Status – 15th Green

We are confident that the sodding of the 15th green will serve us well in the very near future.

Below is a detailed analysis of its progress to date. Read More>>

The summer of 2021 has been a challenging one for turf, and especially for the establishment of the new 15th green. We have had many significant challenges and scenarios that have prevented this newly sodded green from performing at its best. Some of those challenges included disease, heat stress, drought, poor water quality, and an increase in golf over last season’s record setting number of rounds.

The
disease that hit the 15th green happened just days ahead of the anticipated
opening. This disease is rarely seen in Manitoba and it did cause significant
setbacks and turf loss. We were able to recover from the disease and after
delaying the opening by only a few days we then hopped on to this new surface
which began to see an abundance of golf. While opening new greens early is
always a challenge and carries risk, all indicators pointed at a surface that
could sustain golf. The one variable that we are not accustomed to is just how
much of an impact the additional play (35% more than an average pre-Covid year)
would impact this green’s progress. Without question, all the variables
experienced this season along with the volume of golf have prevented this green
from progressing through establishment and performing the way we anticipated.

The
indicators that we look at for the health of a new green include rooting depth
and yield or the amount of clippings (growth) we experience from the plants.
The root system within the 15th green is strong. There is excellent mass and
depth reaching about 5 to 6 inches to date. The clippings each morning from
mowing are significant. While this green is struggling with all the variables
experienced these indicators are all positive and should provide this green
with what is required to become healthy and set the stage for a great start on
this green in 2022. For the remainder of the golf season, we will focus on
items that will allow this green to regain full health.

This past
week the green has taken on a thinned out appearance with weak areas presenting
themselves as dark and wet patches. This thinning of bentgrass is common on
youthful greens. This same scenario was experienced on the 18th, 1st, and 2nd
greens in the past three seasons. This is a result of heavy water. This week
was the first heavy rainfall of the season. The week prior, this appearance was
a result of a required fertility application. As was the case with greens 18,
1, and 2 our light topdressing programs and water management will assist in
correcting this look and allowing the turf time to recover. It took a couple
seasons for the seeded greens to mature past this stage of thin looking areas
and they now all handle heavy water applications either from Mother Nature or
required maintenance practices without issues.

With
sodded greens what is gained is additional playing days overseed. The end
result in matching a sodded green with seeded greens takes time. There is
little chance that in the first season of a sodded greens life it will match up
to an established seeded green. Many cultural practices are required to get a
sodded green to perform at its best. With all the variables experienced this
season as mentioned above, we have not had the ability to perform any of these
cultural practices as maintaining turf health has been a great challenge
itself. We feel that as many variables listed begin to subside we will be able
to regain full health of this green heading into winter which will provide us
with an excellent starting point next spring to begin to improve this green.
With sod, time is required to become excellent and the 15th green will provide
members with an excellent putting surface in the future.

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