Jump Start High Traffic Areas

By Todd Lowe, senior agronomist, Florida Region
February 23, 2011

Cart traffic causes a ragged appearance on Florida golf courses during the winter months. 

Golf cart and other vehicle traffic has taken its toll on bermudagrass health over the past few months and has created a ragged appearance in high traffic areas.  Bermudagrass growth decreases significantly when nighttime temperatures drop below 50° F and eventually ceases to grow at all.  Florida golf courses receive most of their play at this time, and continual traffic removes green turfgrass leaves and exposes the tan colored underlying stems.  The soil in high traffic areas also becomes compacted, and this further reduces turfgrass root growth and oxygen uptake.

Although there continues to be a few cold nights, a gradual temperature increase over the past few weeks has caused the bermudagrass to green up throughout the region.  Golf course roughs have been especially responsive to increased soil temperatures, and are maintaining better color and overall quality.  Now that sustained bermudagrass growth and recovery can take place, several cultural practices are recommended to improve turf quality.

High traffic areas will benefit from soil cultivation practices at this time.  Deep slicing or solid-tine aeration are particularly beneficial, as they cause less surface disruption than hollow-tine aeration, while relieving soil compaction.

Increased fertilization will also improve turf recovery.  Most nutrient reserves have been depleted, and the turf must convert stored energy from its roots to create new green leaves.  Like a bear coming out of hibernation, the turf is hungry, and feeding it at this time will significantly improve turf quality.

Peak winter season play will continue over the next couple of months, but increasing soil temperatures will help sustain better turf quality.  Give your turf a little jump start at this time, with supplemental soil cultivation to relieve compaction, and fertilization to feed the grass.

Source:  Todd Lowe, tlowe@usga.org or 941-828-2625 


Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

Rolex image

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

AmEx image