Friday, March 6, 2015

The summer heat continues with Thursday this week nearly the hottest day of this summer season which is supposed to be over according to the calendar!  The struggle for the West greens continues as the root system has still not recovered sufficiently to support the plant in the current air temperatures and the soil temperatures are staying high which makes growing a cool season grass like bentgrass in a sub tropical climate like this so difficult.  There is still a lot of water being applied to the greens despite the fact that they are so soft and as mentioned before the water needs to be available to the roots which are very shallow which means the greens are softer than I would like them.

The weeds in the West greens are very noticeable at present, particularly the foreign couchgrass.  The product used to control this weed has an effect on roots as well and as the roots system is so weak it is too dangerous to spray at this stage.  As the days get shorter and temperatures cool we should be able to spray. 

On a positive note 13 River green continues to mature as does 17 West which was four weeks old this week.  I made a flying visit to the USA last week to attend the Golf Industry Show (GIS) in San Antonio, Texas with the show being the largest gathering of turf professionals in the world with more than 13,000 in attendance.  Yes that's that's right -13,000!  It is a combination of a range of educational sessions and a trade show that covers a huge floorspace.  I was lucky enough to attend two seminars and an open discussion forum on ultradwarf couchgrasses which is what Tifeagle is as planted on 17W.  The opportunity to speak with fellow superintendents who have been growing the grass as a greens turf for over fifteen years was indeed priceless and their praise for the grass was unanimous.  

I was lucky enough to get to visit the Oaks course at San Antonio TPC which hosts the Texas Open later this month after declining an invitation to play the course due to the weather.  The day I arrived in Texas was 27 degrees C and then it struggled to get above 3 degrees C for the rest of the week with light drizzle that was almost sleet.  We did see some intrepid souls out on the course but the day I had available to visit was just too cold to think about golf.  I did get to see quite a bit of the Greg Norman / Sergio Garcia designed course though including the infamous "doughnut green" on the 18th which features a bunker in the middle of the green.  Steven Bowditch won the tournament last year and will be looking to defend in a couple of weeks time so I hope the weather improves for him in time.

The doughnut green with the bunker in the middle.
The River greens have missed some of their normal maintenance due to the weather conditions so will require a "mini renovation" which will take place on Monday March 16.  It will consist of a light de-thatching, mini tine aeration and sanding.  Effect on play should be minimal.



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