One Hot Summer-Course Condition Update

The middle of August has always been considered a kind of “magical date” in this part of the country…to those of us in the golf course management industry.  This time of year is usually when weather conditions soften to the point of much less stress on plants and more specifically…turfgrass plants.  Even though temperatures can still be very hot and sometimes uncomfortable during late summer/early fall, it rarely lasts for an extended period.  Well, needless to say the end of August was a welcome sight this year.  Average temps this summer were the hottest on record since 1995.  A combination of high heat and excessive rainfall put a tremendous amount of stress on golf courses throughout the country.  That combination raises soil temperatures and lowers soil oxygen to what can be lethal levels for turfgrass roots.  I’m guessing you can tell by the way this blog started…it has been a difficult year to grow grass.  Ok, I won’t bore you with more talk of stress and hard times managing a golf course…what’s done is done.  Let’s look ahead. 

I’d be lying if I said I’m happy with the condition of every green, tee, and fairway at Hilldale, but it could definitely be worse.  The greens are in great shape heading into the fall season, and I need to say thanks to all of our guests and regular players for their patience as speeds were a little slower than normal these past few weeks.  Last weekend saw the men play their annual Calcutta event, and with aggressive maintenance practices being employed, green speeds of 11′ were once again the norm. As far as tees and fairways are concerned, you will see some extensive overseeding done to fairways 2, 11, and 18 in coming weeks and par 3 tees will also get our full attention.  Please don’t worry about overseeding efforts impacting your round of golf as this work will take place during non-peak  hours.  I expect complete recovery in what should be a fairly quick timetable and will keep you informed.  Thanks for playing Hilldale and enjoy the beautiful weather…September is a great time to play golf!

Bryan Widmer, CGCS

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