April Showers

By David A. Oatis, director, Northeast Region
April 25, 2012

April showers finally arrived last week, and many areas of the region received a couple of inches or more of much needed rainfall. It is hard to imagine drought conditions and forest fires with last fall’s historic floods so fresh in our minds. However, the lack of rainfall, combined with extremely low humidity levels, strong winds and higher-than-normal temperatures, have superintendents scrambling. Some courses already have had to begin the expensive process of purchasing water. 

Even though temperatures have been well above normal, conditions have been so dry that disease problems have been relatively scarce with the exception of Waitea Patch (i.e., brown ring patch). Turfgrass root systems appear to be better than normal at many courses and, in general, turf seems to be performing well. 

This season already has a roller coaster feel to it and with several potentially stressful months ahead for both the turf and turfgrass managers this is a good time to take a deep breath and reflect on the keys to having a good season: 

  • Control what you can control:
    • Water more deeply and less frequently. Weather does not always allow us to “train the turf” as we would like, but this spring it has been an ideal time to implement this method.
    • Don’t forget fertility. A couple of light granular applications of fertilizer in the spring can help reduce the threat of anthracnose for the entire season.
    • Consider your grass-growing environments. There is still time to do tree work or to install a fan. In pocketed environments where air movement is problematic, fans are invaluable. For more information on fans click review the article Using Turf Fans in the Northeast 
    • Experiment carefully. It is great to try new products and practices, but do not try them on a wholesale basis if they involve risk. Try new products and techniques on a limited basis to see how they work in your situation first.
    • When in doubt, leave a check plot. A great deal can be learned from leaving small, untreated areas when applying fertilizers, fungicides, growth regulators, herbicides, etc. There is no better way to assess what the products are actually doing for you, and if budgets are a problem, check plots are a great way to justify the use of these products.
    • Moisture meters cannot replace visual observation, but they are a great supplemental tool. If you have not purchased one yet, be sure to do so and incorporate into your management program right away.

 

The pre-payment discount deadline of May 15 is rapidly approaching. If you intend on taking a Turf Advisory Service visit this year, be sure to pay for the visit before the deadline to take advantage of the $600 discount. Also note that as long as one visit is paid for before May 15, the discount is good for any additional TAS visits made in 2012.

 

Source:  Northeast Region Green Section- Dave Oatis, director doatis@usga.org; Adam Moeller, agronomist amoeller@usga.org Jim Skorulski, senior agronomist jskorulski@usga.org.
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