Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mowing and Rolling

Over the past several months we have been using some very interesting research that is being done by Dr. Rob Golembiewski at Oregon State University to manage our green speeds. For those of you that don't know Pasatiempo has some of the most severely sloping/undulated greens in the U.S. (original Alister MacKenzie design), and we are simply unable to manage the greens for daily play at anything faster than 10.5 on the Stimp meter and still maintain fair hole locations.

Dr. Golembiewski's research, which is a replication of similar trials that were done at Michigan State University on bentgrass, has shown that you can attain viable green speeds while mowing less often and at a slightly higher cutting height than what was previously thought. Currently we are mowing four days per week (at a cutting height of .120") and rolling seven days, while targeting the higher volume play days to mow and roll in combination. By keeping this schedule we've seen improved consistency from day-to-day with speeds ranging between 10' and 10.5' most days, and slightly higher on the days when we mow roll in combination. As the summer progresses, we also expect to see all of the obvious benefits of mowing at a higher cutting height (i.e. reduced damage from our local nematode, reduced disease and water use, better wear tolerance, improved density, etc...).

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