Monday, August 29, 2016

Putting Green Inputs

This afternoon, we are making a sand topdressing application as we do every 14 days.  In addition, we are putting out a 0-0-12 potassium fertilizer and gypsum.  Gypsum is a nice calcium and slight magnesium amendment.  These two fertilizers are applied once a month to balance soil fertility.  These types of decisions are made based upon soil test results.


The rough around the Practice Green is battling a little take-all patch, caused by a fungus. It's a strange time of year and issue to have and just proves we Superintendents are in control of very little.  We constantly deal with curve balls thrown our direction.  2 fungicide treatments have been made and the turf will recover just fine.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Eseeola Lodge, Linville, NC

This past Saturday, I took a trip to Linville, NC to see Eseeola Lodge prior to autumn.  As expected, the place was spectacular.  I am hoping to be able to experiment in a couple areas an adding a few beds of color to enhance the landscape around the Club.  In the past, we've been instructed to stick with soft colors and a very understated look.  While I agree that is more in tune with HCC, I think we could have pockets of color here and there.  It is always neat seeing this place.

Outbreaks of Mysterious Pythium Disease on Golf Courses

Outbreaks of Mysterious Pythium Disease on Golf Courses

       Posted by John Kaminski on 26 Aug 2016        

This week I visited a couple of golf courses that are dealing with serious disease issues. After looking at the samples and touring the courses, I have determined that this is likely similar to what I found in the NY Met region in 2005.

Pythium mimics summer patch

In 2005, I observed some unique disease symptoms on a few golf courses that looked like summer patch. However, traditional summer patch fungicides didn’t control it. Upon closer examination our lab determined that we were dealing with a species of Pythium that was selectively taking out the annual bluegrass in mixed  bent/Poa stands. Some key info (watch the slideshare for more info):
  • Patch disease caused by a Pythium species
  • Symptoms are identical with summer patch (bentgrass fills in damaged patches)
  • Signature programs the primary Pythium fungicide being used
  • Foliar Banol or Segway is recommended for curative control (don’t water-in)
  • Follow initial spray 3-5 days later with Segway or Subdue Maxx
Over the next few years we continued to talk about this problem, but it basically went away. Apparently it’s back. Here’s a slideshare of what I talked to golf course superintendents about based on the limited information we had at the time.
Our lab is now actively seeking samples of this disease in an effort to concentrate research time to identify the pathogen and find management options.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

New Range Safety

This definitely offers safety for our range staff!  This is real, not at Highlands CC, but it was from a real range!  Priceless!

Highlands Biological Station weather data

The HBS is a wonderful source for information.  I know the data below may not be clear, but this is weather data.  This year, we've had 28" of rain, to date.  Our annual average is 96"/year.  We are currently 24" below average (deficit) with 4 months remaining in 2016.

Friday, August 26, 2016


With September just a week away, I am getting less aggressive with the maintenance on the 16th green.  Once the sun angle changes, this green sees a dramatic reduction in the amount of sunlight it receives.  By mid-October and November, it receives no sun.  Therefore, reducing the stress on the green now is critical so the grass can store adequate carbohydrate reserves leading into this period of no sun.  This means, the green will only be single cut daily, with double cutting and even rolling held back.
You may notice a perennial wet area on the right side of #14 that never seems to go away.  While many think its an irrigation leak, it is actually a town water line the feeds the homes on Hummingbird Rd.  The town repairs this line several times a year and once again, it's leaking.  Ultimately a new line will need to be installed. 
Here are a few pictures of Boxwood Blight.  This is a mild case.  Young, newer boxwoods are most susceptible but as you can see, mature boxwood are also being hit hard.  The dead give away of the blight is the black lesions (see immediately below) on the stems.  If you see these black lesions, you are dealing with boxwood blight.  Also, this blight is a rapid decline.  It is not a pathogen that impacts the plant over time, rather it is a quick death, sometimes in as little as 7 days.  See yesterday's post about treating boxwoods at your home.  This isn't a pathogen that you "wait and see" because it will hit hard and by then, it's too late.  If you have Boxwoods you want to save, you need to treat them every 7-14 days.  Do no not wait...Start now!! 


Green Creep

Green Creep is the unintended result of years of mowing; where the edges of greens creep inward or outward, with the putting surface ultimately taking on a new shape.  I am looking at a number of greens and this is the most severe case- the 18th green is about 3 feet larger in the front right corner of the green.  The solid line is the edge of what will be the approach/collar and the dots represent where the collar and green meet.