Every year around the 4th of July, I deal with burnout. My crew, tired from the seemingly endless "double weekends" and 5am starts of June, starts to slow down. My turf, weary of Mother Nature's abuse, cries for a few days of rest. My kids, engrossed in their summer activities, ask their Mom when Dad is going to eat breakfast at home again. Simply stated, round about this time of the year, we all need a long weekend. Thankfully in mid-July we have a brief break from weekend events and we are able to rotate long weekends through the entire crew, recharging everyone's batteries for another intense August.
This year the turf even got a long weekend. After a fairly intense 10 day heat wave that took its toll on both staff and course, the 4th of July brought with it moderate, even cool weather. This "break in the cycle" allowed for the beginnings of turf recovery and stifled some of the annual burnout issues I see throughout my department. Finally, Mother Nature shows a little compassion!
I have been watching our "large scale" Velocity experiment throughout the heat wave and subsequent cool down period and I am encouraged by the early results. Last week we reached the peak of the "ugliness" with the predicted "yellow flash" followed by the decline of the Poa annua. During the heat wave, the recovery of the bent was slow, painfully slow to be accurate. With the moderating of the temperatures, we have seen the bentgrass kick into high gear and is now looking very healthy. The Poa annua, however, is still down although even it is starting to perk up. We are currently in week three of the spray interval and by all accounts we are getting predictable results. It is during week three and four of the interval that we gain the most on the Poa due to it's continued slow recovery. Bentgrass has the advantage. Once the Poa starts looking happy again (in two weeks) we will make another application of Velocity, starting the process over again. Each application will see an overall increase in the bentgrass population, which will in turn speed the recovery of the fairway. Exciting times for closet agronomists here at CCC!
As soon as I have a working camera again (it's being shipped) I will post some pictures of #11 fairway. As you play, notice the damage to the fairway and let me know what you think. After all, our experiment on #11 is being done to gauge our "threshold" or tolerance to the injury that Velocity produces. Your feedback will help us plan our future use of this product.