Seeing the Light

By Larry Gilhuly, director, Northwest Region
January 31, 2012

The combination of shade and traffic will always result in difficult growing conditions as noted in the photo from Safeco Field (L), and other stadiums with large stands (R) that create unique shade issues. (Photos courtesy of SGL)  

Much has been written about the impact trees have on a golf course (Made in the Shade?).  But what about those facilities that do not have the luxury of starting up a chain saw to minimize or eliminate the problem?  No, not golf courses but stadiums used for other sports. 

Safeco Field serves as the home to the Seattle Mariners.  For more than a decade the Kentucky bluegrass/perennial ryegrass field has done very well with the hard work of the grounds crew.  Led by Bob Christopherson, the entire field is treated similar to a putting green with regards to aeration and sand topdressing.  The one-inch mowing height and a sub-surface heating system has created a perfect environment for turf growth.  Add the ability to close the roof with a moveable top and severe winter conditions can be countered.  However, one side of the field (first base line) and the infield suffer from excess shade.  A chain saw is not an option in this case. Over the years several portions of turf have required a complete sod replacement.

Rather than fight a battle of constant resodding, Mr. Christopherson investigated the use of a mobile lighting system that has produced very good results on sports fields in Europe.  In the U.S. the difference it has made for Lambeau Field has been very impressive.  Safeco Field is now conducting a two month study on the use of this lighting in the shaded portion of the field. The goal is enhanced turf density and deeper rooting during the entire year.  Hopefully, the turf will improve in the coming year.  While this type of technology does not apply to a golf course it will provide another example on the importance of light to turf growth.  Now if we could just get more golfers to “see the light” for heavily shaded greens.

 

Source:  Larry Gilhuly, lgilhuly@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