The Not So Obvious
We all know the obvious impacts for the course from the storm, (I am totally over that word) but there are a few not so obvious impacts which I informed the course committee of and thought the general membership should also be aware.
Green Speed - The greens may run a little slower in the short term, we could not cut greens for nearly a week, we were forced to raise heights slightly, this does impact on green speeds. We have since lowered the heights but more of an impact comes from the reduced frequency of cut and will take some time to gain the condition back from regular mowing, (we are still not at pre storm frequency). In short the more often we cut, the finer the leaf, the quicker the greens, it's a little bit more complicated than that, but that is the general idea.
Disease Issues - With wet weather, a mixed bag of weather conditions and lost time for some cultural practices usually completed, some disease issues are expected in greens, tees and fairways. We managed to get some preventative control out for the greens, we simply do not have the budget for fairway control.
Some diseases may become active and be obvious immediately, others will not manifest till spring.
We will keep on top of it, there is no need for concern it is just something you need to be aware, more importantly staff.
Leaching / Chorotic Conditions - A little less green. With the amount of rain some leaching is expected, the impacts are not so much for greens as we can give light regular foliar doses and being a cool season grass will respond to that. The rest of the course (tees and fairways) being warm season grasses do lose a bit of colour through winter normally, that colour loss may be more pronounced than normal. We will give them a light foliar treatment that may improve the colour, but any heavy dose would just be waste and fertilise weeds more than the turf. Being winter the warm season grass is shutting down, the roots are not working as they do in summer, so any application in this area is waste.
Poa annua (Winter grass) - A difficult weed to control in Bent grass at any time. Like most courses our Poa control program is based on small regular doses, this has been severely compromised with 2 missed applications, this does not appear much but with Poa it is. This may mean a few more seed heads in spring than normal.
In fairways and tees we have a wider variety of choice being a different turf type, impact here will be mainly fairways which will be sprayed later than normal, until we apply post emergent winter grass control at which point, say no more poa.
Again these issues should not be cause of concern to members, just be aware of the not so obvious issues we may face.Thank you.