As many of you have seen or heard we have been battling some difficult turf conditions. The bad news is that it looks ugly. The good news is that it is under control, healing and putts fine!
Hail Ridge sat empty for months. That was followed by a dry warm winter. That was followed by an impaired ability to run irrigation due to construction. We knew that there would be some issues, we just didn’t know which problems. And the winner of the problem pool was Anthracnose!
Anthracnose is a fungus that is active in dry, warm turf that is short on fuel. Well….. that couldn’t describe where our turf was any better.
While our circumstances for having a perfect turf year were imposable, that doesn’t mean that we got it all right. We misdiagnosed the problem not once, but twice. Had we diagnosed it correctly and taken the appropriate actions right away we could have cut the consequences in half. But sometimes this is how we learn….
So, where are we now? We have treated the disease chemically twice. We are topdressing weekly. We have deep tyned 5 times in the past 3 weeks (reduce dry spots). We have cut out and replaced some of the worst spots for more immediate recovery. We have also continued to fertilize heavily while verticutting and applying a growth regulator to encourage horizontal growth. We will also be over seeding in the coming weeks as the weather allows. We have had several experts out to ensure that our steps on the path to a speedy full recovery are the correct ones. I am happy to let you know that we have had 20% regrowth in the last 4 days alone!
Some have speculated that we haven’t watered enough, have over watered, roll to much or didn’t aerify. The is some merit to the fact that the course wasn’t aerified this spring. A4 bent grass does create a heavier layer of thatch that does need to be broken through more often than older or newer strains and it certainly would have been good to aerify. However, it wasn’t going to be done last fall and with limited access to irrigation this spring and the heat it could have led to a much larger, more immediate problem.
We appreciate everyone’s continued support as we work tirelessly to remedy this issue!!!
NO MOW UPDATE!
The original plan was to take the no mow down a couple of times this season. However, the first person that we contracted to take the no mow down was unable to fulfill this contract due to mechanical issues. So we have contracted with another larger area mower and I am happy to announce that the process has begun today!! By next week the no mow will be down to 6 inches and we are continuing to identify places we can decrease the no mow to help you out. And in places that players are less apt to hit it we can increase native areas without harming playability. We are also considering a reseed option that will grow lower and thinner while choking out noxious weeds!!!
I hope that this information helps you feel more confident in the direction that we are headed! The weather is perfect so get your butts out here and play some golf!!!!!!