Summer temperatures have arrived a little early to Waynesville. The area is expecting highs in the mid-to-upper 80’s through most of next week. It is nice to have this wonderful golfing weather, but this pattern means the start a tough season for the turf. As a northern bred species, bentgrass prefers cooler temperatures. While it is possible to grow bentgrass here, there are approximately 90 days in the heat of the summer that we must work to get the turf to survive until cooler temperatures arrive again in mid September. Signage, cart rulings, stakes, ropes and traffic diverters are placed around the property to give the turf a great chance at survival. Thank you for increased adherence to these rulings.
As many have seen, some turf decline has appeared on a few golf holes. I was stumped by this when first noted last Thursday, so I called in an expert to view the damage with me. After sending overnight samples to a disease lab in Raleigh, the test results came back negative for disease. While that is a very good thing, the problem happened from the almost 19 inches of rain that we received from the middle of May until here recently. Water moisture levels were reaching 60% in the sample plugs. This much saturation was basically allowing no oxygen into the root zone of these areas, thus suffocating the grass plant. After the conformation from the lab, crews aerified and seeded these areas on Monday and we have already seen improvement. Many courses in the area had similar damage. It infuriates me that the course went from fantastic to now having some trouble areas, but, I greatly appreciate the helpful comments. We will make every attempt to repair as many damaged areas as we can in the coming weeks.
I would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all fathers at LRCC and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Logan H. Nesbitt