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It is my intention to give the readers a better understanding of what we do to maintain The Farms Country Club's 18 hole championship golf course and grounds.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Golf Course Update! What You Need To Know...

The extreme winter conditions certainly put the turfgrass to the test. We still have remnants of snow here and there but it is mostly gone. There is a layer of frost at approximately six inches deep. The frost layer depth is important to know because turfgrass roots are frozen in it. Traffic on the surface causes shifting and shears roots off (obviously detrimental). I am optimistic that this will cease to be an issue in the next couple days. We are expecting warm temperatures and rain. The ten day forecast looks great once we get past Friday.
On to the good stuff! There is quite a bit of snow mold disease in our rough and on fairways. It looks ugly but it will be fine. A couple of mowings and a little growth and it will heal on its own. There is no snow mold on any greens or tees because plant protectants are applied before winter sets in.

Snow mold on banks of #2 green

Snow mold on banks of #6 green

Snow mold in a fairway
How are the greens???
For the most part we don't see much damage. Assessment of turf damage is always tricky. Our best method of discovery is to take sample plugs from the WORST looking areas on greens and bring them into the maintenance facility. The samples are labeled and placed under heat lamps forcing them to break dormancy. Another indication is to actually smell the samples and see if they have a "swampy" odor which would indicate anoxic (lack of oxygen) conditions. We did not notice that odor. 
We are seeing some isolated damage but the photos below give you a better picture. I am pleased with results and don't see large scale damage at this point. We never know exactly what we have until turf breaks dormancy naturally on the course.

Green samples day #1

Tray on left has 3 days under the lamps and tray on right is after 6 days
If we do have damage, we are prepared to aerify and overseed accordingly. Thankfully, we are scheduled to do our normal aerification beginning Monday, April 13th. Remember, the course will be closed Monday and Tuesday while we are working.
No one is more excited than I to get the season going. Aerification is incredibly important, especially after such a turf-stressing winter.
Please take the time to click on the links below to get a better understanding of the importance of aerification...