May 5, 2014
Hurry up and wait is about the only way to describe the current situation for many courses. Frustration has set in with the climate as the cold, wet, cloudy weather is good for nothing except spending time worrying about it at the bar. Many superintendents who responded to the recent survey sent out by CDGA and MAGCS indicated the most consistent reason as to why they did not have damage was purely down to the fact that they have a strong creeping bentgrass stand on their putting surfaces. I think they might even feel a little bit guilty - if not, they certainly are extremely grateful!
Germination has been slow and while covers will help to warm soils they do very little as far as making an immediate putting surface. Moisture has arrived in a somewhat more consistent manner although there were instances of heavy hail occurring this week in the western suburbs of Chicago. Staying the course and remembering it is somewhat out of your control in regards to climate will help to reign in the frustration somewhat. Take solace in knowing that many people are in the same situation, trying to get back to optimal conditions as soon as reasonably possible and that once soil temperatures get to >55°F consistently we will all feel some relief.
Many superintendents understand now what they have and I think the fear of loss has now been overcome with determination to beat the damage with the hope that there is some form of spring prior to the return of summer - roots have begun to make an appearance downward but it doesn't seem like they are sprinting as of yet. Courses have aerified and some are looking close to recovered while others just need some heat. Time is all that is required - which unfortunately is not there in abundance. If the forecast holds for next week with temperatures possibly reaching the 70's and if we are lucky a warm rain then help can be considered to be on the way!
Click here to view the May 2, 2014 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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