Biggest future challenge for greens managament

By |  June 14, 2012

For our May issue, we sent out a survey to our members asking them questions about the challenges of maintaining greens. We learned things like 44 percent of you ride mow only, and that 8 to 10 on the Stimp is your preferred green speed.

We also asked two fill-in-the-blank questions: What was the biggest change to managing greens in the last five years, and what will be the biggest challenge to maintaining your greens in the next five years?

We’ve posted 200 responses to the first question so far. You can find those answers here (part one) and here (part two.)

Now we’re switching it over to the second question, the one that asks supers to tell us (some of them reluctantly) what will be the biggest challenge in these next five years. Here are the first 100 questions, from our Golfdom readers:

1 Maintaining turf health with the pressure for fast greens speeds.
2 newer lightweight and environmentally friendlier rollers mowers.
3 Poa seed head management and salt build-up
4 Maintaing the same inputs with fewer resources, both money and plan protectant products
5 Water quality. Our course is in a part of the country with scarce water supplies.
6 Getting a better handle on preventative measures to reduce disease incidence and improve putting surfaces all year around. We are working toward this goal and with 65,000 rounds/year it is one that seems to be coming closer to reality for us and one that is necessary.
7 Fertilizer regulation. Not impossible but will change what we currently do.
8 Age of greens, lack of money to replace them
9 Probably more rolling and maybe not as much mowing if rolling is used in its place. (providing we can purchase a roller)
10 Poa annua encroachment. Why? Because it is a weed!
11 Hopefully not the same nematode pressure we face now!
12 People. No amigos e verify.
13 Expectations – With revenue down and expectations still high, superintendents have to reallocate their budgets accordingly.
14 Diseases
15 The weather, 2010 and 11 showed us what extreme heat can do.
16 thatch and reduced fertilization
17 It would appear that our weather cycles are becoming much more extreme and generally warmer (global warming). In my area of the transition zone we have had 3 consecutive poor growing seasons and 2012 is starting off very challenging as well. If this trend continues our margin for error will continue to decrease and putting green management will have to be adjusted to compensate. Transition zone greens management will begin to look like current southeaster greens management and the southeast may have to speed the trend back to warm season turf on greens.
18 Would like to purchase a roller and mow less often.
19 new diseases. They will probably need different chemistries of pesticides to control them.
20 Probably Poa in our overseed during the winter… because of severe budget cuts, we aren’t using any preemergents on, or around the greens.
21 Expectations. More for less. Environmental regulations. Chemical reduction. Water restrictions, quality and quantity.
22 Poa control/management.
23 Thatch, uldra dwarfs are large thatch producers.
24 Organic matter management. That is the number one cause of greens failure.
25 Controlling new diseases as well as the usual ones.
26 sustainability
27 Management of the organic matter accumulation
28 Disease pressure and fungicide resistance already being seen in some fungi to available pesticides, because tolerance to cosmetic issues on greens is very little now and will only get worse.
29 green speeds because we have bent/poa greens and the lower mow is putting stress on the grass
30 Water quality
31 Poa has started to take over. so the transition will be the biggest challenge.
32 Disease adaptation and fungicide resistance
33 Organic matter accumulation holding moisture longer than necessary in July and August.
34 The control of Poa annua will take a significant turn for the good with new products entering the market.
35 Time of day mowing during certain times of year to get more improved cuts when conditions are dryer.
36 Water resources
37 Keeping Poa Annua under control.
38 loss of fungicides to manage disease pressure and public need or demand for green speed
39 less money to work with.
40 The amount of money spent on maintanance and our ability to meet the customer’s expectation.
41 Fertility and chemical restrictions, due to regulations
42 More intense disease pressure or new turf diseases. We, as an idustry, are pushing greens to the edge. Anthracnose wasn’t a big deal ten years ago.
43 same as now – budgets and golfer expectations – it’s hard to predict what will happen – will golfers be prepared to lower their expectations to reduce costs and stress on the turf
