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spring is in the air

The cool-season turf is slowly starting to green up, buds are open on the silver maples, and I even have some crocus blooms in the garden at home.

A superintendent in the southern part of the state called the other day and said, "My greens are just starting to green up, but there are dark greens rings everywhere? What is this?" It sounded like some early-season fairy ring that I saw at our research facility last year:
Once the surrounding turf greened up, especially with the help of some spring fertility, the rings disappeared and were never heard from again. That is, they did not come back during the heat/stress period in mid-summer when we most typically see fairy ring.

Other than our occurrence on campus, and the one phone call this year, I don't have much experience with this late winter/early spring phenomenon so if any of the other bloggers, or any of you out there, have further comments please chime in.

On another note, I was reading an article the other day about green speeds/ball roll distance. Green speed and ball roll are obviously associated with mowing height, and low-mow is associated with susceptibility to some diseases, like anthracnose. So, I was curious. I'll summarize some points I found interesting:

Researchers at the U of Connecticut completed a study to investigate two questions:

1) Is there a relationship between golfer’s ranking of green speed and USGA speed categories (measured with a Stimpmeter)?

2) What is the level of golfer satisfaction across a wide range of green speeds (ball roll distances)?

They conducted their work at 29 golf courses in Connecticut, and 448 golfers participated in the survey.

A few findings taken from the authors’ summaries and conclusions:

*There was no significant relationship between golfer rankings of green speed and USGA speed categories determined by the Stimpmeter

*Golfers with a low handicap were only slightly more capable of accurately detecting variations in green speeds compared to golfers with a higher or no handicap

*No matter the actual ball-roll distance, 87.5% of golfers rated the putting experience as “satisfactory”

The authors wrote: “Most golfers are satisfied with green speeds within a wide range of ball-roll distances provided that they are uniform and consistent”

If you are interested in the full article here is the citation:

Dest, W. M., Guillard, K., Rackliffe, S. L., Chen, M.-H., and Wang, X. 2010. Putting green speeds: A reality check! Online. Applied Turfgrass Science doi:10.1094/ATS-2010-0216-01-RS.

If you don't have access to Applied Turfgrass Science you can email me and I'll send it.

They also wrote: “Original guidelines for the Stimpmeter stress the importance of using the device as a tool by which golf course superintendents can adjust their management practices to maintain more uniform and consistent putting conditions on the green and to meet green speed standards set by a quantitative measure (5,8). This minimizes the element of luck and thereby places more emphasis on putting skill (6).” As for me, I think I need luck, NOT skill :)

2 Responses to “spring is in the air”

John Kaminski said...


Nice post. Glad to see that Dr. Dest finally got that damn thing in print. I had heard about it for a while and was waiting for it to come out before discussing. Nice catch and great post!


Joseph said...

Thanks for the heads up on that article. I have to get it because it will be good supplemental info for my project.

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