The intense heat and lack of rainfall are having a significant effect on golf courses throughout the Midwest and especially in Chicago. Although we do have an automated irrigation system, the transpoevaporation rates of the grass plant cannot go unscathed by the intense heat and dryness. The golf course is holding up very well and playing conditions are superb. There are some areas that are a bit off color but that is unavoidable under these weather conditions. Normally these type of temperatures do not occur until later in the summer.
Last summer, we had hot days but it rained 12 to 14 days in each of the months of May, June and July. This year we are in the middle of a drought. That is why no two years are alike in managing a golf course.
100s topple records across Plains; heat/some t-storms Chicagobound
Thursday 100 degrees
Friday 95 degrees
Saturday 94 degrees
Sunday 95 degrees
Monday 95 degrees
Blistering Heat Heat Index 110 degrees
Continued cart traffic in the same locations can cause wear and damage to the turf. This is why we utilize traffic rotation measures to distribute the cart traffic and sustain quality turf conditions.
Water management is a key component of turfgrass management in dry situations. Overwatering and leaving the turf in moist conditions during extremen heat and humidity can result in devistating disease occurance. For this reason, we water only as needed to each specific area and with each specific turf species. For example, in the photo below, we water enough to keep the bentgrass fairways at the proper moisture levels but because the same sprinkler heads cover the bentgrass fairways and the bluegrass roughs, we do overwater the bentgrass in order to water the bluegrass intermediate rough to the levels necessary to keep it green. Once we get some rainfall, the bluegrass will return to its normal green color.
Below, we cannot water the intermediate rough without getting the bunker sand wet
In order to meet the water requirement for the different grasses on the course in dry conditions, 8 to 10 of our staff are assigned to watering the dry areas on the course. This insures the survival of the turf in extreme heat and drought conditions. It is very labor intensive but absolutely necessary.
Syringing Fairway Darain Lines
Here is the forecast for the next 4 days
Today 97 degrees
Wednesday 100 degrees
Thursday 99 degrees
Friday 100 degrees