Probing For Healthier Turf

By R.A. (Bob) Brame, director, North Central Region
July 5, 2011

If water management is not the primary agronomic objective with respect to golf turf conditioning, it certainly is a primary objective. The benefits of pushing toward the dry end of the continuum suggest healthier and more dependable turf.  Healthier turf and more dependable playability is an across-the-board combination of benefits, whether it be for a championship or routine conditioning.  Clearly, turfgrass will die without water, yet too much water brings a quicker decline and is more difficult to correct.  Managing to keep the surface and upper profile on the dry end requires hand watering and/or hand syringing to some degree.  Outdated and inefficient irrigation systems require more hand watering and syringing.  The art of hand watering can be difficult to teach, which presents a dilemma.  More and more courses are using soil moisture probes to address this dilemma, making it possible to put a number (volumetric water content) to visual observations.  This makes teaching the art of hand watering much easier and it also helps get everyone on the same page.  Is your course using a moisture probe to manage the turf where the game is played?  If not, they are a proven value with far reaching dividends. 

Recent visits have not revealed disease problems to any extent.  Although there has been a combination of diseases observed, most superintendents with good spray programs in place are progressing nicely.  Yet, it’s only July 1st and there’s a lot of summer ahead.  Bookmark the following link for disease forecasting information:    http://btny.agriculture.purdue.edu/turfcast/  

Throughout the region, tree damage is being tied to the herbicide Imprelis.  If you suspect damage, review the information posted at the following links  (http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/2011/06172011_Imprelis.html, http://extension.psu.edu/greenindustry/giec/news/2011/some-observations-on-imprelis-injury-to-trees) and contact your sales representative, along with the company (DuPont). 

Several superintendents visited recently have summed up their season by saying, ‘it’s been a season of extremes.’  Wet, then hot, followed by snaps back to cool, and there has even been some dry thrown in for some areas.  That’s interesting, because that’s exactly what the statistics are suggesting on global climate change -- extremes are occurring more frequently and will likely continue.  Without getting bogged down in the ‘climate change’ debate, this does serve to emphasize the importance of structuring a maintenance program to provide maximum dependability during harsh times.  And yet, the tough economy continues to pull against agronomically sound and sustainable building blocks.  So, with less or poorly timed aeration, or inadequate topdressing, or reductions in pesticide spray programs, or too few staff to hand water/syringe, weather challenges are taken to a harsher level.  How about an onsite visit from your local Green Section agronomist to review your operation?  If our recommendations are followed, and we don’t save you more than you paid for the visit, it’s on us.  Call or email anytime.        

Source:  Bob Brame, bobbrame@usga.org or 859-356-3272

 

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

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
   

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
   

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
   

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