What’s Happening on the Course Right Now?
05 JUN 2020
As we find ourselves in early June, we also are seeing the Poa Annua (Annual Bluegrass) producing seed heads throughout the golf course. This gives the ‘whitish’ appearance on the greens, tees, fairways and roughs and is part of the natural cycle of the Poa plants. While it is mainly a visual distraction on the tees, fairways, and roughs, it can be a nuisance on the greens producing bumpy surfaces and sometimes slower putting surfaces late in the day. All attempts are being made to minimize the impact of the seed heads on playability with physical methods (double cutting, strategic height lowering, brush cutting, verticutting and topdressing), however, it is important to understand we are limited on the ability to achieve consistent results.
Seed heads are produced by the Poa plant as part of the natural process of regenerating itself as an ‘annual’, hence the name. An interesting thing about annual bluegrass is the realization it has adapted itself genetically to grow at very low mowing heights and some have even generated perennial type physiological habits and do not produce seed heads! We are not all too lucky to have many of these perennial types, as our course is still in the somewhat young stage of Poa encroachment. We base our programs on promoting creeping bentgrass, but we must be cognizant to maintain the annual bluegrass to the best of our ability to ensure there is grass for players to enjoy. This can be a difficult balance throughout the growing season when managing both bentgrass and annual bluegrass due to their different growth characteristics, mowing/grooming requirements, water requirements, nutrient requirements, pest management among others but important just the same to achieve the goal of consistency and playability.
Seed head season is directly related to the weather and the recent hot and dry weather of last week initiated the plants to produce seeds and with the cooler seasonal weather now upon us, it may last for a week or two. We will continue to monitor the conditions and implement any available responsible strategies in order to achieve minimal impact on playability.
Please be advised (if you have been curious) that work will commence next week on the pond wall at 6 Sidewinder. We had a drain failure during the winter and frost heaved many of the wall armour stones. These have to be removed, subgrades corrected and stones replaced. We hope that this project will only last a day or 2 and many apologies for the pond being low for the opening weeks.
We are also in the process of filling in some of our out of play bunkers on the course. We are targeting bunkers that are essentially there to only penalize the high handicapper. We are beginning these works on the Rattler course. This will last for most of the summer but we will make every effort to keep out of any player's way.
Bill McAllister, Golf Course Superintendent