Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Luck of the Irish - a 70 degree day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It is great to be outside and back in action on the golf course. Yesterday we pulled the green covers off for hopefully the last time this spring. Today we are rolling the greens to smooth out any bumpy, uneven surfaces created from winter frost heaving and freeze/thaw cycles, with plans to put a first mow on them tomorrow, weather permitting. We are also cleaning leaves out of bunkers, picking up debris piles, and performing other clean-up related duties.

As you can see above, the greens have nice color and the turf appears to be in great condition. The exception to this is our 11th and 3rd greens. They have experienced some slight winter injury from a combination of conditions called Crown Hydration and Desiccation. The USGA defines the terms as the following.

Crown Hydration - "A form of winter injury in which intracellular water within the plant freezes and causes physical injury to the cell membrane and wall, resulting in dehydration."

Desiccation - "Drying. A type of winter injury sustained on exposed turf areas when subjected to high winds."

We believe the Crown Hydration injury occurred around the second week of February when unseasonably warm temperatures combined with significant snow melting; which was immediately followed by a drop in temperatures to below the freezing mark. To compound the problem, the next few days brought high, drying winds that further dehydrated the turf. (Unbeknown to us, the high winds ripped and lifted portions of the green covers on 11 and 3, which contributed to the desiccation.)

These following photos show the injured portions on 11 green.

The picture above shows an area where the cover was lifted and folded on itself. This caused water to collect and run off - where it then froze and injured the turf.

Despite the damage, we are optimistic the green will have a great recovery. The picture below shows a close up of a Poa Annua plant that is regenerating a new, green tiller. This indicates that the most critical part of the plant (the crown) is alive, which should result in further green up and growth. We will be monitoring these injured areas on a daily basis and take necessary measures to aid the recovery process (ie. shallow aerating, reseeding, watering, etc.).

1 comment:

  1. Amazing how green they are. Thanks for all the hard work making SCC the best course around. Can't wait to tee it up.


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