I have had a few members ask me about the dark green rings that were evident on most greens at Royal St Georges during The Open Championship and can report that they were a disease known as "Fairy Ring". It is a very common disease of turf and is especially prevalent on sandy soils with low nutrient levels and on the dry side, which perfectly describes the conditions at Royal St Georges. There is no known control for them other than lifting your fertiliser input which means more growth which is something you don't want at tournament time. We get them occasionally at CTH and I generally fertilise to remove them but then the ducks like the lush growth which creates another problem with the resultant droppings. They don't always end up forming a ring however and are found in all sorts of situations, especially forests and have 3 main types. The first is one that produces a rush of lush growth such as at The Open, one that has a dead ring of grass and one with a ring containing mushrooms. I was interested at The Open that they had several hole locations very close to infected areas which would mean a difference in the turf surface, although there didn't seem to be any effect on the roll of the ball.
And just on The Open, wouldn't you have loved to have placed the bet on the ticket below!!!
|Hmmm if only this was mine and I had bet $20!!|