Greetings from the Superintendent’s Corner!

Summer is in full swing, and we’ve experienced the full gamut of weather and playing conditions in this 2017 season.  From a cooler, moderately wet spring that made for some chilly mornings, all the way to hot, windy and dry which is where we’ve been for the past few weeks. One of the biggest challenges we face in turf maintenance is being ready for drastic changes in the weather. We’re constantly tweaking and adjusting our mowing schedules, cutting heights, watering times and other projects according to what it’s doing outside. As you all know, some of these changes can be extreme, and when it goes from 60 degrees and rain to 90 and dry in a matter of days, the turf can sometimes respond not-so-politely. Stress on the turf invites disease, localized dry spot, invasive weeds and other pests. We combat these stresses in a number of ways, and with a combination of practices we can stay ahead of these issues.

“Water” is a hot (no pun intended) topic surrounding golf, especially this time of year. We are fortunate enough in this part of the country to not have to pay or compete for water, but we still go to great lengths to conserve as much as possible while still maintaining ideal playing conditions. In the hot, dry months, you’ll see the sprinklers starting earlier in the evenings and running later into the mornings. There is only so much time to get water to every area of the golf course, what we call the “water window”. As the soil structures in these young soils rebuild, the watering will become even more efficient and the roots will grow deeper, so the conditions on top will only get better.

Across the country and the world beyond, golf courses have cut their water use up to 20-30% over the last decade. There are several tools available to the superintendent, from in-ground moisture monitors and on-site weather stations, to advanced controller technology that can make adjustments and diagnose problems on the fly. We have also reduced water use in low-activity areas and allowed the grasses to grow naturally, a trend that is spreading through the golf world and being seen at high profile U.S. Open tournament venues like Erin Hills and Shinnecock Hills.

Stay tuned for more updates as we head into the late summer months! Also, check out our Facebook page for event updates and other great info about our beautiful course!

Thanks for playing,

Greg Brandriet
Superintendent
greg@golfelkhorn.com