It has been another long stretch of hot, sunny weather with virtually no rain. At this time of the season we would like to be performing all kinds of different cultural practices on the greens to help improve them, such as aerifying, verti-cutting and topdressing. However, due to the high temperatures and no rainfall, these cultural practices would be putting the greens under an unnecessary amount of stress.
As a matter of fact, the temperatures have been so high that the grass is struggling to grow as well. During these periods of stress, the plant spends most of its energy just trying to stay alive instead of growing.
Taking into account these stress factors, that is one reason the greens have been ever so slightly slower recently. Most days our average greens speed is somewhere between 8,7 and 9,3 on the stimpmeter. It is possible to get them to roll even faster, but during this stress period it is unnecessary to be mowing and rolling at such a high frequency. You must also keep in mind, that according to the USGA 8,5 on the stimpmeter is actually considered fast for every day play.
We must actually consider ourselves lucky that we have as much water to irrigate as we do. Our irrigation water source is the Jägala River which always has water in it. Many golf courses in Estonia (and around the world for that fact) rely on irrigation ponds and wells to irrigate their playing surfaces. Because of the high temperatures and no rain fall this season many of these irrigation water sources are critically low or have even run dry. While we are not in as dire of a situation as many other golf courses when it comes to watering, that does not mean we can water all the time. We still must water our playing surfaces responsibly because water is still a precious resourse that cannot be wasted.
Hopefully the hot tempartures don´t stick around too much longer and we get some nice rain to help out our turf.