Agronomy Weekly

This year, mother nature has continued to show how inconsistent it can be.  We are now 40+ days with only a total of 1.5 inches of rainfall.  Listed below is our last rainfall events:

  • 8/21 - 0.5 inches
  • 9/10 - 0.5 inches
  • 9/17 - 0.2 inches

Here is a link to the monthly rainfall totals at SCR in 2016.

As I have stated many times, this kind of drought really shows its teeth at SCR because of our sand-capping system.  During the summer when a drought occurred, we used our irrigation system to keep things from drying down too much. While we suffered from inefficiencies from our well pump, we knew we had adequate time to recover many of the areas by the end of the growing season.

With night time temperatures dipping into the mid-50s now, the growing weather for warm-season turf grass is limited.  During this time, you will notice water running frequently throughout the day as you play, as well as staff hand watering many areas to supply them with more moisture.  Our irrigation can only supplement rainfall but not completely replace it.  You will see many areas brown out regardless of our efforts.  We just continue to utilize our irrigation system and cross our fingers it will rain again soon.

Not only has the weather changed many times this year from wet to dry, but it has drastically changed in the matter of hours when it comes to temperatures.  This week has surely been nice with the 70-degree highs but also some low 50-degree night time temperatures.  Although the weather is great for golf, it is less than ideal for growing warm-season turf grasses.  The plant is starting to slow its growth, and with that comes the need to prepare it for dormancy.  

We have begun to raise mowing heights in preparation for the winter survival.  This process will be slow as we do not just simply stop mowing.  We will continue to mow and roll to keep our speeds elevated; however, the need to gradually increase mowing heights has come.  We appreciate your understanding during this period as we strive to provide you with great playing conditions while remaining agronomically sound.  

We continue to utilize our gate system throughout the course.  I appreciate many using this system properly.  We are starting to notice many areas that are still receiving heavy cart traffic that will create the need for additional rope stakes on the course.  This neglects the reasoning behind the gate system itself, so please continue to use the posts as gates to enter and exit each hole to minimize cart traffic as you play your round.

Other course happenings:

  • Bush hogging native areas
  • Interseeding fescue in many native areas
  • Interseeding wildflower mix in several areas throughout the course
  • Spraying greens with wetting agents
  • Spraying bunker encroachment

As always, if you should have any questions regarding course conditioning or any other concerns, please contact me at scottn@springcreekranch.org or (901) 201-0320.  Thank you for being a member, and hopefully the great fall weather is here for all to enjoy for some time. 

Best wishes,

Scott J. Newman

Golf Course Superintendent