Friday, March 30, 2012

The Invaision

I was fortunate to be asked to contribute to an article that deals with Poa Annua management  in Golf Course Industry Magazine. The article is running in it's current addition check it out here

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pick Your Poison

Coming out of winter this year is the polar opposite of last year, but I'm not sure which is better. Each and every year our biggest challenge is the how golf course will emerge from the winter. Rarely does the course make it unscathed and this year is no exception.

The prolonged snow cover (90 plus days)has been good and bad. The turf has been protected and insulated from extreme temperatures and high winds, while on the other hand conditions for damage from Voles and Snow Mold have been ideal. The extent of the damage is yet to be fully seen, but initial observations are showing the potential for some significant repairs and recovery time in the rough areas.

When comparing a tale of two winters the damage from last season primarily came in the form of wildlife (Elk and Deer)along with some minor dessication issues. This damage occurred in the main play areas such as greens,tees and fairways of which took significant time and resources to repair. These are the primary play surfaces of the golf course and anytime they are not perfect it shows from a playability and a aesthetic standpoint. Whereas this year the damage appears to be centered in the rough primarily the northern exposure locations on each and every hole. The good news is that the rough does not effect the playability as much as the key play areas so the recovery should be less painful to all involved.

Which is type of damage is better? The obvious answer is neither but for us it isn't a question of choice but a reality of where our beautify golf course is located. The setting is one of the main reasons that the golf course is so spectacular as it affords views, wildlife,serenity and a world class golf course design and conditioning.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Exposure Makes a Difference

Exposure or orientation of golf holes not only make a difference in playability but it makes a huge difference in agronomics as well.  Direct sunlight has a tremendous effect on soil temperatures and direct growth of turfgrass especially in the shoulder season of active plant growth.

This effect is very visible on the golf course right now in relation to snow cover.  All of our Northern exposures are still deep in snow cover, while areas receiving full sun have melted away and are in the process of initiating spring growth and green up.  Approximately 1/3 of our golf holes are north facing and still look like Antarctica and the others look to be ready for golf.  All of these differences occur from hole to hole, some areas are as close as  300 yards apart even though they seem to be on two different continents.

Here is a great look at two of the holes on the course that you would never guess the pictures were taken on the same day let alone same season.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Melt

Over the last two days with temperatures in the upper 60's and high winds a big portion of the snow on the course has melted away. Unfortunately new snow is predicted over the next two days, so we will see what happens.

So far greens, tees and fairways look to be in good shape while the rough might be a different story with damage coming in the form of snow mold and Voles. Time will tell how the other areas that are still deep under snow cover will be.

 On a positive note the drainage system is working nicely removing the excess flow of water from the golf course. This rapid removal of water will help prevent any standing water from forming and reduce the possibility of ice formation.

Free Flowing Water