Welcome to August
We have officially cleared the halfway mark of the season. The challenge with our greens has been a strong point of conversation. As of now, the greens are showing strong health, rolling more consistently & firming up… where they should be! #2 & 7 green (our weakest) are also catching up with the rest. These are all good signs considering we are going through the busiest time of the year, with lots of traffic, high heat & humidity.
Our conclusion to this swing in greens health has us looking at timing of cultural practices as the culprit.
- May’s Turf Bulletin explains the aeration late last fall left us with exposed holes which did not close entirely well into the spring. With cool temperatures into May, we had slow recovery until the heat arrived late May early June. Learning from this, we will go back to verti-draining greens earlier in the fall to assure the holes are sealed before winter.
- Our July setback came in a three week period of extended drought, heat & high traffic. Agronomic factors regarding our growth regulator during this time set back the greens from their final recovery. Also, the accumulation of high sodium levels from the constant use of bay water irrigation. Both of these situations were corrected by removing the growth regulator from our spray program & neutralizing the sodium levels with water treatments (acid injection) and gypsum based fertilizers. The recovery has put us to where we are today.
I feel another beneficial factor in this recovery was with the cooperation from membership to allow us to switch nines. The eight day trial did show good healing response in the front nine with less traffic pressure in the mornings & evenings. Ironically, we did see some traffic stress in the back, mainly divots & ballmarks. Moving forward this would be a useful tool in our calendar to periodically help eliminate front nine stress from traffic.
As many understand, growing grass is not an exact science. Every year brings on new challenges with variations in environmental pressures such as disease, weeds and insects. Not to mention our biggest variable… the weather. We pride ourselves at staying ahead of these factors producing good conditions for all. However, there are times when successful practices of the past lead to problems due to the ever changing environment we work in.
As our greens return to normal, we continue to manicure the entire course to the highest standard.
We can’t thank the members enough for their correspondence, understanding & support.
About the Author
Dean Baker, Certified Golf Course Superintendent (27 years). He joined Burlington Golf & Country Club in 2012, where he has enjoyed the remodelling and renovation of this historic 1922 Stanley Thompson design. Dean is a graduate of the University of Guelph where he remains involved with the program he graduated from, Associate Diploma in Turf Management. There he lends his expertise as an instructor to upcoming turf managers, by instructing the Human Resources for Turf Managers Course.Follow on Twitter More Content by Dean Baker