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 49 of 129

It can be fatally tempting to overlook or ignore the soil requirements of a specifc species in order to obtain the overwhelming features of its fall color, texture and fruit. cilitates golfer and cart traffc." Statements like this one provide a good foundation for short- and long-term plantings. Inventory and analysis come next in the process. Typically, inventory and analysis are different procedures where the inventory is a simple documentation of the current conditions and the analysis is a set of value judgments pertaining to the worth and need for action on behalf of each landscape element. In the case of enhancements for fall, thorough notes that describe each plant and the potential for fall appeal should be made. Architectural renderings can be daunting, especially if signifcant changes have been made to the golfscape over the years. I encourage superintendents to simplify and not worry about replicating them in terms of precise measurements. While few of us can draw fnished architectural renderings, everyone can draw circles and ovals to cre- The wine-red color of oakleaf hydrangea leaves in fall is hard to beat. 46 GCM October 2013 ate simple bubble diagrams to identify possible shapes of hardscape and landscape, and potential masses of plant materials. Again, the plant specifcations come last in the process. There is much value in identifying where the turf, groundcover, trees and shrubs will be as a middle step in choosing replacement plants. Existing vegetation is a consideration in any replacement plant decision. Where sketches or bubble diagrams indicate changes, this becomes a good time to check the irrigation system for leaks, coverage, distribution uniformity and overall effciency. Chances are good that changes from turf to groundcovers or vice-versa have created the need for a retroft in terms of spray heads, run times and updated equipment. Superintendents can then calculate run times based on the combined needs of the existing vegetation and the new fall features. A golfscape or any set of plants is never a fnished project. Once the plantings are installed and a growing season or two have passed, it's important to take the time necessary to further determine the success of the renovation and re-evaluate, taking into consideration all of the parts of the process. Each phase of the enhancement effort can contribute to or detract from the overall success. Highlight fall plants Once program statements have been developed, site inventory and analysis performed, specifc site conditions have been taken into consideration, irrigation adjustments made, traffc fow evaluated and existing vegetation evaluated … fnally, it becomes time to choose plants with fall appeal. As the many options are considered, the practice of "right plant, right place" must be a guiding principle. For example, it can be fatally tempting to overlook or ignore the soil requirements of a specifc species in order to obtain the overwhelming features of its fall color, texture and fruit. When considering the infusion or inclusion of plants with fall appeal, it's helpful to keep notes relating to the reasons for specifc choices. Keeping such information can be helpful when it comes time to explain their purpose to stakeholders such as owners, greens committee members and other infuential golfers at the facility. Some fall plants tend to look a little on the ordinary side in spring and summer, creating ques-

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