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Dodge's Dirt

August 2013

The weather for August was the type of weather pattern that most superintendents prefer in that rainfall was scarce and temperatures-other than a short period this past week-have been seasonably cool. This kind of weather makes it much easier to present a better playing golf course though it may at times show signs of stress-particularly in the rough where heavy traffic creates compaction areas. With the course so busy with players, this sort of stress is to be expected. Dry, fast, and firm makes a much more enjoyable test of golf than wet, slow, and soft for most players. My hope is that many of you will be able to come out and play the golf course in the condition that it is in now.

Speaking of golf, I had the opportunity to make a trip to Pinehurst, North Carolina this past week and was able to play Course #2-the site of both the Men’s and Women’s US Open in 2014. What we found there was a golf course that confirms many of the points I was trying to make with last month’s article in regards to the sustainability of golf. The crew at Pinehurst has been busy trying to present the golf course in the way it was intended over 60 years ago before the age of more intense golf course maintenance. All of the rough has been removed and replaced with naturalized areas that are basically sand (the soils in that area) interspersed with native wire grasses and whatever volunteer plants that show up. The amount of irrigated and intensively maintained turfgrass areas has been reduced dramatically. The golf course now is in harmony with the surrounding terrain and the playability is fantastic. The need for both water and fertilizer on the golf course is much less than what it was before the restoration. I give a huge tip of my hat to the crew at Pinehurst #2 for making such a bold move and know that Donald Ross would be very proud of what they have done by bucking the trend of higher maintenance and the associated costs that go with it. Please check the link below for more information about the restoration-including some photos. Remember to check out the part of the website labeled “course information” for a detailed description of just how environmentally sound this restoration really is.

http://www.pinehurst.com/nc-golf-courses.php

Thank you all for your patronage and we hope to see you here soon.

Vincent Dodge CGCS

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