Hot Tips For Hot Times

Posted on: April 25th, 2012 by admin No Comments
Published July 26, 2010
Across the country, heat and humidity are wreaking havoc with golf courses and giving superintendents panic attacks as they try to keep turf alive. I’m sure many supers are sitting in their offices at day’s end wondering if there are any jobs open at the local McDonald’s.Here are some suggestions for golfers and supers for surviving one of the hottest summers on record-and having some fun along the way.


For the Golfer
• Don’t complain about green speed. Your super is letting the greens grow a little longer for protection against the sun and heat. Hit the ball harder and be happy you’re playing.
• Don’t complain about soft surfaces when it’s very humid and thunderstorms are soaking the course every day. If greens are soft and receptive, take advantage of the conditions and lower your handicap.
• Don’t get upset if the ball doesn’t roll perfectly. In this heat, greens probably aren’t being mown every day.
• Don’t freak out if you see sprayers applying a pesticide. All these products are safe and government regulated. If your legs turn red after a day on the course you forgot to apply sunscreen.
• When the crew is watering the turf give them time and room to do their job.
• If the sign says, “Carts on Paths Only,” please adhere to this request. Grinding cart tires on heat-stressed turf quickly leads to dead grass.
• Heat is especially tough on cool-season grasses such as Poa, bent, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass, all of which are commonly used on practice ranges. Just as with carts, if the sign reads, “Mats Only,” please stay off the grass.
• Expect to see grounds personnel working at odd times and possibly slowing down or getting in the way of your game. Be patient, let them work, and move on.For the Superintendent
I feel your pain. Thankfully, relief is only a few weeks away: By mid-August, when the sun’s angle and nighttime temperatures are lower, this beastly summer will be just another bad memory. Until then, consider the following (common-sense advice we all know but is worth repeating in these conditions):
• Raise the height-of-cut on your greens.
• Alternate mowing and rolling.
• When it comes to watering, less is best. Water absorbs heat so don’t over irrigate. If water use is restricted, focus on those greens.
• When spraying pesticides, watch for turf burn. Monitor temperatures and humidity if you are considering a foliar application of a nutrient package.
• Apply preventative fungicides early in the day before the worst heat.
• Avoid hollow-core cultivation. Consider solid-tine venting at the appropriate times. Don’t use water injection units in this heat. Don’t fracture sensitive rooting systems.

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