Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Why Does a Scottsdale golf course Aerate So Much?


Playing conditions at a  Scottsdale golf club are of the utmost importance for most golfers, and aeration is needed to keep the turf healthy and playing well.  Aeration can be disruptive, but the long-term benefits of aeration far outweigh the short-lived disruption.  The next time you play on greens that were recently aerated, keep in mind that aeration is performed for the long-term health of the course.  The greens may not play their best immediately following some aeration treatments, but everyone is playing in the same conditions, and golfers still can enjoy the game and make plenty of putts.

The word aeration stimulates negative emotions for many golfers. It may come as a surprise, but  Scottsdale golf course superintendents also dislike aeration.  After all, the last person who wants to disrupt the smoothness of the putting greens they work so hard to maintain is the superintendent. 

Golfers often ask, “Why is aeration needed so often?”  Aeration is an essential program to keep playing surfaces healthy and in good condition.  Aeration primarily is performed to control organic matter-i.e., decaying roots and grass stems- relieve soil compaction, stimulate root growth and improve drainage. If the organic matter becomes too thick, it acts like a sponge and holds water at the surface after rain or irrigation.  Excessive organic matter also inhibits root growth, reduces oxygen levels in the soil, encourages disease, and eventually can lead to turf failure. Furthermore, excessive organic matter creates soft surfaces prone to ball marks, footprinting, and inconsistent playing conditions.  Aeration and topdressing are the most effective ways at a Scottsdale golf course to control organic matter and maintain smooth, firm putting surfaces.

Core aeration involves physically removing small soil cores from the turf and is the most common type of aeration. Aeration hold allows excess moisture to evaporate and promotes gas exchange in the soil, resulting in stronger root systems and turf that is better able to tolerate golfer traffic.

Proper timing of aeration at Scottsdale golf club will ensure the fastest possible recovery and return to smooth surface conditions. The key to a quick recovery is to perform aeration when the turf is healthy and actively growing.  There are many types of aeration that superintendents use throughout the season; some are more labor-intensive and disruptive to playing surfaces than others.  Less-disruptive forms of aeration, including venting aeration with small-diameter, solid tines, also are beneficial because they can alleviate turf stress by promoting oxygen levels in the soil. Aeration programs that have a small impact on a playing surface generally can be performed throughout the season with little or no disruption to play.

Looking forward to a really great summer golf season at Scottsdale golf club!  In addition to transition and aerification, we have a few other projects on our list for the summer which include tee leveling and drainage work around the course. I hope everyone enjoys their summer break and we look forward to seeing everyone back after overseed!

Friday, July 22, 2022

Five key Spring Transition components for the Desert South West Scottsdale golf club

Scottsdale golf club

1) Height of cut – Height of cut is critical at Scottsdale golf club. We begin lowering the height of cut on all overseeded areas come mid-February and progressively lower throughout the following weeks.

2) Soil moisture management- Dry conditions equal poor Bermudagrass at a Scottsdale private golf course recovery during late spring and early summer. It is critical to prevent areas from becoming chronically dry as it will delay Bermudagrass transition.

3) Chemical removal- Many  Scottsdale private golf courses use a variety of tactics to chemically remove overseeded Ryegrass without injuring the understory Bermudagrass. However, we must not wait until June to employ this strategy because much of the Bermudagrass may have already struck out. This tactic is much more effective when used end of April through May. 

4) Nutrient inputs- Nutrient sources should be applied in coordination with chemically removing overseeded grasses at Scottsdale golf club. This will stress Ryegrass during warm daytime temperatures while providing nutrients for emerging Bermudagrass.

5) 100 Days Plus- It would be nice to give Bermudagrass 162 days of growth in the absence of competition from Ryegrass. However, 100-120 days is the guideline courses should keep in mind when planning overseed dates and timing chemical removal of overseeded grasses.  If Ryegrass growth is retained well into June at Scottsdale private golf courses, the ability of Bermudagrass to develop the rhizome growth necessary to recuperate the following year will be severely limited. In other words, maintaining Ryegrass into June could result in a season-ending injury for Bermudagrass. 

Growing two grass crops annually is a tenuous situation. Extending the Ryegrass growing season into June at the expense of Bermuda grass health is a season-ending injury.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Scottsdale Golf Course Spring Transition


Scottsdale golf course

                Few discussions regarding turf grass management on Scottsdale golf course get more emotional than discussions on whether or not to overseed with perennial Ryegrass.  However one fact about overseeding is indisputable: overseeding with perennial Ryegrass can, and often does, have an adverse effect on Bermudagrass. Nevertheless, management practices can be implemented that significantly reduce the impact of overseeding on Bermudagrass health.  The most important of those practices is getting rid of the perennial Ryegrass by late spring. One of the troubling trends occurring on the best golf course in Scottsdale is the increasing practice of Overseeding too early in the fall and keeping the Ryegrass too late in the spring/summer. If Bermudagrass does not have sufficient time to grow during the summer without competition from the Ryegrass the Bermudagrass will decline. This may occur in as little as one year and more often occurs gradually over a period of several years. Why does this happen? A fundamental principle in weed science at the best golf course in Scottsdale is that plants compete with one another for four basic resources: 1) Water 2) Nutrients 3) Carbon Dioxide 4) Light. Light is the most crucial of these four for the benefit of the Bermudagrass. In overseeded environments, when Bermudagrass begins to come out of dormancy in spring, perennial Ryegrass growth is at its maximum. As a result, the Ryegrass provides significant shade to the Bermudagrass at  Scottsdale golf course.

                      Allowing Ryegrass to grow into June at a Scottsdale golf course limits the Bermudagrass growing season and contributes to poor-quality Bermudagrass. By late spring it is time for Bermudagrass to emerge from winter dormancy. Bermudagrass at the best golf course in Scottsdale utilizes carbohydrates stored in underground rhizomes to produce new leaves every spring when temperatures in the top four inches of the soil reach about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Bermudagrass has about three chances to produce new leaves while trying to emerge from under the shade and competition of overseeded grasses before it will strike out and die. If a new leaf is unable to capture sunlight- strike one. This process repeats itself until, you guessed it, strike two and strike three. After strike three the Bermudagrass has spent its entire carbohydrate reserve and when sampling the soil it will reveal the hollow rhizomes. A proactive management regime is necessary to encourage successful Bermudagrass recovery.