9 Green

9 Green

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Winter Kill Video

I came across this video today and feel it's worth sharing. Dr. Kaminski from Penn State University briefly describes what a lot of us are facing in the Northeast.  It relates exactly to what we are experiencing on the course.  Take a look.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Welcome to the new Mendon Golf Club Turf Maintenance blog.  This blog will serve as your source on what is happening on your course.  It will give you insight on what exactly we do each day and answer questions you might have.

There are several ways to reach this page.  First you can subscribe to this blog by simply entering your email address in the box located on the right side of the screen. This will automatically notify you by email when new content has been generated.  Second, if you are a social media user, I have linked this blog to the Mendon Golf Club Facebook page.  When new content is available a Facebook post will be generated directing you to the blog.  Third, you can visit the Mendon Golf Club webpage and click the link to the blog located on the main page.  Lastly you can bookmark the address, www.mgcturf.blogspot.com, and check in from time to time.  

I encourage you to utilize this resource.  I am hoping it will become your main source of course information instead of the traditional email updates.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Old man winter

I don't need to tell you what kind winter we have experience this season.  The never ending cold and snow has taken a toll on all of us as well as the turf on the golf course.  It has been along winter fighting Mother Nature.  It is important for us to remain diligent during the winter, especially with the conditions we have experienced this year.  Grass, especially on our greens, is very susceptible to multiple types of winter injury. They include the following:

1. Low Temperature Kill -- the turf is exposed directly to temperatures low enough to kill it.

2. Suffocation -- under layer of ice, toxic gases build up and the turf dies.  Like you and I the grass needs to breathe.  If it can't properly breathe death will occur.  Some turf species are more susceptible than others. As a rule of thumb bentgrass can survive up to 90 days, were Poa annua only lasts 45 days.

3. Crown hydration -- when the turf plant goes dormant late in the fall it basically dries itself out in order to protect itself from freezing temperatures.  If we experience a rapid change in temperature over a short period of time the plant could being re-hydrating itself and begin to break dormancy.  If this occurs and the temperature rapidly drops below freezing, it could cause the hydrated plant to freeze and cause catastrophic injury.  Poa annua is most susceptible to this form of injury.

From what I have seen so far this winter I am concerned about crown hydration damage.  On three separate occasions we have experienced an extreme temperature change in less than 24 hours.  On January 6th we experienced a high of 51 degrees with a .25" of rain.  Less then 12 hours later the temperatures dropped to a low of -1.  This also occurred again in February and once again in March.  Since our greens are mostly Poa, this a real concern for us.  There several areas on our greens I refer to as bird baths. These are areas where water is trapped and surface drainage is impossible due to the topography of the green.  If water from melting snow or rain is allowed to accumulate in these areas for a prolonged period of time it can set the Poa annua up for crown hydration damage.

Throughout the winter the crew and I have chased these bird bath areas trying to prevent crown hydration. Two areas are of concern are the front of 1 and 4 green.

Breaking ice and pumping water

Water on 1 Green
As you can see from the picture above the water from the melting snow is accumulating on the front of the green.  It is not allowed to drain off due to its topography.  This is a prime setup for crown hydration damage.  I have seen this play out multiple times this winter.  Each time we chase the water off.  I looked at this green along with  number 4 recently and it looks like they may have sustained some damage.  I have pulled core samples from these areas and have them in the shop trying to get them to grow.  

Plugs from 1 and 4 greens
Only time will tell if we indeed suffered some injury.  The good news is if some damage occurred it will only be in small isolated areas of the green.  By bringing the samples in to shop we can get an idea of what we are dealing with and formulate a recovery plan if need be.  I am not writing this to alarm anyone, but more as a heads up to the possibility of damage.  I will continue to update you as I know more.