A Return To Normal

By Stanley Zontek, director, Mid-Atlantic Region
May 24, 2012

A typical cool-temperature disease of turfgrass that was active in the Mid-Atlantic Region thanks to cool, damp weather. The same fungicides that control brown patch usually control these diseases. In some cases, warmer weather and some soluble nitrogen will work just as well as fungicides to remedy turf damage from these diseases.

By almost any measure, this has been a wonderful spring for golf and grass in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Near record-breaking warmth has the turf off to a great start with few low temperature or winter injury issues. Ironically, since our last update, there have been below normal temperatures. We have even seen cool-weather diseases, including brown ring patch (formerly called Waitea Patch) and cool-season brown patch, on golf courses and even some grass tennis courts. Fortunately, most turf has responded well to fungicide applications and the reasonably good growing weather. As turf managers, perhaps we forgot that…it is still spring. 

Additionally, there have been a few agronomic consequences to the cooler weather. Turfgrasses have clearly reacted to plant growth regulators, cool temperatures and wet soils. In these situations, creeping bentgrass takes on the appearance of turf decline which can be mistaken for disease. In reality, the grass is stunted. It is not a disease, it just makes the bentgrass look bad. It can also make putting greens bumpy. What should be done? 

The simplest solution is to simply wait for warmer weather which should hopefully be in the near-term forecast. If turf is being affected by the interaction of weather and plant growth regulators, some soluble nitrogen can help the grass grow out of the stunting. Gentle solid tine aeration and even careful applications of biostimulants containing gibberellic acid can also promote growth. Be careful - it only takes a few grams of gibberellic acid per acre. In this case, more is not better. 

Hyperodes weevil continues to be a frustrating pest to manage and control. The early spring has disrupted traditional insecticide application timings. Indeed, we are seeing adults and larvae on the same courses, at the same time so it may be necessary to make both adulticide and larvicide applications. 

Overall, golf facilities continue to thrive this spring. Our office continues to receive reports about increases in play, good income and even stable to rising membership numbers. This is all good for our industry. 

The next major golf event is the U.S. Open Championship. This year it will be played June 14-17 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California. What makes this event so special is that the golf will be televised in prime time here on the East Coast. What a great way to watch golf! What a great way to enjoy Father’s Day! What a great venue to crown our national champion of golf. 

The U.S. Open at The Olympic Club should also whet our appetite for the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. This too should be an exciting event. 

On behalf of the staff of the Mid-Atlantic Region we hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend. There is no better way to remember those who have kept our country free than to enjoy the freedoms of a holiday weekend. Why not go out and play some golf? 

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

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