What's Happening on the Golf Course?
07 JUL 2020
Wow, it is hot. It has been a great summer so far for golfing. As a turf crew, we are hanging in there. We have managed to keep our grass strong and healthy thus far through this drought. The poa on some of our greens has gone backwards due to the hot, dry weather over the last while. The roots on poa grass are very superficial compared to the roots of bentgrass. Because of this, any extreme weather, hot or cold, can cause weaker plants to wilt or die. The greens we have had some issues on are starting to come around and recover.
Looking ahead, the forecast the next week or two looks very scary for all turf managers. The extreme heat without any rain or breaks in temperatures is not ideal. It is even more worrisome when nighttime temperatures are higher than 21C. At this point, our grass and soils do not get the chance to cool off overnight. As it is our soil temperatures are getting very close to 100F. The ideal range for maximum photosynthesis to occur is when the air temperature is between 18-21C, with the presence of sunlight. By the time the sun rises when overnight temperatures are 21C+, it is too warm for adequate photosynthesis to occur. Our grass does not get a chance to recover fully from the wear and tear the day before. We usually experience weather like this one or two days every summer, but not for weeks at a time, which is what we have scheduled in the forecast. You can bet we will be checking every inch of our 800 acres of grass to make sure we do not lose any of it! Please keep in mind that greens may slow down a touch this week as we try to minimize mechanical injury to our turf because recovery will be less likely at a time like this.
In the meantime, we are working our way through countless irrigation issues. Many areas are not getting substantial water to keep the grass from reaching its wilting point. While other areas on our fairways are getting too much water. After getting our wetting agent down over the last couple of weeks and as we continue to fix irrigation problems, we are starting to see more consistent playing conditions.
Stay cool, stay hydrated, and see you on course!
Christine Kumagai Golf Course Associate Superintendent