The extended periods of heat, humidity and wetness combined with the frequent storms over the past several weeks of July have impacted many courses in the Midwest. The continuing wet soil and turf conditons present the ideal enviroments for turfgrass disease occur and "scalding" of the turf. Although we take every precaution and measure by applying fungicides to combat the disease and squeeging and pumping the fairways, there is simply no way to dry the entire turf canopy. Chicago is in a weather pattern that is the perfect storm for turf stress and loss. There is already one recognized course that is reported to be closed in the Chicago area and I am told that a nationally ranked course in the Minneapolis area is closed for the second time this summer. Let's hope for cooler, drier and windier weather conditions for the next few weeks.
Another Chicago rain storm - August 2nd, 2011
Notice the significant heat indexes. These eleviated levels affect turfgrass health
Excessive temperatures combined with wet & saturated soils threaten turf health
July Rain Dates and Amounts
Even though we have drainage installed in #4 white fairway, water cannot be removed or pumped away because the level and drainage of this fairway is directly connected to the canal to the west of the property. The canal is overflowing and it backs water onto the course and does not allow our course to drain.
Areas throughout the course have standing water and the soils are totally saturated and cannot drain. Hot and humid weather conditions literally cook these areas as the water and moisture reach temperatures too high for the turf to sustain.
The staff stays busy squeeging the lower areas of the course in an attempt to move water off of the surface of the turf
Lower areas of the course are squeeged after every rainfall
Recent rains continue to flood the white bunkers
The bunkers are pumped to remove the water after each rainfall on the white course
The subair machine is used to remove excess water form the rootzone of the greens. The plant roots literally are drowned and die if there is excess moisture in the green. Excess water prevents the availability for oxygen exchange in the rootzone.
The low areas below show the evidence of sun scald, a result of continued and excessive moisture and the presence of "Pythium" - an agressive turfgrass disease
These damaged areas have already been aerified, re-seeded and topdressed.
Damaged areas are vented in preparation for seeding
Damaged areas are seeded and topdressed
Greens are being needle tined or vented to provide air channels to the rootzone
Preventative fungicides are being applied to combat disease
Fairways are being blown in an attempt to dry the turf and soil surfaces to prevent disease invasion
Fans are being used to provide air flow over the green's surface for cooling and drying