Golf Course Management

JUL 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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70 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.19 Better-than-acceptable visual quality (>6) was observed for 12 weeks of the study pe- riod when no traffic was applied; however, buffalograss receiving two and four passes of traffic per week showed acceptable quality for around eight to 10 weeks. When any traffic is applied to a turf area, discoloration can occur from wear and abra- sive forces on the leaf blades, ultimately affect- ing turfgrass quality (Figure 4). When we applied zero to four passes of traffic per week, we saw the buffalograss sus- tain eight to 14 weeks of acceptable (>6 rating) green color. What does this all mean? Although buffalograss may not make sense for every situation, many low-input turfgrass management systems could ben- efit greatly from using buffalograss. More research is needed to assess the viability of newer buffalograss cultivars, but we believe Effects of nitrogen rate and traffic rate on percent green cover and visual turf quality Green turfgrass cover (%) † Visual turf quality ‡ Weeks after initiation Weeks after initiation 0 4 8 12 14 0 4 8 12 14 Nitrogen rate (pounds/1,000 square feet/year) § 0 79.5 a // 67.6 b 67.8 c 45.2 d 30.1 d 5.5 5.9 c 5.8 c 5.0 d 4.3 d 1 79.0 a 69.1 b 70.3 b 54.2 c 37.5 c 5.5 6.1 bc 6.2 b 5.5 c 5.0 c 2 77.4 ab 75.8 a 74.1 a 61.0 b 41.2 b 5.6 6.3 ab 6.4 a 6.0 b 5.4 b 3 76.1 b 75.5 a 74.2 a 66.0 a 47.5 a 5.6 6.4 a 6.5 a 6.3 a 5.8 a Traffic (passes/week) # 0 79.2 79.8 a 74.8 a 66.5 a 52.2 a 5.6 6.8 a 7.1 a 6.9a 6.4 a 2 77.6 78.2 a 74.0 a 62.8 b 45.7 b 5.5 6.4 b 6.7 b 6.2 b 5.8 b 4 78.8 74.3 b 72.7 a 58.4 c 39.5 c 5.7 6.4 b 6.3 c 5.8 c 5.3 c 8 77.3 68.7 c 71.5 b 51.9 d 32.7 d 5.5 5.8 c 5.9 d 5.1 d 4.7 d 16 77.2 58.7 d 71.9 c 43.5 e 25.2 e 5.7 5.4 d 5.3 e 4.6 e 3.5 e † Percent green turfgrass cover was measured with digital images using a lighted camera box. ‡ Visual turf quality was rated on a 1-to-9 scale (1 = poorest quality, 6 = minimally acceptable quality and 9 = highest quality) according to optimum color, texture, density and uniformity. § Nitrogen (urea) treatments were applied in two half-rate applications, once at trial initiation (zero weeks) and once at eight weeks after initiation, and were watered-in immediately after application with 0.25 inch (0.635 centimeters) of water. // Within nitrogen rate and within traffic rate, means in a column that are followed by the same letter are not significantly different from one another. In the column with no letters, there are no significant differences. # Traffic treatments were applied twice per week with a golf cart traffic simulator at zero, one, two, four or eight passes per day to achieve the full weekly rates of zero, one, two, four or eight and 16 passes. Traffic treatments were conducted for all 14 weeks. Data are shown only for zero, four, eight, 12 and 14 weeks after initiation. Table 1. Effects of nitrogen rate and traffic rate on percent green cover and visual turf quality of Cody buffalograss from 0 to 14 weeks after initiation in Manhattan, Kan., pooled over three experimental runs in 2014 and 2015. Figure 3. Light box images taken 10 weeks after study initiation compared with differing traffic levels and nitrogen ap- plication rates. 0 Passes/ week 4 Passes/ week 16 Passes/ week 0 lb N/1000 ft 2 1 lb N/1000 ft 2 2 lb N/1000 ft 2 3 lb N/1000 ft 2

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