Golf Course Management

MAR 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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84 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.19 a lawn, root turnover rate was estimated to be about 42%. Total root system biomass of Ken - tucky bluegrass has been estimated at 9,800 to 14,360 pounds carbon/acre (11,000 to 16,100 kilograms/hectare). From cricket and croquet, to polo and rugby, the list of recreational surfaces that rely on turfgrass is lengthy. Research has long dem - onstrated the utility of turfgrass for reducing the hardness of sports fields, and turf provides low-cost cushioning when compared with poorly turfed or non-turfed soils. A second - ary benefit is the community pride that comes from high-quality sports fields and parks. Fi - nally, spectators come to watch athletic events played on turfgrass, and the entertainment and economic benefits from this recreation can be substantial. Urban areas are considered sterile and un - welcoming without parks and green turfed areas. e aesthetic benefits of turfgrass con - tribute to our quality of life, as research has documented. For example, an outdoor view from a hospital room contributed to a more rapid recovery for patients. Employees had a lower level of perceived job stress if their place of business had a turfed landscape surround - ing it. In a quality-of-life survey, 95% of all re- spondents most wanted green grass and trees around them. us, research demonstrates that, in addition to being attractive, turf offers therapeutic benefits. Overall, turf 's role in protecting our envi - ronment and enhancing our quality of life is supported by scientific studies. Turfgrasses help to remediate disturbed soils, and they stabilize soils against erosion. ey serve as firebreaks, help with flood control and provide a special - ized niche for microbial biomass. Basically, turfgrass enhances our lives in diverse and nu - merous ways while it contributes greatly to our general well-being. Source: Beard, J.B., and R.L. Green. 1994. e role of turfgrasses in environmental protection and their benefits to humans. Journal of Envi - ronmental Quality 23:452-460. Beth Guertal, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., and 2019 president of the Crop Science Society of America. She is a 20-year member of GCSAA. Beth Guertal, Ph.D. Twitter: @AUTurfFert Beard on benefits (verdure) e legendary Dr. Jim Beard died in 2018, and it is not an overstatement to say that he was a pioneer in turfgrass research. He authored hundreds of journal articles on all sorts of turf - grass issues, from flooding to thatch control to root growth. Another facet of his research was his ability to summarize the work of others, providing a concise picture of where turfgrass was, regarding a particular topic or theme. His 1994 paper, "e role of turfgrasses in envi - ronmental protection and their benefits to hu- mans," does exactly that, demonstrating all the ways that turfgrass helps society. Dr. Beard (and his coauthor, Dr. Robert L. Green) separated their review into three distinct areas turfgrass use: functional, rec - reational and aesthetic. ey then provided examples of the refereed research that clearly demonstrated the value of turfgrass for each of these areas. e functional area centered on the proven benefits of turfgrass as an inex - pensive and durable groundcover. Turfgrasses reduce soil erosion, dissipate heat and lessen noise and glare. Because of their high shoot density and root mass, perennial turf systems can have less surface-water runoff than many crops (0.6 mm/hectare/4 weeks for turf com - pared with 6.7 mm/hectare/4 weeks in an ag- ricultural system). e ability of turfgrasses to reduce heat around buildings has been proven: Maximum August canopy temperature in green, growing bermudagrass was 87.8 F (31 C), far cooler than the 158 F (70 C) mea- sured in a dry synthetic turf. Correctly de- signed golf courses also offer excellent habitat for wildlife. Of the total area on a golf course, almost twice (1.7 times) as much area is used for natural habitats such as roughs, woodlands and water, as compared with the areas used for greens, tees and fairways. e underground parts of turfgrass also contribute enormously to the functional ben - efits of turf. Under turfgrass systems, micro- bial populations are high, and they contribute carbon to the system. One study found mi - crobial biomass carbon at 1,070 pounds car- bon/acre (1,200 kilograms/hectare), compared with 624 pounds carbon/acre (700 kilograms/ hectare) for arable production land. Turfgrass makes large contributions to soil organic mat - ter and microbial biomass because it has a high turnover of roots and other plant tissues. Root turnover rate is usually defined as the number of times root biomass is replaced each year. In Employees had a lower level of perceived job stress if their place of business had a turfed landscape surrounding it.

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