Friday, May 27, 2016

Cultural Practices at Olde Florida Golf Club

It has been an extremely productive week at Olde Florida. This was the first closed week of the summer and the golf course operations staff was busy performing the beneficial cultural practice of aerification.  

Aerification is the mechanical process of creating air space in the soil, which promotes a healthy rooting system. Turfgrass on a golf course endures significant stress and compaction from golf play and equipment traffic. Through aerification, an infusion of air, water and nutrients brings a resurgence of growth, keeping turfgrass durable during stressful conditions. While somewhat disruptive to golfers, aerification is absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy stand of turfgrass. Failure to perform sufficient aerification often results in poorly drained soil, thin turfgrass stands, and problems with disease and insects.   

Aerification of #8 fairway

Greens aerification on the short-game practice area
Aerification and topdressing are also vital in the management/reduction of thatch. Thatch is a loose, intermingled organic layer of dead and living shoots, stems and roots that develops between the turfgrass and the soil. Thatch build-up occurs when turfgrass produces organic debris faster than it can be broken down.

Thatch can be beneficial and detremintal. The detrmining factor is the amount and composition of the thatch. For example, a thin layer of thatch provides insulation against temperature extremes and fluctuations in soil moisture. Some thatch also provides the much-needed resiliency of the playing surface. However, excessive thatch causes numerous problems including poor rooting, scalping and pest problems.

Topdressing #1 green

Topdressing a tee on #5

Thatch on #8 fairway

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

National Golf Day 2016

Today I am in Washington D.C. to participate in the ninth annual National Golf Day, which is organized by WE ARE GOLF. WE ARE GOLF is a coalition of The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the Club Managers Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association, the PGA of America, the World Golf Foundation, the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the Golf Course Builders Association of America, the Ladies Professional Golf Association, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf, the National Club Association, the PGA Tour, The First Tee, the United States Golf Association, and the U.S. Golf Manufacturers Council. 

Florida GCSA Past Presidents Kevin Sunderman, Greg Pheneger and I, National  Golf Day 2016
WE ARE GOLF was founded in part because it was evident the golf industry was misunderstood by many elected officials. Perceptions of the game simply did not coincide with reality. By focusing on the nearly two million Americans whose livelihoods are tied to golf, WE ARE GOLF has helped to level the playing field for the thousands of small businesses that make up the industry. As a result, golf is no longer being excluded from important legislation and our elected officials have a better understanding of the myriad of benefits the game brings to their communities.

With 2016 being an election year, it's more important than ever for the WE ARE GOLF coalition to continue to educate our nations lawmakers on golf's economic, environmental, charitable, and fitness benefits. This years event will feature special attendees Davis Love III, 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain, Vice Captain Steve Stricker and LPGA legend Nancy Lopez. Throughout the day golf industry leaders will meet with members of Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies to discuss the game's nearly $70 billion economic impact and its nearly $4 billion annual charitable 

Speaker of the House John Boehner and I, National Golf Day 2015