Grounds Maintenance Update - June 2021
Faster greens and warmer days
What a difference a year makes! This time last year we were already in the midst of a seriously challenging summer with record heat, humidity, and lack of rainfall. Weather extremes will be changing year after year but mother nature has been very kind to us to start the season. The mid-May heat stretch where we saw 90’s for 5+ days was actually very beneficial for the turf, and has accelerated many of the critical agronomic functions necessary to get the turf where we need it to be.
We have seen consistent, steady progress on the greens by the day. Even under unseasonably dry and cool conditions this spring, the rooting and turf density has been excellent. No, green speeds were not a top priority for the early portion of the season, and we thank you for your understanding on that front. But now that the foundation has been set, soil temperatures have solidified, and seedlings have become mature, we have upped our daily greens inputs to generate higher speeds. All done with consideration of many factors, safety and heat being the most important. The staff has done a near perfect job with equipment management and it shows.
Necssary care for healthy greens and high speeds
All that to say we are certainly not out of the woods yet. Im sure you have noticed the spot seedings we have done weekly on the greens. We have continued to use Declaration Creeping Bentgrass as we have seen very quick germination rates out of that particular blend, and they are much better suited to deal with the high play demands at BNGC. The spot seedings are to repair high foot traffic areas, and some large poa patches that will become very difficult to manage in the heat of the summer. Topdressing will need to increase for added protection and surface drainage, a very difficult balance for us to provide the turf what it needs but not interfere with a very busy golf schedule.
As we expand our cultural practices away from the greens, please bear with us when you hear the loud tractor punching through compacted soils. Its very important for us to take advantage of this opportunistic window late June has provided us. Also, please keep in mind that these processes require complete attention from the operator. He is not ignoring you on the tee box, in many instances it is safer for the operator and for the turf to finish his pass rather than immediately lift to get out of your way. We are very aware of where the play is coming from and we do our absolute best to not slow your round down.
Lastly, a big reason for early season success so far has been irrigation supply management. It took a lot of math, a lot of man hours, and a lot of creativity to re-address this issue over the off season. Brian and Steve have gotten the water supply down to an exact science and always keep us in a good position to have the water necessary to manage turf in extreme conditions. Hats off to them.
We thank you for your continued support during the golf season and have enjoyed your feedback. As always, we are easy to find so feel free to drop by the shop. See you out there.
Jake Ronchi, GCS BNGC