Are You Ready For Summer?

By Jim Skorulski, Senior Agronomist
May 26, 2010

Winter Damage Update

A couple of days of hot and humid weather are welcomed this week, at least by those working to recover from winter damage. The periods of cooler, dry, and windy weather in April and May have been a challenge. Even with that said, the recovery efforts I have observed have made tremendous progress. It is easy to lose sight of where we are on the calendar, especially with the early start experienced this season. Areas that remain thin should be spike-seeded and topdressed. Use a hexagon plugger to repair the larger gaps that have not yet recovered. A soil probe can be used for plugging the smaller pock marks that remain. Hand-dress the pock-marked areas with a sand/peat/compost mix and seed to smooth those surfaces. Repeat the practice on a weekly basis until the surface is full.

Use shallow vertical mowing, grooming, and hand brushing to address the bentgrass runners and coarse textured plants that have resulted from the recovery program. Slowly transition to the lower heights of cut as the light topdressing practices are continued. Use smooth rollers until full turf cover is obtained. Fertilizer should be scaled back to more normal maintenance levels.

This point of the recovery can be a dangerous time as golfers and turf managers become anxious to return the putting surfaces to normal conditions. Treat the surfaces like you would a new green that is being established from seed. In reality, much of the green is new with juvenile plants that will not tolerate aggressive practices, especially when temperatures become hot. There is nothing worse than watching all of the hard work and time invested in the recovery process for it to be lost due to a few people desiring a few extra inches of green speed.

Are you ready for a Dry Summer?

A relatively dry winter and spring has left many parts of the region well below normal for precipitation. No one can predict what lies ahead, but there is a chance the dry weather pattern will continue and further impact water supplies in the region, and place a greater emphasis on water conservation. Like it or not, water use on golf courses will be heavily scrutinized during periods of drought and that pressure is likely to increase in the Northeast. What steps are you taking to conserve water and are you prepared for the voluntary and mandated water rationing that may lie ahead? This is a much larger topic than can be covered here, but anticipate hearing more about this issue and the means to maximize water conservation on your golf course.

The University of Massachusetts will hold their annual Field Day on June 16th at the Joseph Troll Turf Research Center in South Deerfield, MA. This is a great opportunity to return to the turf plots and see the positive changes that have been made, reconnect with the research, and visit with your peers. We hope to see you there.

Northeast Region staff- Dave Oatis, Director; Adam Moeller, Agronomist Jim Skorulski, Senior Agronomist

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,, 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

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

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

AmEx image