What The ‘Hail’ Was That?

By Bud White, Director, Mid-Continent Region
June 10, 2010

Oklahoma received its share of terrible weather this winter, starting with the devastating bermudagrass winter kill due to significantly freezing temperatures. This spring the area was hit by tornadoes, but, through it all, superintendents were able to quickly get their golf courses back in reasonably good playing condition. Now, to add insult to injury, just as the recovery was underway, a hail storm ravaged much of the Oklahoma City area on May 16, 2010.

The hail devastation damage was extensive as hail stones ranged from golf-ball to baseball size. The morning after the storm had passed, golf course superintendents around the area quickly began to aerate, roll, topdress, and apply extra nitrogen fertilizer to jump-start the turf recovery process. There will be added challenges this summer because of the extra nitrogen fertility and summer heat stress, but the trade-off was necessary to produce some recovery from the hail storm. A short two weeks after the hail damage, the maintenance staffs and golfers were starting to see some of the recovery take hold.

Adversity and Mother Nature can play havoc on a golf course. Thankfully, we have superintendents who meet these challenges head on and make the best from the worst of conditions.

If you would like information about a Turf Advisory Service visit to help you conquer some of your summer turf challenges, contact either of the Mid-Continent regional offices. Bud White, (972) 662-1138 or (budwhite@usga.org) and Ty McClellan, tmcclellan@usga.org or (630) 340-5853. We look forward to being of service to you and your course.

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