Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fairway Agronomic and Cultural Practices

     We have started doing some agronomic and cultural practices to our fairways this week. We are proud to be one of the few golf courses in Oklahoma that over-seeds their fairways and tees with perennial ryegrass. Over-seeding dormant bermudagrass adds tremendous value to the golf course both in terms of playability and aesthetics, unfortunately, over-seeding year after year can be detrimental to the underlying bermudagrass.
     Bermudagrass is a warm-season grass, which means it's typical growing environment is usually in warmer climates closer to the equator. Perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass, which means it's typical growing environment is usually in cooler climates farther away from the equator. Since these two types of turf-grasses have different growing environments, one grass will typically be stronger and healthier during climates which are favorable growing conditions for that type of turf-grass.


    This past Spring in Oklahoma was abnormally cool and dry, even going into the start of the summer months. When over-seeded bermudagrass does not get the favorable growing environment to break dormancy early enough and the cooler temperatures persist, the bermudagrass will start to thin and get choked out by the stronger, healthier stand of perennial ryegrass.

Current Bermudagrass Turf Conditions due to extreme weather patterns

     One of the easiest ways to limit the amount of competition of the perennial ryegrass going into summer is to use a chemical herbicide which will aid in the transition of the perennial ryegrass allowing the bermudagrass unrestricted growth and the ability to heal and fill-in.

Normal Bermudagrass Turf Conditions

     We have not done these chemical transitions on our Fairways, as using this chemical herbicide can yellow-out or discolor the perennial ryegrass during this transition phase. These chemical herbicides also have the ability to track, meaning that some of the chemical residue can attach to shoes, tires, etc. and come in contact with other grasses that are susceptible to chemical injury from these herbicides such as the creeping bentgrass greens! We have chosen not to use these chemical herbicides as the risks out-weigh the reward in our situation.

     We have suffered a little this year, do to the fact that the bermudgrass turf was weak when the warmer temperatures to allow the bermudagrass to break dormancy finally arrived. And, when the warmer temperatures arrived they arrived in a hurry and unfortunately we were tossed into one of the hottest and driest summers on record in Oklahoma!

     All of these unfortunate climatic events are the cause of our current bermudagrass turf conditions. So, in order to grow-in the remainder of the Fairways and get them as healthy as possible before the next over-seeding in 5 weeks, we will be spot-topdressing the weaker areas with sand and will be on a strong fertility program using Ammonium Sulfate at 1lb Nitrogen/1000sqft. every 7 days until adequate coverage is achieved.

*Ammonium Sulfate is one of the best fertilizers pound for pound for plant growth and health!

     We hope this explains things a little better and we appreciate your patience and understanding as the Turf Care Facility works hard over the next few weeks to get the Fairways at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club back to the level of excellence that our players and members deserve.

As always, any questions, comments and concerns is appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MSU-China Turf Program Interns at The Jimmie

     Due to the extremely hot and dry conditions that we have experienced in Oklahoma this year, I have been very busy on the golf course and it has been a while since I have had the opportunity to post on the Turf Blog. Now, that it is finally starting to cool down a little, I will give an update on the current events at the Turf Care Facility. 

     The summer turf interns have returned to school for the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. We had another great group of guys and I would like to take an opportunity to personally say thanks to Brandon Clawson, Evan Hammons and Derrick Devon. You guys did an awesome job and were tremendous assets to the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club Turf Care Facility.

     We have recently hired on three new interns who will be with us thru November. This will be a first for Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, as all three interns are part of the Michigan State University-China Turf Intern Program. The three interns are all from China. China is in the middle of a golf course construction boom much like that the U.S. experienced in the late 80's and early 90's. The Turf Schools do not have the extensive turf research and training educational facilities that the U.S. has. Therefore, Professor Yusong Mu of Michigan State University started the program to adjunct teach in China, and then set up internships for those students here in the U.S.

     This program is still fairly new, but, is growing in popularity as these students are coming into the point of the golf season when most summer interns are going back to school. These times of year are typically under-staffed and more work-force is needed until the end of Fall.

     Please, if you come across the three interns, say hello and welcome them to the U.S. and to the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

As always, any questions, comments or concerns is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!