GRASS CLIPPINGS

Dear Members and Friends,

             It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down so very fast! We have had an awesome summer despite the weather and extreme challenges Mother Nature has thrown at us. The weather this past summer has been one of the longest and hardest stretches in a very long time. We had unseasonably high temperatures with more than 20 days over 90 degrees and prolonged high humidity throughout the summer. The golf course pulled through the summer stress months with very little damage and conditions being virtually unaffected during this stressful time. Everything is healing up and filling in very nicely with the amazing weather conditions we have been blessed with so far this fall. Come on out to your club and enjoy the beautiful weather and wonderful fall conditions we still have left this season.

Core aerification is one of the dirty words of turfgrass maintenance. Give a veteran superintendent a dollar for every time he has heard, “why do you punch holes in our greens just when they start to look good” and he would be a wealthy man. Unfortunately, today’s players are even less tolerant of core aerification. This attitude has resulted in less frequent or smaller tine core aerification. An important purpose of core aeration is the physical removal of unwanted organic matter from the upper portion of the root zone. When core aeration is neglected, the upper portion of the profile can be an in-hospitable place for plant roots to grow. The pore space in a dense organic layer is dominated by small, water-filled capillary pores, while the large air-filled macropores are lacking. Oxygen is necessary for the plant to carry out respiration, which is the conversion of stored food to energy. Respiration takes place in the roots and, therefore, good air exchange in the upper soil profile is vital to plant survival. Aerification of turfgrass is necessary evil (cultural practice) to maintain healthy plants. Benefits are, thatch control, compaction relief, beneficial air and gas exchange to the root zone, improved water movement, greater nutrient penetration, increased shoot and root growth and improved soil structure. All are vital to a healthy stand of grass mowed at less than .115 inches. A healthy stand of grass naturally recycles organic matter into the upper soil profile of greens when roots, shoots, stolons, and other plant parts are replaced throughout the season. This organic matter accumulation must be removed with core aeration! The medicine (aerification) does not always taste good, but a healthy patient (grass) is worth the effort and inconvenience! It is always our goal to make aerification as painless as possible. Please mark our calendars: greens aerification begins on September 6th. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Do you ever wonder what happens to the golf course when you’re not around? Maybe you would just like to educate yourself more on the science behind what it takes to keep turf conditions at a championship level daily. Check out our twitter feed for a behind the scenes look at the maintenance that takes place at your club, with pictures, short videos and detailed information to help you better understand turfgrass science at your club. Twitter handle - @GLCCTurf

A big thank you to our staff for a great job so far this season. From the turf and bunkers, to the flowers, everything looks great! If you see one of them on the course, thank them, I know they would appreciate the compliment.