The winter was harsh on much of the annual bluegrass and perennial ryegrass throughout the golf course. Now that things are greening up, the dead/mostly dead spots are obvious. The main culprits for the turf damage was extensive ice cover and crown hydration. Poa annua can withstand about 60 days under ice cover typically, while bentgrass can survive through 90+ days of cover. Crown hydration is when the snow melt occurs and the plant takes in some water but then is subjected to refreezing which ruptures the plant cells and kills the grass plant. Here is a brief outline of what we are doing to recover the golf course as quickly as we can:
- #7 & #16 greens were taken out of play, deeply verticut in two directions, seeded with A-4 Creeping Bentgrass, topdressed, dragged, and covered. There has been good germination and recovery of the weak turf. It is likely they will remain out of play for another few weeks.
- Fairway areas are undergoing a slit seeding with a low-mow premium bluegrass/ryegrass mix. Typical bluegrass germination is 2 weeks, while ryegrass is sooner. Please avoid all cart traffic on these areas while we are encouraging seedlings and re-growth.
- Green collars will be aerified next Wednesday. We will be seeding with bentgrass and topdressing them as part of the process.
- Tees will be aerified following collars, and again we will be incorporating seed and topdressing to address the thinner areas.
- The worst collar damage on greens #4, 9, & 12 will be re-grassed with sod from our turf nursery, the plan is to start that early next week.
- We will be and have been using seed/plugging/sodding/topdressing practices on greens to bring them back from the winter damage they sustained.
- All fertilizer/chemical programs are being adjusted for accelerated turf recovery and seedling growth.
Our goal is to have most, if not all, of these processes finished and in place by the end of next week. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we move forward in getting the golf course back into prime condition for the season.