Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Same Time Different Year

What a difference a year makes is a common theme many Golf Course Superintendents are saying. First off it's true the weather could not be more different this spring from last year. By this time last year we had mowed greens several times, aerified all of my fairways and we had nearly 350 rounds of golf. This year we are O for three on these items and with the long range forecast looking sketchy, it's hard to say when things will starting acting like Spring around here.

 The funny thing is that weather pattern we are currently experiencing is more normal than not, over the last several seasons we have been treated to extremely warm early spring temperatures. Those temperatures were great to get things going, but then the inevitable hard freeze would hit putting the brakes on active growth. The turf may have been green but it wasn't happy or growing for a while after that. This year is shaping up to be a slow start of the season with soil temperatures being 5 to 10 degrees cooler than this time a year ago. We as Superintendent's routinely try to manipulate Mother Nature, some times with success and sometimes with disaterious results. The key is knowing when to push things and  knowing when to back off, it's a fine line that is walked at all golf courses that deal with seasonal Turfgrass.

Knowing that the Masters is coming in a few weeks and all that comes with the green is good mentality might tempt you to make a poor agronomic decision based on color alone. Don't do it, exercise patience within reason and remember this is a marathon not a sprint.