Hyde Park Est. 1909, A Donald Ross Design

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Golf Course Update- Zoysia, Interns and Putting Quality

The grounds staff continues to be very busy getting caught up from the slow start from the cool temperatures.

As discussed in an earlier update, the Zoysia fairways are behind in overall quality, with many areas that were impacted by winterkill still struggling. Before the Memorial Day weekend the staff laid roughly 10,000 feet of zoysia on 9 and 18. Another truck load will be here in the coming weeks to repair smaller areas. With the investment in labor and materials to repair, it is imperative that cart traffic please stay off of newly sodded areas. Wet soils and golf cart traffic will slow down the recovery process, thus there might be times that it seems dry enough for carts to scatter however below the turf canopy the soil could be saturated. We are constantly monitoring conditions. In the coming weeks, the staff will be aerifying the fairways to enhance recovery reduce compaction and improve turf quality, this process has not been completed in five years.

Tilling of the 9th fairway in preparation of sod

With the new season here many many new faces have arrived to fill our Grounds team. Without a collaborative effort it would near impossible to produce the consistent conditions on course and around the Grounds. A key to our success are the Turfgrass Interns and several Turfgrass graduates that fill many key positions on our team. Currently, we have 9 people on staff that are enrolled in or graduates of a Turfgrass/ Horticulture program. Their dedication and the ability to train, direct and educate other staff members has been outstanding.

This season we have two Turfgrass interns.

Max Szturm joins us from Kettering, Ohio where he attends Clarke State Comunity College. Max in his spare time plays hockey as well enjoys playing golf. His father, Marty has been a Golf Course Superintendent various courses in the Ohio Valley for over 25 years.

Max Szturm- Turgrass Intern

Chris Bell joins the Grounds team from Carnoustie, Scotland. Chris is part of the Ohio Program, an international intern program that places students with hosts that develop current skill sets while emursing them in the American culture. Chris has worked 3 seasons on a golf course and is a Graduate of Elmwood College.

Chris Bell- Turfgrass Intern

Both Max and Chris while here at HP will be involved with:

  • Pesticide and fertilizer applications and calibrations
  • Attendance of Grounds Committee meetings
  • Managing small crews
  • All golf course operations
  • Various projects

Over the past few weeks there have been many positive comments on the quality and consistency of the putting surfaces. The added consistency is in part do to the reduction of Poa and the increased populations of bentgrass. As many of you know, Poa is considered a weed in this region, producing tremendous amounts of seed creating a bumpy surface, especially in the spring. Poa, also is not heat tolerant, susceptible to many pathogens and costs more to maintain.

Some of the key building blocks of producing healthy bentgrass are:

  • Eliminating shade on putting greens
  • Additional drainage
  • Consistent sand topdressing and timely aerification
  • Use of plant growth regulators to allow bentgrass to out compete Poa
  • Proper moisture management
  • Use of smooth front rollers on greens mowers
  • Light weight rolling to enhance ball roll distance

This program will continue this season, we will see how these older varieties of bentgrasses on the near 100 year-old putting surfaces will respond.

The picture below is of the 7th green. The top half of the picture taken in April of 2013 shows the high percentage of Poa and the photo below taken in April of 2014 shows the higher populations of bentgrass out competing the Poa. More bentgrass allows for increased consistency.


If there are any questions please contact me at grounds@hydeparkcc.com


Pat O'Brien

Grounds Superintendent


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