Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dedication and Perseverence

Portable Sprinkler In Rough On 7 Red
   After little snowfall over the past winter, a dry spring, and only .36" inches of rain in June, the golf course remains extremely dry. While our automated irrigation system in normally sufficient in providing adequate moisture to the putting greens, tees, fairways, and selective rough areas, we are limited to irrigating areas that are located near sprinkler heads.  During periods of extreme drought, outlying rough areas receive no irrigation through our automated system.

Due to the dry conditions and warmer than normal temperatures, unirrigated portions of the golf course have turned dormant.  Dormant turf will recover with the onset of rain and cooler temperatures, however these areas are more susceptible to wear and tear from golf cart traffic and simply provide a less than desireable appearance.  Additionally, the trees located in these areas are placed under increased stress due to the lack of water. 

In order to assist these areas with recovery, NSCC dedicates one employee to placing portable sprinklers in these areas on a daily basis.  Our employee, Miguel, has remained dilligent over the last couple months by nurturing acres of rough through these challenging conditions.  Miguel's day consists of hauling around thirty 100' sections of 1" hose and 15 sprinklers around the golf course on a rotating basis.  Each morning Miguel begins at 5AM and finishes around 2:30 PM.  Without Miguel's dedication, the roughs would be crispy and dormant.  The picture below illustrates the importance of the portable sprinklers in the rough.  Don't hesitate to acknowledge Miguel's hard work if you see him on the course.

Contrast Between Irrigated and Unirrigated Rough

Monday, June 18, 2012

Why The Greener Greens

Turfgrass managers use an almost infinite number of tools at their disposal to protect and maintain their putting greens.  While aeration, sand topdressing, and properly used fungicides are examples of tools that are recognized by most golfers, less common tools are not as easily observed by golf course patrons.  The picture of the 9th putting green on the White Nine provides an example of one such practice.  If you look carefully, you will notice that the right half of the green is much darker in appearance than the left side of the green.  At the time the photograph was taken, only half of the green had been sprayed.  In addition to our usual application of fungicides, growth regulators, fertilizers, and bio stimulants, a turfgrass pigment was also added. 

We initially discovered the benefits associated with turf pigments when applying fungicides to fairways in the late fall to prevent snow mold.  The particular fungicide that was applied came pre-mixed with a turfgrass pigment.  We realized the benefits of the pigment in the early spring of the following year.  Due to the darker color of the fairway following the application of the pigment, the fairways greened up much earlier than normal.  We believe this occurred due to the warmer canopy temperature afforded by increased solar radiation adsorption due to the darker colored turf.  Often times, we will apply pigments early and late in the season to promote turfgrass growth.

Additionally we will apply products containing pigments or add pigments when spraying greens in the summer.  In summer time, the pigment acts as a sunscreen, shielding the turf from intense solar radiation.  Temporarily following the application, the putting surfaces take on a vibrant green color.