"Winterkill"

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Scott Rushing
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"Winterkill"

So apparently the courses around here too a big hit this winter and spring with "winterkill".    See below from our CGA "
Many golf courses in North Carolina have experienced significant Winterkill to their Bermuda grass and other warm season turfgrasses. Even with the best-laid-plans, superintendents can still see destruction from Winterkill.

Winterkill damage seen near a green.

Winterkill is the result of very low temperatures experienced in late winter. The damage of direct low temperature kill occurs most commonly during periods of alternating freezing and thawing, aggravated by the increase in plant moisture when the turf is most vulnerable in late winter.  

- See more at: http://www.carolinasgolf.org/blog-post/home/homepage/year/2015/id/102404...

 

So almost all of our courses are affected by this.  It's gotten better with the extreme heat we've had, some of the bermuda has come out, but a lot will have to be either re-soded or re-sprigged because it's dead.  So you're playing 'winter' rules so to speak in that you could easily have nothing but soft dirt to hit off of in the entire fairway. 

Not fun.  But none of the courses are discounting their rates either.  I wonder how many rounds are illegally getting posted due to 'improved' lies given how extensive this damage is at all the courses around here.  I was talking to one course pro and he said he tells everyone "just move the ball" and I thought, hmmm, that's OK but not technically within the rules though I guess if you count that as a local rule for 'lift clean and place', it could technically be ok???   I did see one course that had some of it marked  ground under repair but most don't waste the time becaues it would include the entire fairway

 

 

DON
Same thing here 14 years ago.

Here in the Denver area, we had an Extremely DRY spell that lasted for about 4 years, and the golf courses took a  real toll due to the lack of rain, and a lack of water to water the courses. I remember the first time I played in my wife's company tourniment. It was a "scramble" format,  and the fairways were so dry that they had a "local rule" in place at the course. "If the ball is in the fairway. you MUST "tee it up"  so as NOT to make a new divot in the fairway. Since they had ZERO water for the course, they could NOT fill in any divots as new seed would NOT sprout at all, so they didn't wnat anyone to make new divots in the fairways, so Tee it Up was the rule. What was somewhat funny was that it was "Next to Impossible" to stick a Tee in the ground, it was so hard. We had to walk around looking for a Green spot where the grass was still somewhat growing, to find a spot soft enough to get a tee into the ground. More than once guys were using the club head of an iron to Pound the tee into the ground. I remember saying at one point that if it's this bad next year, I was going to bring my cordless Makita drill with me to solve the problem.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
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That's the first I've ever

That's the first I've ever heard about something like that.  I've seen rules when it's too wet but not too dry.  That's funny..

We're now in drought conditions as it's been over 90 for the last 17 days...very little rain..

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DON
Did I mention it's VERY dry here?

Denver is considered to be in a Semi Arid section of the country. We only get an average of just over 14's of moisture a year. And that included snow fall in the winter so we get even less than 14"s of rain during the year. According to the experts it take right at ONE inch of water a Week to keep a lawn alive and growing well. so we don't get anywhere neat that amount of rain during the growing season for grass. Needless to say we relay very heavily on other sources of water to keep our golf courses green and growing. Lack of rain and water to use on grass is a major reason why most golf courses in Colorado have very FIRM greens, so firm it's very hard to get a ball to stop anywhere close to where it lands. A lot of the time it's hard to find a ball mark on the greens after a really nice high shot into the greens. I don't remember when I last saw a ball mark on a green that was more than a, 1/8" deep. More like a small DENT than actual ball mark.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Most of the courses are

Most of the courses are starting to recover from the winter kill.  So I learned more about it this weekend talking with one of the guys that works at my course.  The mountain courses were spared the damage.  It happens apparently when, in the winter say Feb-Mar, you have a cold spell followed by an externded warm period - which we did- which I guess started to awaken some of the roots of the bermuda, and then follow that with another bitter cold spell.  We had that cycle happen a few times late in the winter.   I hated it too!  but I guess it hits the roots of the bermuda hard and killed a bunch of it.   So courses have been moving sod around from various places on the course or re-sprigging the bermuda, but it's starting to have a positive effect.  I guess it may take some of the courses till next year to really completely heal.

Golf is a game that can only be played...

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NiftyNiblick
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As a New Englander, I have to

As a New Englander, I have to travel to experience Bermuda grass.  It's fine on fairways. Hate it on greens. It actually makes the greens directional.  If you look closely, they don't even look the same color going with and against the grain. 

Still, if one plays enough on Bermuda greens, I would imagine that they become less problematic. Playing them only on vacations, however, they definitely added to my post round bar bill.

DON
It's RAINING today

I know that a lot of your back east, especially for Scott in Norht Carolina, you have gottne more than your fair share of rain recently. Here in the Denver area is have been just the opposite. Today is the 21st of Oct, and before today, we have gotten just at .30" of rain since the first of the month. And I'm NOT talking about the first of Oct, but the first of September. Right at 50 days and only .30" of rain. Not enough to grow weeds, much less grass. September was the Dryist and Warmist September on record with a total of .10" of rain for the entire month. July and August were not much better rain wise. Luck has it that we had one of our wettest springs so for the year we are right around the average for the year. This spring I was mowing the lawn Twice a week, but recently it's more like every 3 weeks is good enough.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Yes here in the Mid Atlantic,

Yes here in the Mid Atlantic, we have had lots of rain...lots.  Most courses here are bermuda now and Nifty, you're right, you have to pay attention to the cut and whether you're with the grain or against it.  Can be very different putts.

Golf is a game that can only be played...

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