COURSE CARE
The Heat Is On June 16, 2017 By Addison Barden, agronomist, Northeast Region

Playing conditions have been great, but superintendents are ready to mitigate upcoming summer stress with tools like turf fans.

The cool and soggy conditions appear to be behind us after this week's warm weather. Some courses in the Northeast have welcomed the warmer weather, which boosted both bentgrass and bermudagrass growth. Many golf facilities have reported above-average rounds and golfers have been very pleased with course conditioning.

Although conditions have been good from a playability perspective, the frequent rain during late May and early June combined with recent warm temperatures has created some challenges for golf course superintendents. Here are some special considerations given the recent weather:

  • Frequent rain has increased the severity of ball marks on putting greens. The video, “How to Repair Ball Marks” is a great resource for educating golfers on the negative impacts of ball marks and the proper method for their repair. Furthermore, encourage golfers to take the Course Care Ball Mark Quiz to test their knowledge of ball marks and ball mark repair.
  • Excessive rain has left many courses saturated, highlighting the need for drainage improvements. Map drainage issues now, while conditions are wet, by taking pictures or using satellite images. This will ensure the correct location of future drainage improvements.
  • A late spring Poa annua seedhead emergence has been observed throughout the Northeast. Even facilities that experienced good seedhead suppression earlier this season are seeing an additional emergence. If the weather and turf conditions permit, some extra brushing or grooming may reduce the impact of seedheads on playing conditions. Next season leave a small, untreated check plot on a practice green to evaluate the effectiveness of seedhead suppression applications.
  • Annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) damage has been minimal to date. However, warmer temperatures will provide some of the first abiotic stress that low-cut turf has experienced this season, so ABW damage could become more apparent in the near future. Be sure to scout for ABW damage in high-traffic and traditional problem areas.

 

Hopefully favorable weather will allow golfers to continue enjoying great playing conditions. However, if temperatures and humidity continue to rise, implement practices that help mitigate summer stress.

 

Northeast Region Agronomists:

David A. Oatis, regional director – doatis@usga.org

Adam Moeller, director, Green Section Education – amoeller@usga.org

James E. Skorulski, agronomist – jskorulski@usga.org

Elliott Dowling, agronomist – edowling@usga.org

Addison Barden, agronomist – abarden@usga.org

Paul Jacobs, agronomist – pjacobs@usga.org

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service 

Contact the Green Section Staff

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