Another summer month has passed us by and the heat is still on. July is always a hot month in which cool season grasses are under a lot of stress. This year is different because of an unseasonably hot June causing turf health to decline earlier than usual. Temperatures this July have averaged over 90 degrees with the heat index well over 100 degrees. Rainfall has continued to be scarce as well falling further behind for the year keeping us in a severe drought.
Turf will undergo different types of stresses throughout the year. Mechanical stresses from our cultural practices such as mowing and aerification, disease pressure and environmental stresses such as heat, humidity, drought and even too much rain which hasn't been the case this year. These are just a few of the battles the maintenance staff will fight off any given year.
We do our best to provide golfers with a healthy and consistent playing surface. During the hot summer months we try to do as much as we can to reduce the amount of stress that our turf has to endure. One of these practices is to switch to a walk mower on some of our weaker greens. These greens might be weaker than others because of different micro-climates throughout the golf course. A micro-climate could be an area that receives more sunlight, like a south facing hill, or an area that does not receive as much air movement or sun because it is surrounded by trees. The walk behind greens mower is set at a slightly higher mowing height to allow for more leaf tissue for better photosynthesis and reduced stress. Another change that is implemented during the summer is restricting carts to path only on certain holes. This is done again to help alleviate the added stress the turf is facing from cart traffic that can damage turf that is dehydrated. Hole #6 is one of our weaker growing holes. This hole is completely surrounded by trees and receives very little air movement. Thus, it stays very hot during the summer with no help from mother nature to cool it down. The soil characteristics of #6 are very similar to most holes out here consisting of very heavy clay which makes managing consistent moisture levels very difficult. The different environmental stresses that each hole is faced with creates the need to manage and utilize different tactics to help get through the summer months. We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to an early fall this year.
|Cart damage on #6 from previous years|