Thursday, July 28, 2011

Greens Fan on #4/disease update

Over the last three weeks we have seen some disease activity on the greens.  Samples were sent to the North Carolina State University Pathology Department for a better diagnoses.  They confirmed that there was alot of disease activity in the sample.  We were given recommendation to follow.  We have followed the recommendation for fungicide selections, raised the mowing heights, mowing every other day, Syringing as much as needed to cool the plant during high temperatures, add a fan if possible for better air movement.  A second sample was sent out yesterday to see if any more disease activity was present.  I will post the news when it comes back

A big thanks goes to Mr. Stinson for getting the trencher, the permit to install the power pole and arranging the contractors to get power for the fan. 

The turf care staff will be handling these areas with "gentle hands".  We feel confident that we will over come the problem,  There will be some thinning areas but overall we will get through it.  Once the cooler weather returns (90 degrees and Below) we can push the grass harder to recover. 
#4 Green, gets a fan.  We have borrowed it from the green site at #6.  The number 6 green will need a replacement put back at that site next year.  #6 has done well so far this year.

William is trenching so power can be installed to the fan

Trench leading to transformer

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Greens Update

The greens have done well overall during this heat. A turf sample was sent off to the North Carolina State Pathology Department on Monday. There were a few areas on some greens that were showing signs of disease activity. We have received the diagnoses and have sprayed according to the recommendations. During this heat wave we do not expect to see a big change in the stress areas. The application of fungicide should stop the disease from spreading. Our goal is to reduce stress in these isolated areas over the next week or two until a cooler spell of weather approaches. During cooler temperatures these areas will grow over.

The turf care staff is working very hard and delicately to provide the proper moisture to the bent grass putting surfaces so that the greens will play and be as healthy as possible during the next 60 days.  Hand watering high areas and dry spots is a 10-12 hour a day task,7 days a week during the summer months.  If you see the staff watering, feel free to say thank you for their hard work.  They sure do deserve it.

The Heat Wave Is Here

Over the past two weeks we have seen hot temperatures.  These temperatures have been very beneficial for the Bermuda grass in the fairways and tee box hitting areas.  These areas have to be treated like a grow-in during the rye grass transition to Bermuda grass surface. 

Martin is using 6 inch slicing blades to encourage the Bermuda grass to spread

Friday, July 15, 2011

USGA weekly Update for Virginia

Is Variety Really The Spice Of Life?By Darin S. Bevard, senior agronomist, Mid-Atlantic Region

July 8, 2011

Travels in the region have generally yielded turfgrass that is in good condition, but they are beginning to show signs of stress. There are some notable exceptions, especially in southern portions of Virginia where some areas have been inundated with rain from heavy thunderstorms on an almost daily basis in the last week. In conjunction with high temperatures, putting greens are beginning to show decline with this challenging weather combination. Heavy rain, high temperatures and cool-season turfgrass do not go well together.

Various Pythium root diseases, take-all patch and bacterial wilt have all been reported as the cause of decline. If your golf course is in one of these areas that has received too much rain, remember that conservative maintenance practices are needed. As some possibilities:

Height of cut may need to be increased and mowing frequency decreased.

Fungicide intervals may need to be shortened, which will impact the budget.

The greens may need to be vented with small solid or coring tines to improve air exchange with the soil and promote drying.

In short, some or all of these measures will be needed at your golf course to preserve the health of the grass. Softer, slower greens should be expected and accepted until weather patterns change. The alternative could be significant turfgrass decline. Remember, slow grass is better than no grass.

Ironically, other portions of the Mid-Atlantic Region have been on the dry side in the last month. With water under the control of the superintendent, firm and fast conditions are being provided and generally are well accepted by the golfers, in spite of a few brown spots here and there. In many of these areas, a thunderstorm will be welcomed to give maintenance staffs a break from hand watering.

One does not have to go far to experience a completely different set of management conditions on golf courses because of the weather. Be careful when comparing golf courses. Off-color turf is not necessarily a sign of lax management. It may be a sign that the course you are playing that day has not received rain in many days. On the other hand, soft greens may not be a result of overwatering; the course you are playing that day may have received significant rain when others did not.

Second generation annual bluegrass weevil adults are now very common. If good control of first generation was not achieved, damage can quickly develop in the centers of fairways as well as the edges. Even if you have creeping bentgrass fairways, do not rest easily. Damage from annual bluegrass weevil in creeping bentgrass has increased in the past couple of years. Be prepared to apply an insecticide to control adult populations if they are noted on your golf course.

The dog days of summer are upon us. The longest, hottest days coupled with the warmest, shortest nights provide the most challenging conditions for maintaining cool-season grasses. Conservative maintenance practices should be employed, especially on putting greens. This does not mean that well-paced greens cannot be maintained. It does mean that on some of these long, hot days the greens may not be as fast as they were in May and June.

The Mid-Atlantic Region agronomists are part of your agronomic support team. If you have a question or concern, give us a call or send an e-mail. You can reach Stan Zontek ( and Darin Bevard ( at 610/ 558-9066 or Keith Happ ( at 412/ 341-5922.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Projects

Adding Urea to weak areas. 

Venting greens with 9 MM tines

Venting holes. This is rolled and ready for play

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Edging and Prunning Bushes

Martin and Crew pulling Bermuda grass from greens

Edging Greens

Jay Prunning Bushes

Prunning Bushes