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Super Science: A year of research in review

Putting green management impact on golf cleat damage

By Thom Nikolai, Ph.D., and Doug Karcher, Ph.D.

The research answers a need for scientific evidence regarding how putting green management may affect foot traffic’s visible wear.

  • Damage from golf cleats has become more noticeable with smoother putting green surfaces.
  • Regular sand topdressing and grooming reduced damage from golf cleats.
  • Higher nitrogen fertility and rolling increased visible damage from golf cleats.
  • There was a correlation between visible wear damage from simulated golfer traffic and the volumetric moisture content in the surface of the putting green root zone.

Annual bluegrass weevil sampling methods

Ana Luiza Sousa, Ph.D., Ryan Geisert, Ph.D., and Albrecht M. Koppenhofer, Ph.D.

Superintendents need to help delay annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) insecticide resistance by applying control products when and where they are necessary based on sampling (Photo 5).

<strong>Photo 5</strong> Color-marked annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) adults released into a fairway-height creeping bentgrass plot. (Photo: Albrecht Koppenhofer)

Photo 5 Color-marked annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) adults released into a fairway-height creeping bentgrass plot. (Photo: Albrecht Koppenhofer)

  • Adult ABW recovery in mower clippings from the putting green was 15 percent without and 24 percent with a brush attached in front of the mower.
  • Mower clippings from a fairway only recovered 0.2 percent of ABW adults.
  • Vacuuming with a leaf blower recovered only 4.5 percent of adults from a fairway but 31 percent from a green.
  • Soap flushing with 16 fluid ounces of water containing 0.4 percent liquid dishwashing detergent applied twice recovered 83 percent of adults from a fairway within 20 minutes.
  • Soap flushing was most effective with 16 ounces of water containing 0.8 percent dishwashing detergents applied twice and adults collected for 20 minutes.

On-site testing for overseeded bermudagrass fairways

By Kevin Morris and Mike Kenna, Ph.D.

<strong>Photo 6</strong> Entries were established in 100-square-foot plots, replicated three times where fairway traffic is evident and outside of landing zones. (Photo: David Gardner, Ph.D.)

Photo 6 Entries were established in 100-square-foot plots, replicated three times where fairway traffic is evident and outside of landing zones. (Photo: David Gardner, Ph.D.)

  • Superintendents seek grasses that establish quickly, exhibit exceptional playability, are aesthetically pleasing and require fewer inputs.
  • This trial focuses on the cultivar, blend and mixture performance of 25 entries, primarily under reduced (ET-based) water rates or saline (low-quality) irrigation water.
  • Nine golf course sites, chosen based on geographic location and maintenance characteristics, were established in fall 2016 and 2017 in large plots on golf course fairways (Photo 6).
  • Entries with perennial ryegrass had the best overall turfgrass quality in the fall and spring for both trial years.
  • There was some variation in the performance of entries at the ET-based reduced irrigation locations versus the saline irrigation locations.
This article is tagged with , and posted in From the Magazine, Research

About the Author:

Paul Koch, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he conducts research and provides information to professional turf managers on disease management and control. Koch's research article in the August 2013 issue of Golfdom, "Beat the summer heat, plan for snow mold," won a TOCA Award (merit) for turf feature article. Koch can be reached at plkoch@wisc.edu.


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