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What's Happening on the Golf Course?

18 SEP 2020

I don’t want to say it, but fall has arrived.  There is still plenty of golf season left and just like everyone else, we are hanging on to it for as long as we can.  It was an extremely tough summer on our grass.  Multiple days and weeks in the upper twenties, thirties and pushing forties with the humidex.  The heat caused a huge amount of stress on our turf, and for the most part we were able to recover from setbacks fairly quickly with minimal disruption.  The thinning out of the forest line on 15 Copperhead last winter has helped us immensely with that green.  It is a tough battle back in that corner with its own micro climate, temperatures always a few degrees warmer than the rest of the course.  Although there was a stretch there where the green struggled, the recovery process was a lot quicker than most years.  And there has to be credit given to Andrew, our Copperhead course foreman who was constantly plugging out wilted turf, exchanging it for healthy plugs from the Rattler, and continuously seeding.  Be sure to say hello to him out there, he has worked incredibly hard this year!   

One of the reasons our turf is able to recover so well is because we stay on top of our agronomic practices.  As an athlete, off season was always for building and pushing the limits, so that when you were in the heat of the competitive season your body was able to keep up with the added stress of competition.  The same goes for our grass.  While this is still a busy time of the year for our course, it is the time in which we can strengthen our grass and push the limits a little.  All to build a healthier stand of grass to keep up with the added summer stresses next season.  That being said you will see us out there verti-cutting more, aerating, and top dressing.  We apologize for the inconvenience but these are necessary practices to make sure we go into next summer ready to rock!  

So far this fall we have aerated the Rattler greens with a heavy top dress.  This week we top dressed Copperhead greens and added an application of Calcium, Potassium and a granular fertilizer.  Your fun science fact of the week is that the ground and our soils have a negative charge.  All of our necessary nutrients are fed to the soils with a positive charge, example Potassium (K+), Nitrogen while (-) in nature is fed to our soils in ammonium form (NH4+).  The problem is the sodium (Na+) also binds to the soil taking up space for essential nutrients.  The Calcium we put down strips the sodium ions off the soil and makes room for the Potassium, Nitrogen and other micronutrients in the granular fertilizer.  A process that may disrupt putting for a few days, but does a lot of good for our greens and their soils.  We will be doing the same on Sidewinder greens in the next week.

We have started our yearly cut of fescue.  This will help with upright growth next year and to allow us to spray dandelions and thistles in the spring.