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Dodge's Dirt

August 2017

Well, looks like the five days of actual summer we had this year are finally over. Boy was it ever rough. The overall feel at this point is that we are now getting into the fall season and the forecast seems to bear this out. Having worked at other golf courses in a different climate, normally this time of the year is the toughest of the year. Summer had been dragging on for a few months and the hot temperatures would start to get old. Here, what gets old is waiting for a summer that never really arrives and when it does it is over in a few days. Pretty lame but on a positive note the weather at the moment is San Diego-like beautiful. Guess I should stop whining.

But it seems that I cannot help myself-as the picture below helps to illustrate:

august 2017

The picture above shows the outline of the footprints of a golfer who sprayed their legs with bug spray while standing on a fairway. When temperatures rose to above 80, the sprayed turf was singed and took a solid two weeks to grow through the damage. I have seen this kind of damage quite often on fairways not just here but pretty much anywhere there are mosquitos. The request here is to make sure that you are on a cart path before spraying your legs or any parts of your body-or simply be careful to make sure the overspray stays off of turfgrass. Another turfgrass subject that I would like to discuss is the repair of divots.

Different golf courses have different recommendations when it comes to player etiquette. Things like whether to put bunker rakes in or out of bunkers (at the Wilderness we put the rakes inside the bunkers) or replacing divots. One thing that I wish people would do more of is actually replacing their divots. This used to be standard operating procedure but somewhere along the line somebody started this thing where you do not have to replace divots-to just use the divot mix and leave the mess you made untouched. This is bogus. If you take a divot that remains intact, please retrieve and replace it.

The divot may or may not survive (though any divot taken this year before July 10th would have knit in nicely). More importantly, replacing the divot improves the playing surface for the person coming after you by both reducing the divot debris left on the fairway and filling in the divot left by your swing. Would you rather play out of someone else’s divot filled with divot mix or a well-replaced intact divot? Playability for all should take first priority on the golf course-even if it means a little more work.

The simplest way to put it is if you make an intact divot, replace it. Ideally, you will fill in any gaps on your replaced divot with a little divot mix. This would be optimal. If the divot disintegrates upon impact and really leaves you with nothing to replace, then using just divot mix is the proper route to take.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation in doing your part to help us make the course the best that it can be-not just for your group but for everyone.

See you on the golf course,
Vincent Dodge CGCS

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