Friday, June 26, 2009

I Walk the Line...

Summer is here and we had a pulse of extremely hot and humid air over the last couple of days. From now until Labour Day, we will be monitoring turf conditions very closely. When the weather gets hot and humid, we walk a very fine line with great conditions on one side and turf failure on the other. The issues are many - shade, disease, insects, short roots, close mowing, vertical mowing, topdressing, brushing - and all can be hard on the turf when the weather gets hot. Notice that some of these are practices we use to create great playing conditions. That's the irony of my job - I am not really as much of a turf manager as I am a playing surface manager. If I were to manage strictly for healthy turf, we would not be mowing at 0.110 inches, while withholding water and fertilizer to get fast, firm greens - all while 250 golfers per day walk on the greens during extreme heat and humidity. Minor mistakes at this time of year can be greatly amplified by weather and poor growing conditions. I have two children aged 8 and 5 and I can draw many similarities between raising them and managing a golf course at a high level at a property like ours: it's an extremely rewarding endeavour but it's never far from my mind and even keeps me awake some nights!

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