44 Nematode control. Because Nemacur is no longer on the market and companies are still in experimental stages with products which most golf courses are forced to use even though we do not know how well they work.
45 Cultivation practices
46 Organic matter accumulation.
48 Salt managment
49 better grasses and even better chemicals
50 H2O, water management is coming to a town near you. Soon.
51 I believe water use issues and regulation of control products will be our biggest things to deal with in the future.
52 even less water and plant protectants
53 Currently, there are two significant challanges for us. One is the loss of Nemacur and the lack of another product to produce consistent results. Another is the pressure to produce the quality of ball roll five, ten, fifteen or more years down the road after setting the bar very high in our first four years with an ultradwarf.
54 Speed
55 Weather! Seems like we keep on braking records the last 5 years.
56 Turf loss due to adverse winter conditions.
57 Golfer demands for green speed while we work with lower budgets and more restrictions.
58 Continuing to manage poa and keep the health of the existing turf at an acceptable level and good playing conditions.
59 Less money and less people to get the task done while golfers will pay less but expect more?
60 Changing weather patterns along with seasonally warmer and longer periods of heat on poa greens.
61 Water Managemant. Because the price of water will continue to increase.
62 Probably the cost of all of the inputs that it takes to continue to provide the quality my members expect…..
63 Moss
64 More disease pressure
65 Green speeds
66 Increadingly higher expectations
67 not sure
68 water
69 Money. It’s getting harder to spend 75% of an ever-decreasing budget on greens.
70 less chemicals allowed to use
71 Has been and will continue to be keeping Poa Annua out of the surface
72 keeping them alive = staying employed
73 continuing to find the resources to install drainage in these 50 year old pushup greens. Budgets continue to be tight, equipment needs are high, and everyone wants a piece of the pie!
74 weather extremes
75 Bentgrass in the desert
76 Water management. The increasing restrictions coming into place and greater demand from other users will challenge all of us as Superintendents to better utilize this resource.
77 managing older bentgrasses (pencross) at low heights of cut – the same as today!
78 maintaining high speeds and good health. With tougher competition between courses, expectations are higher.
79 Trying to get old cultivars of bentgrass to stay viable in the stimp meter wars.
80 balancing traffic on hot summer days with the needs of ownership for revenue
81 same as now, speed and water management.
82 Dollar spot management. Because it never stays away!
83 Weather and budget extremes.
84 Hotter and hotter summers. The drive to increase revenues with outings or outside play causes increased traffic to the greens in the heat of summer. There is never any “down time” for the greens. It snowballs until major problems arise. There will be many courses converting to ultradwarf bermudagrass in the coming years in the SE.
85 Possibly budget cuts across the board.
86 Less Speed. Golf will become more sensible
87 I don’t know. I am now 70 years old. I live my life day to day. My crystal ball is broken! However, I do believe that the availability of water may very well be an issue in the future…
88 heat
89 Always trying to improve from the previous year
90 better fertilizers better water managemenrt
91 On my greens it will be drainage issues.
92 Keeping greens healthy and reducing poa annua in bentgrass greens while still keeping conditions acceptable for all golfers.
93 maintaining speed because of costs
94 keeping ball roll consistent throughout the day with the increasing number of rounds.
95 Same as now: Consistency with speed and smoothness
96 Continuing to provide a quality putting surface with out any increases to maintenance budgets. I don’t see those going up anytime soon.
97 Probably managing the poa annua on my putting greens. I have more than 50% poa on my greens, and keeping the seedhead out of them in the spring is difficult at best. I would love to try Xonerate on my greens to get rid of the poa, but I wouldn’t have much of the greens left. I may try to experiment with Xonerate at very low rates in the spring to see what happens with the seedhead.
98 The continued decline in revenue as it relates to budget cuts.
99 Doing even more with even less money.
100 Being able to Keep sound agronimic practices year around in regards to aeration, grooming, and topdressing.

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