June Marks The Start Of Summer Stress

By Adam Moeller, agronomist, Northeast region
June 20, 2012

Anaerobic conditions and black layer are a sign of poorly drainage and/or excessive soil wetness. Improving drainage and/or adjusting irrigation practices may be necessary to solve these issues.

June is a great month for golf! The temperatures are starting to get warm, there is plenty of light to get a quick late round, and U.S. Open coverage keeps most of us riveted to the television when we are not playing golf ourselves. For turfgrass, June is a transition month in many respects. Bentgrass growth begins to kick into high gear and annual bluegrass begins its annual decline.  

Recent observations from across the region are variable but many courses are in great shape. However, turfgrass stress can come on quickly, sometimes even when air temperatures are relatively mild. Some areas of the region have received an inordinate amount of rainfall in recent weeks, and saturated soils, especially on putting greens, bring on problems quickly. Poorly draining greens can develop black layer, a result of anaerobic conditions in the soils. In the short term, venting aeration and improved air movement can help, but the long term solution is to improve drainage. Anaerobic soils also can result from over-irrigation, so the solution in some cases can be to adjust irrigation practices and increase hand-watering as much as resources permit. 

Disease has not been widespread but courses that have received more rain and have poorly draining soils have seen root Pythium weakening their putting green turf. Preventive and/or curative plant protectant applications should be considered if your site is conducive to this disease. Summer patch disease, an issue that usually does not start showing problems until late June and early July, has cropped up already this year, so this is another disease that could be weakening your turfgrass. Wet conditions in the spring followed by high temperatures are great for summer patch development, so this could be another tough year managing this disease. Anthracnose disease and annual bluegrass weevil activity also have been observed on area courses, but neither have been seen in epidemic proportions.  

Putting surface smoothness and pace have been affected by the recent rain at some courses. Humidity can have a huge impact on smoothness and pace, especially if there is excess thatch in the upper rootzone profile. If putting conditions seem to drop off as soon as a little humidity hits, increased thatch control programs (e.g., core aeration and topdressing) may need to be addressed. 

USGA agronomists can provide insightful and invaluable information involving all areas of golf course maintenance, which will help maximize turf health, playability, and efficiency. Contact Dave Oatis, director doatis@usga.org; Adam Moeller, agronomist amoeller@usga.org; or Jim Skorulski, senior agronomist jskorulski@usga.org for a Turf Advisory Service visit this season.

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, 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 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