendly Ways to Cut Costs AND "Go Green"
  • Changes at Bethpage and Changes in USGA Championship Philosophies
  • Changing Priorities and Evaluating the Numbers: What is Really Important?
  • Green Committee 101: Helping courses stay on track in a tough economy
  • Tri-State Research Update

Remember, the USGA is offering a substantial $500 discount on Turf Advisory Service visits if payment is received by May 15, 2009. The visit can be scheduled at any time during the growing season, but payment must be received by the deadline.

As always, best of luck for a successful season and please do not hesitate to call our office if we can be of assistance.

Source: Northeast Region Green Section- Dave Oatis, director doatis@usga.org ; Adam Moeller, agronomist amoeller@usga.org Jim Skorulski, senior agronomist jskorulski@usga.org .