USGA Green Section Northeast Regional Update February 27, 2015

USGA Green Section Northeast Regional Update

By Jim Skorulski, Senior Agronomist
September 05, 2008

Finally, the late summer weather has arrived and not a day too early for golf course managers and golfers alike who have had just about enough of the heavy rain and oppressive humidity that has impacted much of the region this summer. The moderate temperatures and lower humidity have cooled and dried the soil profiles and created ideal conditions for new root development and the recovery of some very tired turf. Yes, it is dry, but night time temperatures in the 50's are tough to beat. Those fortunate ones who are core aerating were especially pleased with the September like conditions in the mid to late August. Many more will be core cultivating in the very near future,and we can only hope the weather remains as favorable.


Core cultivation practices are or will soon be underway on many Northeastern golf courses and is a sign that the worst of the season is behind us.
Core cultivation practices are never popular with golfers. The practice is grudgingly accepted, but its need and importance are questioned and we are always in search of alternative methods that will get the job done more quickly and with less disruption. Can we do it with smaller tines, can we schedule it later in fall, can it be replaced with sand injection or some other forms of cultivation are common questions we hear. The majority of golf courses that I visit can not yet afford to scale back their core cultivation practices and nothing illustrates that better than the impacts of extended wet weather.

There is no better way to modify older soil-based greens, reduce the impacts of layering, stimulate new root growth and create the firm surface conditions that are required to maintain the ball roll that is demanded on a day to day basis. Arguments for skipping hollow tine core cultivation or moving to other less invasive forms of cultivation will continue and some of those strategies will seemingly work fine for awhile. Ultimately, a price will be paid for compromising on cultivation and topdressing and usually that occurs in a wet summer like this one. As the old adage goes; You can p ay me now or pay me later.

Northeast Region Green Section - Dave Oatis, Director ; Adam Moeller, Agronomist ; Jim Skorulski, Senior Agronomist .