Rain, Rain, Go Away

By Darin S. Bevard, director, Mid-Atlantic Region
June 11, 2013

Mowing saturated or soft greens can lead to turfgrass decline later in the growing season. Even for the U.S. Open, we have to wait until the greens are dry enough to be mowed safely.

Overall, temperatures have remained normal to below normal in most of the Mid-Atlantic region. Rainfall has been normal to well above normal. Turf is generally healthy, but controlling growth and grooming the golf course has been difficult with warmer temperatures and frequent rainfall.

Putting green maintenance has been compromised which means slower, softer greens. Resist the urge to cut your greens when they are saturated. The greens may be a little slower for the day, but fast greens are not worth the risk of dead or at least injured putting greens later in the summer. You have been warned. Sometimes, Mother Nature just wins.

Most of our time since the last update has been spent at Merion Golf Club preparing the course for the U.S. Open. The weather has been a huge challenge in recent days with nearly six inches of rain since Friday. Even with 180 staff and volunteers, preparations have been challenging, and it seems like all of the work is never done with all of the rain. Even at the U.S. Open, when weather does not cooperate, maintenance practices must be compromised to preserve the turfgrass. Adequate rainfall is important for the grass, but excessive rainfall can cause major problems. If you would like to see some of the work that goes into preparing the course for the national championship, click the links below.

Maintenance pictures from the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion - album view  

Maintenance pictures from the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion - slide show view  

Source: Darin S. Bevard (dbevard@usga.org)

Information on the USGA’s Turf Advisory Service

Contact the Green Section Staff

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