Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Course Opens Today at 11:00!! What are the expectatations!!!
Bumpy and Bedraggled Greens
By Clark Throssell, Ph.D.
Does bumpy and bedraggled describe the condition of your greens today? If it does, you are not alone. Many rounds of golf were played this winter on greens that are normally not in play because of a layer of snow. The good news is increased revenue; the bad news is bumpy greens that need some attention.
Keep in mind it is still early March. Avoid the temptation to jump full speed into your greens management program. It is highly likely that your course will receive another round or two of cold temperatures and more snow is not out of the question in many locations. And don't forget, spring in northern locations is usually marked by dramatic swings in temperature.
For now, rely on rolling to smooth the putting surface and increase green speed. Don't go overboard with rolling; be as gentle as possible while making the improvements to the greens that are necessary. I am not a fan of mowing early in the spring. The reason is that mowing stimulates leaf growth. It is far too early in many northern locations to encourage leaf growth.
And keep the fertilizer spreaders parked in the maintenance facility. Warm temperatures, not fertilizer, will stimulate the creeping bentgrass/annual bluegrass to grow. Wait and see what happens with the weather before fertilizing. Be certain the soil temperatures are consistently near 50° F before considering a fertilizer application. Roots are not very efficient at taking up nutrients when soils are cold.
Hopefully the weather will return to a spring-like pattern so you can enjoy March Madness in relative peace and cheer for your favorite team.