Category Archives: Turf Management

The Benefits of Using Synthetic Turf Tee Lines: Innovative Technology has Allowed New Products to Emerge

By Scott Smockum

In the synthetic turf world, there are three types of yarn: nylon, polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene (PE). When considering a synthetic turf that is going to be stomped on and hit from, durability should be at the top of the list. Therefore, when comparing the yarns for durability, nylon is the strongest of the three. Polypropylene is a close second, while the softest would be polyethylene.

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The Benefits of Using Synthetic Turf Tee Lines: Strike a Happy Medium

By Scott Smockum

Synthetic turf tee lines are beneficial to all concerned; course owners are happy as they can open earlier and generate revenue from the much-anticipated traffic, members are pleased as they can finally hit golf balls, and superintendents are content as the synthetic turf offers the course’s natural grass some additional time to regenerate and grow. It also allows turf mangers to focus on other more important areas of the course, which may need a little more work.

Synthetic turf tee lines are not only great for early season use, but they also work well to provide much needed relief for natural turf throughout the year on an as-needed basis (e.g. wet days, tournaments, during long-drought periods, or generally whenever rest or more time is needed for the natural sod to recuperate).

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The Benefits of Using Synthetic Turf Tee Lines

An increasing number of golf courses and driving ranges are installing synthetic turf tee lines at the back of a natural tee deck to act as a relief for the natural grass. Photo courtesy Synthetic Turf International of Canada

By Scott Smockum

After a long winter, most golfers are eager to get back on the course and resume play. This is often a difficult time for most superintendents as the weather is not warm enough to promote grass growth, but it is visible and relatively green—and to most golfers, if there is grass, the course should be open, right?

Owners eagerly welcome the traffic, but most courses are not ready to open. One answer to this urge of members wanting to get back on the course is to open the driving range and let the divots start to fly.

Natural grass driving ranges prove to be an uphill battle during the best growing conditions; the average tee deck simply cannot keep up with the demand. As a result, an increasing number of golf courses and driving ranges are installing synthetic turf tee lines at the back of a natural tee deck to act as a relief for the natural grass.

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Shedding Light On Engineered Compost Teas: Other Important Considerations

By Dale Overton, B.Sc.

There are many other important factors which influence the effectiveness of any biological inoculants in any given situation. For example, prevailing weather conditions can affect what microbes are currently active in the soil. Consistent cool, damp weather will almost certainly cause outbreaks of fusarium sp. on Poa greens, in which case, little can be done to control an outbreak. Healthy plants will be able to withstand the colonization of such pathogens.

When using or incorporating an ECT it is vital to consider and understand ecological principals as soil is a complex living system containing an unknown number of organisms, which live and work together. In many natural systems, pathogens are rarely observed. When observing a healthy ecosystem, one will notice there are very few diseased organisms. This is because the system is balanced (or stable). Natural checks and balances exist in such systems, so disease is minimized. When a system is unbalanced or stressed, there is a decrease in the ability of the system to withstand disease pressure or other environmental stressors.

Golf courses are perfect examples of a stressed system. There are few examples of plants that are exposed to more stress than golf greens. They are cut almost to the root/shoot interface daily, compacted from steady play, exposed to an array of chemical inputs, and built on poor soil (i.e. sand/peat). Pathogen pressure can be very high in such situations because the natural ecological balance is off. Proper incorporation of a high-quality ECT will help to alleviate such pressure by increasing plant health and various indirect mechanisms.

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Shedding Light On Engineered Compost Teas: What Results Have Been Observed After Incorporating ECTs?

By Dale Overton, B.Sc.

Providing the ECT is made properly (using a bioreactor or aerated brewing unit) superintendents should see a significant increase in primary and secondary roots after a few applications. After five or six applications, tertiary and quaternary begin to proliferate extensively in various varieties of creeping bentgrass, annual bluegrass, and many other turfgrass varieties.

A qualitative measure has also been noticed in the increase of plant vigour (i.e. colour and growth rate). This can be quantified by measuring chlorophyll concentrations and/or brix levels within the leaves.

Further, as a result of increased root biomass and microbial activity, the ability for turf to recover from the stress of play and compaction is increased greatly. With increased root function, in addition to biomass, plants can access water locked up in soil colloids and stretch further into the soil in search of water.

Some superintendents have also noticed a decrease in disease pressure, although it is difficult to prove ECTs prevent disease. The mode of action is poorly understood; however, the bottom line is healthier plants have enhanced ability to withstand stress, whether pathogen or condition related. Finally, although ECTs are not a replacement for fungicides, they may help reduce the amount required for prevention as it creates healthy plants.

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