From the Golf Course,
Last week in my correspondence I discussed disease pressure and our concern about how it might affect the golf course turf. There has been some turf loss in this hot, wet period and this letter is to explain a some of the problems that we have experienced.
First, we have had just over 6” of rain in the last 11 days. Almost all of our bunkers no longer drain through the internal bunker drains. To make them playable as soon as possible, it is necessary to pump the water out of them. Much of that water accumulates along the fairway edges (low spots). The water then sits there and in the high heat scorches the turf. There are several areas on both golf courses that look like this:
The plan to repair them is twofold. This fall we will work to expose the bunker drains and get them back to a condition where they may work and water will drain through them. Until the bunkers are totally rebuilt we will continue to experience these mini ponds. The second step taken will be to add drain tile with surface inlets along the fairway edges so any standing water can get into the tile quicker and off the surface. Over the next few weeks we will be sodding these areas to restore them to playability. This is not an overnight fix, but one that we will continue to work on.
Our second problem is poa annua discussed in early letters. As stated in that letter it is prone to disease, very shallow rooted and can die easily in hot weather. What you are seeing in a lot of our intermediate roughs is the poa annua checking out. It is the result of a lot of cart compaction and it is an area not treated with fungicides. This is what some of those areas look like:
Going forward, more aggressive aerification and treating these areas with fungicide should help them make it through the hot periods.
Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS