Sunday, April 12, 2015

CDGA Weekly - April 10th, 2015

April 10, 2015 Scouting Report

It has been a topsy turvy weather week. Last weekend had a cool breeze on Saturday which was then followed up with an excellent Sunday where temperatures reached the mid 60s. The week had ups and downs which included a 40 °F Tuesday that was bitterly cold with weather that was reminiscent of Ireland and Scotland. The moisture in the air and 100% dew cover for the day meant that microdochium had a great opportunity to return and start to show damage in untreated areas in particular. We did notice some roughs were glowing somewhat as we visited courses with the familiar pink/orange tinge. The problem with Tuesday was that it really slowed progress from winter dormancy. Courses had started to see green up but conditions like that which are part and parcel of the changeable spring weather in Chicago really impact bentgrass activity in particular. This week also brought views of the first serious winter damage. To the south suburbs it seems that some ice and the extreme cold temperatures left courses in the Kankakee area hurting unfortunately - the spring has been somewhat more promising to date so hopefully the turf will start to recover.

Roots are starting to appear however and so turf and soils are going to come together soon and act in a coherent manner to really get growth going. Some yellow patch popped up on a sample which was somewhat surprising but in light of the previous week's conditions - not earth shattering. This week also saw a visit to the annual University of Wisconsin snow mold field day. This year Chicago has seen a lot more pressure than in previous years with breakthrough noted in some situations. The field day had a large attendance and some of the data is to be found below. Remember however that Waussau, Wis. is a long way from Chicago and so there was extreme pressure as some of the pictures show.

The week also saw some much needed rainfall for many courses. It may not have brought levels back to normal but the precipitation was welcomed. In light of the change in water regulations in California - going forward natural rains will always be welcome. Golf activity certainly has picked up and with the Masters on TV once again - expect the annual question to arrive, Why can't we look like that? Simple answer - grass isn't growing. Enjoy it and hopefully the weather will allow for excellent conditions once the warmth arrives.

Click here to view the April 10, 2015 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
Follow us on Twitter @TurfResearch