Monday, June 18, 2018

The Value of a Slice of "Duich Pie"

"The Value of a Slice of Duich Pie" is the title of my Presidents Message in the May issue of Golf Course Management.  It begins with:

In order to thrive both personally and professionally, being a “team player” and having good interpersonal skills is essential. Very few succeed without possessing the ability to work effectively with others.

I learned this concept early in life through my involvement in team sports. It’s been re-inforced throughout my career, but the lesson that stands out most about the importance of interpersonal skills came from one of my mentors, the late Joseph M. Duich, Ph.D., professor emeritus at Penn State University... 

The remainder of the message can be found here: "The Value of a Slice of Duich Pie"

Friday, June 1, 2018

Cultural Practices at Olde Florida Golf Club

The first of five closed weeks, which occur every summer at Olde Florida Golf Club is coming to an end. The closures are vital so the agronomy staff can perform the necessary and beneficial cultural practices of aerification, vertical mowing and sand topdressing. Even with the above average rainfall, it was an extremely productive week!

All areas of the golf course (greens, tees, fairways and rough) were aerified. Aerification is the mechanical process of removing a core, 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. Aerification brings a resurgence of growth and helps to keep turfgrass durable during stressful conditions. Aerification is vital to maintaining a healthy stand of turfgrass and failure to perform sufficient aerification often results in poorly drained soil, thin turfgrass stands, and problems with disease and insects. Below is aerial footage of fairway and rough aerification this week at Olde Florida. 

The core that is removed during the aerification process contains a significant amount of "thatch". Thatch is a loose intermingled layer of dead and living shoots and stems that develops between the turfgrass and the soil. It’s usually made up of the harder to decompose parts of the turfgrass plant. 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. Thatch also provides the much-needed resiliency of the playing surface. However, excessive thatch causes numerous problems including a “puffy” or “spongey” playing surface, poor rooting, scalping and pest problems. Thatch build-up occurs when turfgrass produces organic debris faster than it can be broken down. Aerification and topdressing are vital in the management/reduction of thatch.

Removing Aerification Cores #1 Green

Fairway Aerification #1

Topdressing Practice Green

Topdressing Practice Green 

The fairways at Olde Florida Golf Club were also vertical mowed this week. A vertical mower, also known as a “verticutter" has a series of revolving blades that cut into the surface of the turfgrass. The vertical mowing on the fairways "cuts and lifts" the lateral growing parts of the bermudagrass (stolons and rhizomes). It is an important process that reduce “graininess” and promotes an upright growth habit.

Fairway Vertical Mowing #1

Fairway Vertical Mowing #1