Tennessee Turfgrass - April / May 2016

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From the magcsa p resid ent

Casey Nerren

What a

Tough Spring! D

on’t we all wish managing a golf course in the spring was as easy as Augusta National makes it look like? It seems lately that each spring brings numerous unknown and difficult variables that we all must deal with and overcome. The year started out with an early spring that we all enjoyed because it meant green grass, warm temperatures and, of course, golfers. All of these things added up to revenue and what we thought was going to be a great spring. Just as quickly as the early spring green-up occurred, however, so did the problems and difficulties that make our jobs more and more challenging. Soon the warmer weather was followed by plenty of rain and cooler nights that have caused headaches for almost every superintendent in the Mid-South. The rain made it difficult to get preemerge out efficiently and on time, while also making a mess of course conditions. The cooler temperatures created an environment for slow growth on ultradwarf bermuda greens, which has led to several difficult battles that superintendents are faced with. Initially it was the familiar battle of green speed that we all deal with when ultradwarfs first break dormancy. The green grass is refreshing to see, but the demand for fast and smooth putting surfaces makes this time of year difficult, to say the least. It seems each year the disease pressure on ultradwarf bermuda greens increases along with the pathogens we must face. The cooler nighttime temperatures and lack of growth have made it difficult for


superintendents to deal with the disease pressure they’ve been faced with over the last couple of months. It also seems each year the diseases we are faced with become more difficult to diagnose and combat. I’m sure the diagnostic laboratories in the Southeast have been receiving plenty of samples from courses in the area! While dealing with spring’s challenges, we must also begin planning and preparing for the rest of the season, along with the unknown that comes with it. How well you’ve planned and set goals for the season could be the difference needed to make your facility standout among others. This time of year, we must all deal with problems similar to these and more, while at the same time making sure it’s business as usual for all golfers and members. As each spring brings new obstacles to overcome, it’s our job to do so, and do it effectively and as seamlessly as possible. Although most golfers don’t realize what it takes to achieve Augusta National’s course conditions, we all do! We should all be proud of the course conditions we achieve this time of year, no matter how big or small the facility, because we all realize the hard work that is required and the challenges that must be overcome to do so.

Casey Nerren MAGCSA President

TENNESSEE TURFGRASS April/May 2016 Email TTA at: tnturfgrassassn@aol.com