Tuesday, August 13, 2013

CDGA Weekly Update- Aug 9, 2013

Scouting Report
August 9, 2013 Scouting Report

Green speeds are the topic of the moment - surprisingly! This week we have been relatively dry and not too hot with the exception of Wednesday. It has meant that the golf courses have started to really dry out and for green speeds this usually means good things. Dry and firm always means fast surfaces, and many golfers tend to appreciate this. The issue that we run into is - how far can we let turf go before turf health is negatively impacted resulting in turf death and bare patches with weed infestations. The balancing act has not just occurred this year or last, it's an annual issue. Reducing mowing heights helps speeds but so does double cutting at the traditional higher height - the issue is that, trying to be consistent with a greens surface is nigh on impossible unless you have no trees, every green is virtually flat and facing the same direction toward the sun and has proper grasses, drainage and wear is evenly dissipated across the greens surface - this does not happen. I always think the best analogy to mowing height is this - if you continuously cut the top of your little finger off for 20 years every day, how do you think it would look and more importantly how healthy would it be. Greens are inherently unhealthy and vary dramatically from hole to hole, from undulations particularly in 100 year old greens that were designed for balls to roll 8-9ft, to heavily shaded sites where grasses elongate and stay wet for extended periods of time ruining cutting quality, to southern facing slopes that get hot by 11am in the morning and turn into concrete by 2pm. The dry conditions this week allowed many of you consistency in your surfaces which had been a battle all summer as far as I have seen.

As a turfgrass manager you need to know these differences and many of you are on top of this, it does mean however you have the hotspot holes which frustrate you annually and tend to lead to head scratching and lost sleep. Keeping things simple and creating a base to build on is always important, getting oxygen into the soil, sufficient nutrients, properly and consistently timing cultural practices are all going to benefit turf health. The more you have these lined up - the more you may be able to push it without plunging of the cliff.

Click here to view the August 9, 2013 Scouting Report.

As always if you have a question or query please do not hesitate to ask and you can call or email.

Ed Nangle PhD
Director of Turfgrass Programs
Chicago District Golf Association
Office: (630) 685-2307
Cell: (630) 423-1925
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