Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Summer of 2016 Rivaled 2012 for Heat and Humidty

By Ben Larsen, Golf Superintendent

This past month has been one for the record books; in addition to the above average summer that we are already experiencing. We have broken the August temperature record for most days in the 80’s with 21 days; surpassing the old record of 15 days in 1988.

Everyone remembers the summer of 2012 with the extreme heat and the lack of precipitation; well this summer has proven similar. Below is a chart comparing 2016’s to 2012’s average daily temperatures for June through August.

Notice the trend lines and see how the yellow (2016) only averages 2 degrees cooler than the green (2012). However the big separator between the two years is the amount of precipitation. Displayed below is a comparison of 2012’s summer precipitation total compared to 2016’s lower summer precipitation total.

2012 – 11.38”         2016 – 10.44”

During the heat stress months of summer, the golf course needs constant attention, and frequent adjustment. Our G&G staff has done an excellent job for both. Currently, the golf course, remains in overall great condition. Typically, the risk of major turf loss is lowered by Labor Day when the days are shorter, and nights are cooler and longer, thus allowing the turf to recover.

The silver lining of experiencing weather stresses is that it allows us the opportunity to recognize and remedy the weaknesses in the golf course. The goal of our G&G team is to constantly strive for improvement of the golf course. These are some of the corrections we have made to better prepare for the next above average summer:

  • Made minor coverage and quantity fixes and adjustments to our irrigation system
  • Perfecting wetting agent applications
  • Creating maps of moisture stressed areas for future reference
  • Ridding the course of weaker grasses (i.e. poa annua, poa trivialis) and re-seeding with desirable grass

You may notice some collar spots that have been spike/seeded. Although the areas are technically alive/dormant, we have taken the opportunity to grow a more desirable bentgrass in order to better perform for summers to come.
A spiked/seeded area

The spike/seeded areas are still playable but in order to have a successful propagation, please take a free drop away from the area in accordance to the USGA rule 25-1:
If the ball lies on the putting green, the player must lift the ball and place it, without penalty, at the nearest point of relief that is not in a hazard or, if complete relief is impossible, at the nearest position to where it lay that affords maximum available relief from the condition, but not nearer the hole and not in a hazard. The nearest point of relief or maximum available relief may be off the putting green.

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