Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Green Recovery

The 15th green did not handle the winter well.  Similar in condition is the 17th green, with over 80% of the green surface dead or in a very precarious condition.  Several other greens sustained injury in the 25-70% range.  Even some of the covered greens show signs of injury but this was namely due to trees that shade the green surface and do not allow snow or ice to thaw. 
The recovery process will be trying and the crew has their work cut out for them and unfortunately for golfers, the use of temporary greens will be necessary to allow the greens to recuperate.  Recovery from a winter like this is a slow process, and one that is detailed below. 

  1. Verticutting- Developing a good seed bed is key for seed germination, and the crew aggressively verticut the damaged greens.  Seed to soil contact is necessary for germination.
    2. Seeding- Creeping bentgrass seed is applied at a heavy rate.  Some of this seed is expected to
        fill in these damaged areas but poa annua seed already present in the green will do the same.

    3.  Aerifying- Not a typical aerification, but a light one intended to push the seed into further
         contact with the soil. 

     4.  Rolling- Once again, just another way to ensure more seed to soil contact with the added
          benefit of smoothing the green. 

      5.  Fertilization- A fertilizer application is made to provide adequate fertility for damaged plants
           and seedlings alike.
      6.  Irrigation- Seed needs water to germinate and granular fertilizer has to be watered in so the
           irrigation system is already being utilized. 

After all this, the greens are recovered with tarps to trap heat and warm the soil.  The weather is starting to turn favorably for golf during the day but night temperatures still fall close or below freezing.  Young and damaged plants do not tolerate these low temperatures well making the covers necessary.  Luckily, these covers are permeable to sunlight and water so they do not have to be removed each day. 

Areas on fairways and tees suffered injury as well and the focus will swing to these areas soon, but greens have to be the priority.  The blog will continue to be utilized to keep the membership as updated as possible in regards to the recovery of these greens so please stay tuned. 

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