From the Golf Course,
As I have stated in the past, Des Moines Golf and Country Club has a sizable population of poa annua in our fairways. If you recall last year on #15 Fairway South we did a trial with a product called Velocity that kills the poa annua while it leaves the bentgrass. We were very successful in our attempt on #15 last year and we have decided to conduct a new trial. Valent Chemical Company, the manufacturer of Velocity has come out with a better formula of the product. Not knowing what rates will work best for us we have chosen to do multiple trials on a fairway to see what our tolerance level of yellowing bentgrass and killing the poa annua plants.
Dr. Nick Christians, a turfgrass professor from Iowa State University is helping us conduct the tests and is taking weekly samples and ratings from the trial area. He will then present his findings to other superintendents. More important to the Club is that we have an expert helping conduct the trials, giving us validated test results which will determine future use of the product.
We have chosen #8 Fairway North as our testing site. For any experiment to be valid it has to be replicated 3 times in a random testing pattern. We are applying the Velocity at different rates, in different intervals of application in 3 random patterns.
While you may not see the different trial areas, you will see the "control" areas. These are areas where no Velocity has been applied and they are very green in comparison to the test areas. The test areas have yellowed bentgrass and poa annua that is declining at different levels. Our current plan is to conduct this experiment through July and possibly into August.
Our objective is to find the best rates and application timing to kill the poa annua while leaving a desirable playing surface for you to enjoy. Over the next 6 weeks when playing #8 North you will experience some yellow discolored turf however it should not affect your game. In any large patches of dead poa annua, the existing bentgrass should take over the dead area much like a divot that grows back in. If we have very pronounced areas we will seed those voids with bentgrass.
This is a very aggressive method to combating the poa annua problems we have, but it is a very effective mean without shutting down a fairway. I will keep you abreast of the test outcomes and our decisions on how we might proceed. Thank you for understanding our efforts to make the club's fairway conditions better.
Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS