Sustaining healthy turf on a practice green is a joint effort between golfers and the agronomic staff. By following these simple steps everyone can enjoy a better practice experience.
Genetic profiling research from Rutgers University and the USDA have shed new light on the dollar spot pathogen. Four new fungal species have been identified, providing a greater understanding for combating this common turfgrass disease.
Vampires paying dues or green fees to play the course? If so, that's one more reason to be vigilant and take action during early spring to control garlic mustard infestations.
It’s hard to believe how quickly the emerald ash borer became established throughout the Central Region and across the U.S. Now, the damage they inflict has become a significant management challenge for golf courses.
Does the long winter have you concerned about snow mold? Granular fungicide technology provides an effective option for early spring turf disease control even when playing surfaces are too soft to accommodate a sprayer.
Have you ever been disappointed by the level of weed control after an application of glyphosate? Test your water, because hard water may be softening the effect of your herbicides. Here’s what you can do to prevent hard water from becoming a hindrance.
Variable weather patterns during March provide one last chance for significant turfgrass winter injury. Look for these signs of potential trouble, especially on Poa annua putting greens. A little diligence now can go a long way to protect playing surfaces.
How often do you test for irrigation water quality and soil fertility? Spending a little time and a few hundred dollars for some testing has the potential to save several thousand dollars by preventing turf injury and eliminating unnecessary inputs.
Did deep, early snow cover prevent the ground from freezing enough to support heavy tree maintenance equipment? Tools like a rotary power broom can come to the rescue, clearing snow and helping winter tree work get back on track.
Superintendents are reacting to frigid conditions followed by periods of mild temperatures. Even if the winter weather is the same, the best tactic is to implement winter management strategies that are specific to each facility.
Exposure to winter weather can be dangerous. Be sure your staff respects the dangers of working in extreme cold as much as they respect the risks associated with working in intense sun and heat.
Are your marking stakes looking worn and in need of an update? Looking for a low-cost option that doesn't require replacement or numerous hours of sanding? This easy-to-use woodworking machine can keep stakes looking their best.
Does your turf experience chronic problems associated with winter ice cover? When water and ice collect in low-lying areas, winter injury can be a real cause for concern. Try this creative technique to enhance late-winter drainage.
Applying a generous amount of sand topdressing to putting greens after they are treated for snow mold can create a cost-effective winter cover that provides valuable protection from winter desiccation.
Did unfavorable weather delay your renovation project this fall? If so, establishment may be delayed. Consider this inexpensive strategy to help extend the growing season and protect immature turf from winter stress.
The stage has been set for fall armyworm outbreaks in many areas of the Central Region. Infestations can be sporadic, so frequent scouting is necessary to determine if, when and where control measures are needed.
Cool weather early in the year, along with an interesting trend in the effectiveness of a popular control product, may result in grub damage occurring much later than usual this fall; don’t be caught off guard.
Everyone wants to hit off of great turf on the practice tee next spring. Although this decision may be unpopular among golfers, protecting grass practice tees now by shifting to artificial turf mats can make a significant difference for next season.
Early morning tee times and later sunrises means many maintenance practices have to be completed in the dark. Adjusting the first tee time can help alleviate visibility issues an improve daily playing conditions.
With menacing looks and a tendency to challenge anyone, cicada killer wasps can cause alarm. Understanding their biology and behavior can help avoid unnecessary control measures.
It may be frustrating, but waiting until heavy deposits of silt are dry before making an attempt to clean turf after a flood is often your best and only option.
Dew can be annoying for early morning golfers wishing to keep their feet dry; but remember midsummer can be an unforgiving time to make sudden, drastic changes to cool-season turfgrass mowing heights.
The health and safety of golf course maintenance employees should be a priority at all times. What is your plan to keep the maintenance staff well-hydrated during extended periods of heat and high humidity?
Periodic flushing is an important practice for managing salt accumulation in putting green root zones, but how much water is needed to truly flush a USGA putting green? The answer may have you reevaluating your flushing program.
Plenty can happen on a golf course between sunset and sunrise. A drive around the course before making the day's maintenance assignments can improve efficiency and ease the mind - installing some lights will make it easier.
Is large patch looming large at your golf course this spring? Recent zoysiagrass research shows that an early season fertilizer application can aid recovery without inciting more disease.
Windy weather can take a bite out of a golf facility’s labor budget when the maintenance staff has to spend many hours removing tree debris from the playing surfaces. Proper tree care can minimize storm cleanup, improve turf conditions and enhance safety.
The ability to predict how much the golf course will dry out tomorrow can help determine how much water to apply today. Learn more about how you can use the results of USGA-funded research to predict the future.
It may seem early to worry about turf disease, but letting your guard down can allow turf problems to sneak up and bite your grass. Stay vigilant and don’t let this troublesome disease become an issue this spring.
Weather patterns throughout the Central Region have been far from ordinary. But did the unusually warm February weather affect the ability to suppress Poa annua seedheads?
Whether you are managing Poa annua putting greens in Detroit or ultradwarf bermudagrass putting greens in Dallas, don't let Microdochium patch get the upper hand.
Never assume a relative absence of ice cover equates to happy, healthy putting surfaces come spring. Plenty of extreme temperature swings could cause problems for Poa annua.
Don't be fooled by straw-colored, dormant turf – it still needs some water to avoid damage from winter desiccation. Here are a few simple techniques that can help maintain adequate soil moisture during the winter.
Santa couldn't decide whether to bring frigid or balmy weather to the Central Region last month, so he delivered both. Did the wide temperature swings put your turf at risk for winterkill?
Never miss an opportunity to document shade problems that can adversely affect playing quality and turf health. Documenting winter shade issues is just as important as documenting summer shade.
Forecast models suggest La Niña conditions are likely to persist for the next several months. Here’s what superintendents in the South are doing to maximize their available water.
Creative resource management ensures time is not wasted waiting for sod to arrive when offseason projects resume during spring.
Short days and cool nights have nearly shut down turf growth on fairways, but earthworm activity has increased, making some golfers feel like they are hitting more shots off mud than grass.
Never depend on setting aside just one date in the golf calendar to schedule critical fall maintenance operations.
You finally caught that skunk which has been causing turf damage in search of grubs, but do you know your options to legally handle this potentially odorous critter?
When labor is in short supply and time is limited, having the right tools for a major maintenance operation, such as core aeration, is crucial. Here are three ways golf facilities use specialized equipment to fast track aeration.
Creeping bentgrass fairways have the potential for excessive thatch accumulation where cool, wet weather during the growing season inhibits the natural microbial decomposition of organic matter.
A break in the weather after a long stretch of heat and high humidity may spell relief for golfers, but a breezy day of mild temperatures and low humidity can cause considerable stress on a weak, shallow-rooted Poa annua putting surface.
Some weak areas manage to fly under the radar during mild weather, but they become an eyesore when heat and high humidity arrive.
It's hot, humid and it's time to prime the course for some of the most important golf events of the season. Here is one way to streamline several useful maintenance practices without causing excessive stress.
For plant protectants to be most effective, they need to be accurately delivered. Critical to their success is using an appropriate spray volume.
Removing thick deposits of silt after a flood requires an agressive approach to limit long-term damage.
Every once in a while, a playing surface doesn't look quite as good as it should. Is it the quality of cut, stressful weather, tip burn from a recent spray treatment or a combination of multiple factors? A small, untreated check area can help provide answers.
Amine or ester? Understanding the difference between herbicide formulations is the key to controlling some of the most troublesome broadleaf weeds.
Now is not the time to fall behind on practice tee divots. Develop a sound divot-management program before the cumulative effects of wear and traffic leave little more than artificial turf mats for practice.
Reusing aeration plugs is a great way to add value to an already beneficial process. There are several ways golf courses can put their aeration plugs to good use.
April showers can do more for a golf course than simply bringing May flowers. Take advantage of a heavy rainfall event this spring by documenting drainage problems that should be addressed before summer heat arrives.
Do you want to save money and provide golfers with a superior product? Follow the 10-percent rule when calibrating your sprayer.
The current bout of unpredictable weather can produce conditions just as stressful to Poa annua as a frigid polar vortex.
Pesticides require safe, proper storage and routine inventory assessments to protect people and the environment. This update provides some common sense tips for conducting a review of the pesticide storage facility at your course.
A partial thaw of ice and snow accumulations on putting greens provides an opportunity to document the association between evergreen tree shade and winterkill. All you need are warm clothes, a digital camera and a sunny day.
Severe floods typically affect golf courses during spring, but winter floods can be particularly troublesome due to cold weather and the inability to use the irrigation system for cleanup. Fortunately, this simple tool can be modified to remove silt deposits from putting greens.
As the use of improved cultivars of bermudagrass spreads further north, practices to improve winter survival become paramount. Although bermudagrass is a tough customer during the summer, sometimes it needs a little help to avoid winter injury.
Maintaining clean bunker sand can be challenging. Neglecting this simple task before winter can lead to contaminated bunker sand regardless of what kind of sand or bunker liner is being used.
An essential practice to protect irrigation systems at many courses in northern climates, when incorrectly done winterization can cause significant damage. Learn the proper steps to prepare your irrigation system for winter and some helpful tips when it comes time to recharge during spring.
It's that time again; superintendents throughout the region are scheduling when to winterize their irrigation systems. While winterizing early can prevent damage to your irrigation system, winterizing too soon may increase the risk of desiccation injury.
Even though the stresses of summer are behind us, remain vigilant as disease pressure from large patch and take-all patch may arise. Learn how best to prevent these potentially harmful pests in this week's Regional Update.
Have you recently been noticing unusual areas of dry, off-color turf throughout your golf course? Poor irrigation coverage is an easy scapegoat, but take time to further investigate because the cause of the problem may be lurking below the turf surface.
The stresses of summer are coming to an end and many golf courses are anxiously awaiting the milder temperatures to overseed cool-season turf. Whether seeding your lawn or overseeding a golf course, follow the helpful steps in this week’s regional update to ensure your seeding program is a success.
A simple change in the weather can result in the scalping of greens which is often a symptom of underlying thatch-management problems.
When is the last time you checked the depth of the sand in your bunkers? Maintaining proper sand depth has a profound impact on the playability and performance of bunkers. Fortunately, creative techniques can be used to improve efficiency and uniformity when adjusting bunker sand depth.
Relentless rainfall in portions of the Central Region is affecting more than the number of rounds being played, it’s affecting turfgrass health. Some simple adjustments to your maintenance routine can help prepare stressed turf should Mother Nature present more challenges this summer.
Recent rainfall is interfering with more than your game of golf; it also is preventing routine golf course maintenance practices. Be patient as additional practices, like venting putting greens, are implemented to address agronomic issues before summer.
Naturalized, tall grass areas can add a great deal of beauty to a course and save resources in the process. However, the success of these areas depends on the ability to control the amount of water they receive. While superintendents can control their irrigation applications with remarkable accuracy, as of yet they cannot control the weather.
Recent heavy rains have been a welcomed sight for many in drought-affected areas, but the resulting flash flooding, disease outbreaks, increased weed pressure and even a sinkhole may be affecting maintenance operations at your golf course.
Did you know that there is a "rule" for mowing grass? Just like at the golf course, the "one-third rule" can affect the quality of your grass and the way you should mow your home lawn.
A broad range of topics and new products were presented lastweek at the 2015 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, Texas, but one theme prevailed - the golf industry is focusing evermore on water conservation. Keep in mind that messaging can be as important as new technologies that help conserve water.
Does your course use handheld moisture meters to fine-tune irrigation? If so, remember that, like the other tools and equipment in the golf course maintenance fleet, moisture meters should receive timely preventative maintenance to ensure they remain in optimal working order.
Resource management goes beyond on-course operations. By upgrading to energy-efficient lighting and electrical appliances, long term savings can be realized without sacrificing functionality and while consuming fewer resources.
Sustainability doesn't hibernate during the winter. Regardless of where your course is located, there are simple and effective ways to preserve playing quality and improve the environmental friendliness of your course.
Water conservation plays an integral role in the sustainability of golf facilities and, with a greater awareness of golf course water use,the importance of a water conservation plan is superlative. Learn why developing a water conservation plan makes an excellent New Year's resolution for your golf facility.