Recent heavy rains have put a strain on golf course maintenance crews around the state. Many courses have received over seven inches of rain in the last two weeks. This coupled with the warmer temperatures has turfgrass growing faster than it can be mowed. Every spring, golfers have to cope with thick rough, but conditions have been unusually tough the last couple weeks. Many areas on courses were un-mowable due to severe saturation. In addition to the inability to mow some areas for extended periods of time, the application of growth regulators has been delayed because many need to dry on the plant for them to work. Smaller labor forces, spring plant protectant applications, spring weed control applications, aerifying, landscaping and the weather have stretched every courses resources to its limits.
The good news is… it looks as if the weather is taking a turn for the better! Expect to see major improvements this week because course maintenance staffs will have better conditions to work with. Ground conditions will improve, allowing workers to mow, blow the heavy clipping piles and mow again. My guess is that most players can relate to that if they have a home lawn to take care of.
Playing “catch-up” will strain the labor force because it takes more man-hours to accomplish the desired results. Golfers must also understand that the necessary unseen maintenance practices reduce a courses available man hours needed to accomplish the tasks which are visible to the players. A good example is the application of plant protectants, growth regulators and weed control. These treatments must be done early in the year or players will certainly notice the difference later in the season.
Be patient and enjoy the fine weather and improving conditions which are headed your way!
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