Every year, the same spots pop up that drive you crazy. That hot spot on 4 fairway, the crabgrass on the right side of 13, grub damage on 17 tee. They’re all there…again. You see this stuff every year. You may even commit to doing something about it, but then it rains, the crabgrass dies, the grubs stop feeding and it slips into the background behind the thousand other things that constantly vie for your attention.

When these issues creep back into your mind, usually on a frosty morning in December or January, it’s hard to remember all the areas that were impacted by the various issues that were so obvious in summer. It is good to make a plan to preemptively address these perennial issues, but you also don’t want to go wall-to-wall with an insecticide or herbicide application if you can help it. Next year you’ll be more diligent about scouting. After all, next year you will not be as busy, and you can pay closer attention. 

Next year…rinse and repeat. The same problem areas pop up.

One way to make those frosty winter mornings more productive planning sessions for the following year is to take pictures and map out problem areas when they happen. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, good pictures can save a thousand dollars of unneeded product. The aerial imaging and mapping software available make it is easy to pull up images of your facility and print out maps. Spend a few minutes labelling areas that have annual problems. Add a few pictures and scan them into your computer. Not only will this help you take the guess work out of planning site-specific applications the following year, but the images also serve as great before and after comparison shots.

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West Region Agronomists:

Brian S. Whitlark, agronomist – bwhitlark@usga.org

Cory Isom, agronomist – cisom@usga.org

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service

Contact the Green Section Staff