Bemidji Town & Country Club Online Newsletter - 8/06/10


I thought it might be a good time to give you a brief update on the course conditions. What a year, significant rain has left Bemidji Town and Country Club as lush as I ever can recall. Normally on August 1st our rough mowers are in the shop collecting dust, this year we have all we can do to keep up. Aesthetically all the rain has made our course look great.

Along with the good, there has to be some not so good. This year a number of the rain events have been significant, not just 2 or 3 tenths, but 3/4", 1" (multiple rain events), and last Sunday night 1 1/4 inches. These major rain events have led to:

• Washed out bunkers.
• Pumping water throughout the course.
• Soft, lush play conditions.

It has been brought up that the greens have been softer, slower, denser and somewhat bumpy this year, this is true. Without the option of being able to manage the watering and having large rain events, this has contributed to these conditions. Excessive rain and fluctuating soil temp have caused our Poa-annua greens to seed continuously which is normally a May and September event for Bemidji. Another bad aspect of soft conditions is that all negatives such as unrepaired ball marks, excessive foot traffic from large volumes of play all contribute to bumpy greens. What we have tried to do to alleviate these conditions is a number of different cultural practices such as:

• Verticutting- to thin out the density of the turfstand.
• Topdressing- applying a layer of sand which among other agronomic benefits, acts as a smoothing technique.
• Rolling- to gain speed and also act as a smoothing technique.
• Brushing- to help stand the individual grass plants up to provide less resistance and smother ball roll.

Some of these practices are done every day; others are done when conditions and weather safely allow us to do them. I hope this briefly answers some questions that may have come up as a result of the year we are having.

We have scheduled core aerification for Mon. & Tues., September 20th and 21st. This fall aerification is a result of our scheduled May dates being guess what, "Rained out".

Tom Johanns