Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Heat is On (Again)

To quote Matthew Broderick, "Man it's hot.  It's like Africa hot.  Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot."

The extreme temperatures and lack of rain are causing a lot of stress on our turf.  This is the time of year when poa roots are the shortest and we are seeing some pretty stressed out annual bluegrass on several of our greens.  The most affected areas are the high traffic areas like walk ons and walk offs.  We are going to vent all of the greens over the next few days to help alleviate some of this stress.  This will involve aerating with a very small solid spike early in the morning ahead of play.  These tiny holes will not affect putting but they will allow water and oxygen to penetrate more readily and for the release of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases from the root environment.  We are walking a razor's edge these days and there's still a lot of summer left!  I am continuing to be very conservative with maintenance practices so the greens may be a little slower than normal.  As I said in my last entry, we need to keep mechanical stress to a minimum until the environmental stress subsides a little.  In the meantime, you can help by not walking or driving over stressed looking turf.  Please do not take pull carts between greenside bunkers and greens or on tee decks.  You may think that your own actions don't mean very much in the grand scheme of things but as the saying goes, "A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step." 

On another note, the following picture tells a story about course care:

(Click to enlarge) Sandy footprints on #17
If you can't tell, this picture shows sandy footprints leading from the greenside bunker and then all over the 17th green.  Please have some consideration for your fellow golfers and knock the sand off your shoes before walking on a green.  This happened first thing in the morning and would have affected putting all day if I had not cleaned it up.

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