( 2010_07_29 - #17 Green Showing Damage/Disease )
The heat and humidity have began to take its toll in a few places. Our main issues have been with the fairways, though they have been minor and have even started to show signs of healing. Our teeing surfaces are not so much disease ridden as they are divot ridden. We struggle with some of them because of the size, that being too small for many of them, the par 3 tees on #4 and #16 being the worst. We do topdress and seed throughout the season to try and keep as much turf on them as we can, and not just by filling divots but using the topdresser and broadcasting seed. For the most part the other tees are in good shape and are not much of a issue.
The greens on the course have been in super shape for most of the season. Until recently we have had little to no issues with the turf, and that includes the notorious spots on #8 and #16. But a couple weeks ago we started to see some disease pop up on a few of them. Anthracnose being the main problem, and this is nothing new since it has occurred almost every year that I have been at IVGC. We are on a preventative chemical program for our greens, which means we are spraying fungicides on about a 14 day interval for most of the summer. Even with that schedule we can still get disease, it just shows you how tenacious some of the turf pathogens can be. There are also other factors that make the turf more susceptible, other then temps and humidity: low mowing, lean fertilizer program, and irrigation/drainage problems are a few. And on top of the disease issues we also had some mechanical damage caused by our riding greens mower and turf groomers. The height of cut was too low for the tri-plex to provide a good quality cut and the turf groomers were down, this tufted up some of the softer/spongy areas on our greens and scalped them out a little.
So what are we doing about it? We continue to stay on a regular topdressing program, a light layer of sand every 14 days on our greens. I have bumped up the fertilizer rate a small amount to give the turf a little extra growing power. We have raised the height of cut back to our normal 0.125" and added a extra rolling or two during the week. And we are looking into a verticutting program along with the topdressings which should aid in firming up those softer spots more so then just the topdressing.