EMERALD VALLEY APRIL 2018 NEWSLETTER
FROM THE HEAD PRO
We have had an awesome “winter” for golf and are looking forward to the longer Spring Days as warmer weather approaches. Remember to book your tee time online and save a few dollars.
Once again, Emerald Valley is Hosting the OSAA High School State Championship. This year, we have the 5A and 6A boys competing.
We are excited about the 2018 Instructional Program, Bob Duncan, 2018 Oregon PGA Teacher of the Year returns with his highly successful GPS Instructional Program. We are fortunate to now have Debby King, LPGA Golf Professional of the Year, on board with the Kingdom of Golf.
The Junior Program we are developing for 2018 is shaping up nicely. Look for information about our EV Junior Golf Program at the start of May and plan on a great summer of instruction and play. The PGA Drive, Chip and Putt returns in July and we will be hosting some “boot camps” to get kids prepared for the competition.
We are also looking for Junior Golfers interested in competing on our Emerald Valley PGA Junior League team. This is a wonderful golf experience for all Juniors and teams will have a chance to play at Eugene Country Club and Shadow Hills Country Club this season. Check out PGA Junior League at www.PGAJrLeague.com
Visit us at: www.emeraldvalleygolf.com
Join Emerald Valley Now and Get the first 2 Months FREE.
Group Outings are easy at Emerald Valley! Whether you have a small or a large golf group give us a call and see how we can help! Our goal at Emerald Valley is to make your event/outing worry-free and enjoyable. It’s All About The FUN!
FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Subject: Putting Surface. What kind of grass do we have on our greens now? And why do our greens provide a nice putting surface most of the year?
In 1964, when Emerald Valley was built, the greens were likely seeded with 100% creeping bent grass. At some time later, probably around 1978, these same greens had completed a grass type transition from 100% creeping bent grass to approximately 95% annual bluegrass and 5% creeping bent grass. Today, the grass on our greens has remained relatively the same as 1978.
So why the change to Annual bluegrass?
In the Pacific Norwest, annual bluegrass (Poa annua), behaves as a true annual in nature. It germinates in fall and spring, develops quickly, and produces seed by flowering within 6-8 weeks. These plants due act as an annual and will die once they have gone to seed. The soil becomes a reserve of viable poa annua seed rather quickly. At some point, these seeds begin to invade a golf course just like your front lawn. Once this seed germinates, poa annua begins to live in an irrigated environment such as a golf course and a selection process begins which encourages development of so-called perennial biotypes of annual bluegrass. This perennial type will spread very quickly, because this grass will produce seed even though the grass is mowed very low. As long as there is irrigation, this grass will continue to grow and eventually become the predominant grass. Other types of grasses will not seed at low mowing heights, so unless conditions are suited for such a grass, they will not become predominate. Annual bluegrass seems to grow best under conditions requiring irrigation, low mowing and fertility so a golf course typically will become predominantly annual bluegrass in the Pacific Northwest.
Fortunately, annual bluegrass has growth characteristics that produce a great putting surface. Poa annua has a very fine and upright growth habit which produces a smooth surface for the ball to roll on. At certain times of the year, this plant has the ability to produce the best surface for putting hands down.
So what are the problems with this type of grass? An annual bluegrass putting surface is made up of many different strains of annual bluegrass. This can be identified visually by the modeling appearance to the surface. These strains, during certain times in the year or day, will provide inconsistencies to the surface, which are not always desirable. Flowering or seed production can affect the surface during spring and fall. Poor heat and drought tolerance makes watering critically important. Undesirable daytime growth can slow down the speed in the afternoon. Annual bluegrass is prone to winter kill, and is susceptible to a host of diseases and insect problems. Sounds like a migraine headache for a golf course superintendent!
All these potential problems are the basic ingredients to why the greens should not be maintained day in and day out, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at green speeds that most golfers like. This past winter, we fortunely have had mild temperatures, which have allowed for most of our greens to stay healthy. Consistent maintenance practices like topdressing and verticutting are some of the methods used to help maintain a consistent surface. We have gone to a solid tine aerating process which provides a faster recovery rate for the golfer, but requires regular topdressing for surface drainage.
My commitment to our putting surfaces has always been my #1 priority. Hopefully, this article will help you better understand more about our greens and a few of the challenges we are faced with.
Don’t forget to fix your ball mark and somebody else’s too.
Happy Golfing from your Golf Course Superintendent
See You At The Course!
Visit us at: www.emeraldvalleygolf.com
Laine J. Wortman, PGA, General Manager / Head Golf Professional