Recovery vs Playability

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Recovery vs Playability

As the month of June is almost in the rearview mirror, it's time for Turf Care staff to start focusing on how the golf course plays and presents itself. It is safe to say the weather has been outstanding for promoting recovery from the harsh winter. Last weeks rain was exactly what we needed after a hot dry May. With that being said, Turf Care is transitioning from the mindset of promoting and pushing recovery to focus more on the playability of all playing surfaces. You, as members, will start to see this in all "low" cut turf areas.  Although there are many key elements that play a role in playability, I am hoping to shed some light on a few that we focus on.
Moisture Management Philosophy
Moisture is the single most important agronomic principal to managing any golf course conditions. There are many schools of thought depending on climate, grass variety etc but our motto is to keep things on the drier side when maintaining bentgrass (which our putting surfaces are 80% bentgrass, 4,7,14 are 100%). With that being said, when promoting recovery in many areas, it is crucial to keep areas on the wetter side to help limit the stress from heat and traffic (cart and foot). Over the next couple of weeks, Turf Care staff will start to focus more on drying areas out, than keeping them damp as we transition from focusing on recovery to playability. Our goal is to keep areas firm but more importantly consistent from the putting green to 18 green.  This strategy also allows us to stress out any poa there is, allowing the bentgrass to compete for that space.
 Stressed poa is the light green patches. The darker patches is healthy bentgrass.
Fertility Management Philosophy
Again, like moisture management, there are many schools of thought. Our philosophy is to "spoon feed" our putting surfaces to maintain complete control. Nitrogen is the nutrient that makes grass grow. Every day we track our clipping yields off each green and by tracking each day we see trends through each week, month and year. Our nitrogen inputs are directly related to our clipping volumes.
A lot like moisture management this train of thought changes when promoting recovery on putting surfaces and collars. More nitrogen= fast growth rates=faster recovery.
I refer back to an earlier post and quote I heard from a fellow superintendent
“Manage for conditions after you have the stand of turf you want.
I believe we are almost there are most areas!

Happy Canada Day! Enjoy the long weekend!

Posted: 6/29/2018 8:52:03 AM by Chris Prodahl

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