Golf Course Management

APR 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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82 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.19 effective fungicides focused only in areas with disease history to effectively suppress spring dead spot while reducing inputs. Aerial mapping Methods were developed to document spring dead spot symptoms on bermudagrass in the spring of the year with unmanned aer - ial vehicles, global positioning systems (GPS), digital imagery and global information system software. Images were stitched together creat - ing spatially accurate disease incidence maps to document the precise location of spring dead spot symptoms in the field. Advance - ments in unmanned aerial vehicle aviation, GPS accuracy and global information system software make these maps a feasible option for golf course superintendents to evaluate their golf course rapidly at a given time. When the maps were created, patches of spring dead spot were analyzed for a digital signature compared with healthy turfgrass. Spring dead spot patches were also assigned GPS coordinates to assure accurate recogni - tion of spring dead spot patches from overhead maps. Maps were digitally and manually ana - lyzed using global information system soft- ware and ground-truthed digital signatures to assess spring dead spot incidence (number of patches) and area impacted by disease (% spring dead spot). is information gave us the ability to quantify spring dead spot inci - dence and track it between years. Materials and methods Research was conducted to evaluate the plausibility of site-specific management of spring dead spot from 2016 to 2018 in Rich - mond, Va., at the Country Club of Virginia's Tuckahoe Creek Golf Course. e Tuckahoe Creek Golf Course maintains Vamont bermu - dagrass tees, fairways, roughs and approaches with a known history of spring dead spot. Multiple applications of tebuconazole were made to the bermudagrass in years before our study, but spring dead spot was still a common occurrence. Aerial mapping took place in the spring of 2016, 2017 and 2018 to evaluate spring dead spot incidence and the area impacted by spring dead spot. Research plots were established across five separate Vamont fairways (loca - tions), maintained at 0.5-inch height of cut to compare the efficacy of site-specific fungicide applications vs. blanket fungicide applications for spring dead spot suppression. Blanket fun - gicide applications included fungicide applica- David McCall, Ph.D., records spectral and global positioning system data of spring dead spot symptoms on a Vamont bermudagrass fairway at The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond. Photos by Jordan Booth

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