Friday, November 14, 2014

Forrest Gump, Coat of Many Colors, Frost Delays, and Humble Candidate!

Hello and welcome to "The Greenkeeper"!  Today is Friday, November 14th and Mother Nature is showing her sense of humor again.  The temperature as of 12:30 pm today was 39 F with a wind chill of 32 F (that's freezing), while just a short 48 hours ago we experienced a high temperature of 77 F.  I guess that's why November is a transitional month similar to March... "you never know what you're going to get"!

Of course it was just 11 days ago we endured our first hard, killing frost of the season when on the morning of November 3rd the low temperature was a record tying 24 F.
Number 5
Number 6

Number 7

Since that time the rough has continued turning dormant brown while the closely mowed areas have held on to some color (this is due to soil temperatures remaining elevated at this time of year).  Although the vibrant green we all enjoyed just a couple of short weeks ago began to slowly fade, folks were recently talking about a potential rebound caused by the warm up earlier this week.  Well, I wish that were the case but I must confess the golf course was treated this week to enhance the color contrast between the fairways and rough.
Over the past four years I have been coloring the target greens on the practice range to provide contrast during the winter off-season.  During this time I have expanded those treatments to also include the range tee, par 3 tees, and even select approach fairways (numbers 12 and 16) at one time or another.  With winter approaching and forecasts calling for a repeat of last year the decision was made to expand the treatments to include all closely mowed areas (tees, fairways, approaches, and surrounds).  Essentially I have "painted" the fairways for the purpose of winter color.  The process is considerably less costly than overseeding and without the adverse effects overseeding can cause CLICK HERE FOR REFRESHER.  Also, not only do we get to enjoy the enhanced aesthetics of the golf course, but the darker turf canopy should absorb and retain more heat than if left naturally dormant.  This should enhance the winter survival capacity of the bermudagrass along with a quicker, more uniform green-up next spring. 

Numbers 11 and 12
Number 18

Green "Ribbons"

I am using two different products in order to test and compare for future years.  The tees are being treated with a product called Turfscreen Dormant and the fairways and approaches are being treated with the same product we have used on the target greens and other areas mentioned the past four years.  Thus far the feedback I have received has been overwhelmingly positive.  Even Kris Spence (our restoration architect) stated it reminded him of Pinehurst when he stopped by to look at a few things with me on Wednesday.

With all this talk about cold temperatures and frost I figured this was as good a time as any to remind everyone the importance of why we do not permit play when there is frost on the golf course.  This is a very common topic discussed at nearly every golf course this time of year, and it is something I have written and blogged about numerous times.  So rather than subject you to reading an old blog post I thought I would add this link to a video produced by the USGA Green Section.  It's less than two minutes long and pretty much sums up the importance of frost delays.  FROST DELAYS 

Finally, I will be in Myrtle Beach the first half of next week attending the annual Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association (CGCSA) Conference and Trade Show.  I will be defending my association golf championship on Monday, attending two education seminars and the trade show on Tuesday, and Wednesday I will be on the ballot at the annual meeting to be elected to the CGCSA Board of Directors.  The CGCSA is one of the largest regional trade associations within the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.  We consist of over 1800 members, own our own building, have our own full-time staff, publish our own magazine (Carolinas Green), are leaders in the regulatory and legislative arenas in both North and South Carolina in areas affecting the game of golf, and our annual conference and trade show is recognized as the number one regional show in the country.  If elected this would be a two-year term of office and I am humbled my peers want me to represent them and simultaneously honored to represent Carolina Golf Club.

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS

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