Golf Course Management

OCT 2013

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

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Page 47 of 129

Can you say "In-your-face color?" Photos by John Fech Yet far too often, fall becomes the forgotten season, with the opportunities for appeal lost in the midst of everything else on the calendar. 44 GCM October 2013 A common goal in the world of landscaping golf courses — or any landscaping, for that matter — is the creation of fourseason color. Just about any competent golf course architect, landscape architect or horticulturist will strongly emphasize the importance of the other design considerations such as drainage, right plant/right place, gradation, scale, texture, mass/void, erosion prevention, soil amendments/adjustments, sun and shade exposure, slope, winter hardiness, disease resistance, planting diversity, eventual size, and so on. But without a doubt, the infuence of color on the golfer is most impactful. Golfscape appeal in various seasons — spring blooms of various colors, summer green textures, winter bark/fruit/habitat (great when cast against the snow) — offer tremendous value. Yet far too often, fall becomes the forgotten season, with the opportunities for appeal lost in the midst of everything else on the calendar. Sure, lots of great plants bloom in the spring, but there are so many that bloom or have other attractive features in the fall, it just makes good sense to highlight them. Of all the seasons, fall is usually the most stable and supportive from the standpoint of a conducive growing environment for plant material. Actually, in many ways, you could — and even should — think of fall as the start of the growing season, not the last bit of green before the snow fies. Re-evaluate, then replant Due to summer heat, stress and drought, replanting or regrassing the turfgrass portions of the golf course has become a given for many courses. But just as it is for turf, summer is stressful on trees, shrubs, perennials and groundcovers as well. The wise course of action is to determine the reasons for poor landscape health and/or function and take steps to correct them. Once those have been addressed, new plants can be installed to meet the landscaping needs of the golf course. Accomplishing this is a multistep process, with plant selection as the last of those steps. First, it's important to revisit the goals for the areas affected. Even though this may seem to be a step backward, writing descriptions of the purpose for the plant materials utilized is a good investment of a superintendent's time. With these descriptions in place and agreed upon, future modifcations can be made easily. Descriptions — or "program statements" — can be quite simple terms or phrases for defning the intent of the site. For example, a statement for a passageway from a turnaround to the next tee might read, "Establish a durable surface with views of desirable, multiseason appeal plant materials that fa-

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