From the Golf Course,
Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to come out to the club and enjoy the nice days that we have had so far this year. The cool, wet weather has slowed many of our projects but we are very happy with the outcome of those projects we have been able to complete.
As many of you know we had the opportunity this past Monday to host a US Open Qualifier. One of the items requested of us was to have conditions similar to a US Open course. The representatives from the Iowa Golf Association set pin locations and we were responsible for the condition of the golf course, including the speed of the greens. It was our intent to have very fast, very firm greens to help determine that the best players move forward. Base on the comments of the participants we accomplished our objective.
We have had a frost at least once a week since we opened the golf course! The bentgrass does not like that at all. Because of the very cool spring the putting greens have had very little top growth. While this is nice when preparing for an Open qualifier it is not desired for the long term health of the putting greens. Regular growth is needed for them to be able to handle day to day wear and tear. That growth is also needed to support the root systems of the plant. While it was great to have very fast greens during the Qualifier, this speed is not something we can maintain the entire summer and have any turf left.
Once soil temperatures warm up, we expect to see better top growth during the day. Translated to the golfer this means that as you see warmer days, more humidity, less frost you can expect putting speeds to slow a little. Our objective is to maintain a consistent level of putting quality and speed. We should have no problem maintaining the speed and consistency we had last year.
I hope this explains our current conditions, and helps you understand that we try to maintain a putting speed amenable to our entire membership.
Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS