2012 Summer Heat Extremes

Dear Members,

I am writing this letter to inform all Members of the measures we at the
Grounds Department are taking to mitigate the effects of the extreme heat
conditions we have been experiencing this June and July.

Our poa annua/bentgrass golf greens have been under much stress due to the
excessive heat and localized growing environments these past few weeks. The
turf has been in good health this spring and early summer, however, the
super-heated soil temperatures recently have caused thinning and turf decline
of the poa annua. The creeping bentgrass, in comparison, is thriving giving
further evidence to the stronger species.

The Grounds Department Staff have been working diligently to implement the
following measures to overcome the extended temperature extremes for which the
golf course and the weaker poa annua is just not use to. The greens are being
vented to increase oxygen levels, rolling over mowing has been implemented and
the judicious use of water to cool, not saturate the soils. Moving forward, it
is a long term goal to improve growing environments and aggressively inter-seed
creeping bentgrass into the greens to improve the playing surfaces and their
tolerance to environmental extremes. On behalf of the Grounds Department, I
thank you for your understanding and patience as we transition and work through
these challenges.

Respectfully Yours,
Jayson Griffiths
Golf Course Superintendent
London Hunt and Country Club

Heat Stress and Cart Traffic

The weather extremes of 2012 continue with very hot, dry conditions for most parts of southern Ontario. The following post on heat stress is from ONturf, a turf management information service.

It is getting hot out there

And it has also been very, very dry in most areas of southwestern Ontario. The weather forecast is for a humidex over 30 degrees C for at least the next week with no rain in sight.  The windy conditions are also resulting in very high evapotranspiration rates.  Much of the non-irrigated turf is showing some drought stress and on the lighter textured soils the turf is also going dormant…

If turf is showing signs of drought stress-leaves are folded in on themselves, turf has a bluish cast and footprints remain visible in the turf after you walk on it – it is best to keep traffic off of it, especially in the heat of the day or the result will be heat tracks…If turf is dormant, it will not actually be damaged by equipment or foot traffic.  If, however, you expose dormant turf to high traffic it too can be damaged. If you want to keep turf from going dormant, a single application of 25mm of water per week will do the trick…

As the article mentions, traffic stress on already weakened turf can be damaging.   During this current stretch of hot, dry weather please keep this in mind when driving golf carts. The golf course and your fellow golfer`s thank you for your co-operation in minimizing unnecessary turf injury.