Thursday, August 12, 2010

Interesting Article on the Summer of 2010

I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal -- "The Ugly Summer of 2010" by John Paul Newport.  It doesn't cover the Midwest too much, but this summer has been a tough one for courses nationwide.  It is interesting to see an  in-depth turf discussion in a mainstream daily newspaper.

Check it out if you have a moment. (Click here)

Morning Scene

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

As everyone in the Chicagoland area knows, we've had a lot of rain recently.  According to our rain gauge readings, we've had somewhere around 15 inches since July 23rd, including 7.5 inches on July 23-24 and another 5 inches in the past two days.  Finally, it looks like we will have a chance to dry out!

The crew is out pumping and reconstructing the traps again:

Despite all the rain, golfers are still out having fun.  This brave golfer shows off her mud splattered legs and shoes as a badge of honor:

At least the next few days look dry, so it should dry out soon!

Turf Notes: Pythium Blight

In general, golf course superintendents don't like to see white, cottony stuff in the morning.  It usually indicates some sort of fungal pathogen.  There is one form of white, cottony we really don't like to see: Pythium Blight.  This fast acting disease loves heat and water.  We can blame the recent rain for its presence today.  According to Purdue University's Richard Latin: "Late afternoon rain during these hot, humid periods further favor disease development and may be responsible for rapid spread of the pathogen."  He's absolutely right.  Yesterday, it rained all morning and in the late afternoon.

I haven't seen this disease for 3 years.  I was hoping to never see it again, but nature had other plans.  I offer the following pictures for identification and educational purposes to anyone interested in turf out there:

Pythium in the morning
Pythium Blight
Pythium, aka Grease Spot
Pythium Blight - Close-up
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