Golf Course Management

FEB 2014

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

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114 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.14 By John Mascaro President of Turf-Tec International Presented in partnership with Jacobsen Finally, someone submitted a photo I had been waiting to see for several years — the blurred stripes across this bentgrass fairway are a result of changing mowing directions after several years of mowing in the same diagonal direction. After several months of mowing in the new direction, the former stripes are not visible from the tees, only from the rough as this photo shows. The superintendent decided to change the mowing direction on this parkland-style course, deciding the diagonal striping took away some of the character of the course. In addition, the greens department has been able to save 30 percent on mowing manpower by now mowing from tee to green, allowing them to utilize the saved time on more important tasks. The superintendent even stated that no member or golfer even noticed the change. In addition to the mowing direction change, verticutting and grooming the old diagonal lines have caused them to become less visible from the rough. Photo submitted by Kenneth Ingram, University of Maryland. The photo was taken at Chevy Chase (Md.) Club, where 33-year GCSAA member Dean M. Graves, CGCS, is golf course manager. If you would like to submit a photograph for John Mascaro's Photo Quiz, please send it to: John Mascaro, 1471 Capital Circle NW, Suite #13, Tallahassee, FL 32303, or e-mail to john@turf-tec.com. If your photograph is selected, you will receive full credit. All photos submitted will become property of GCM and GCSAA. This circular area of brown moving material is actually hundreds of earth- worms circling on this golf green after a heavy rain and thunderstorm. The question of why this happened is still up in the air; apparently, this was a very unusual phenomenon, according to both the golf course superintendent and an entomologist who studies this type of thing. You might initially believe this was some kind of earthworm mating frenzy. But since earthworms have both male and female organs and generally mate only when individual worms encounter each other (often just extending out of their burrows until they en- counter each other), we can rule that out. We can also probably rule out the possibility of alien worm circles. But photos don't lie, so what could this be? The most likely scenario is that these are non-native earthworms. Research- ers are seeing quite a few non-native earthworm populations growing in vari- ous areas because people are using them as bait when fshing and just toss them onto the ground if they don't use them. Since we do not fully understand the behavior of many of these non-natives, especially in new environments and different soil conditions, it would certainly be possible that one of these species may locate one another by following the slime trail of another worm as a mating ritual. After the picture was taken, the earthworms were blown off so the crew could mow the green. Photo submitted by Larry Wilk, superintendent at Kokomo (Ind.) Country Club and a 28-year GCSAA member. Partial explanation of this phenomenon provided by David J. Shetlar, Ph.D., Ohio State University. (photo quiz answers) (a ) PROBLEM (b ) PROBLEM 114-123_Feb14_Departments.indd 114 1/17/14 11:50 AM

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