Golf Course Management

APR 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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48 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.14 — Not rolled, mowed 0.156 — Rolled, 3x/week mowed 0.187 site immediately after seeding. Additionally, in a putting green establishment study performed at Michigan State University, plots rolled mul - tiple times per week flled in quicker and were ready for play sooner than putting green plots that were not rolled. 8. Broadleaf weed, moss, algae reduction No research plots have ever been designed to examine the impact of lightweight rolling on broadleaf weeds, moss or algae encroach - ment, yet related research has documented that lightweight rolling decreases each of them. In a study performed at Michigan State University in 1996, putting greens rolled three times per week had fewer broadleaf weeds and less moss than greens that were not rolled. Furthermore, in 2008, University of Arkansas master's de - gree student Jay Richards reported that light- weight rolling decreased algae encroachment. Exactly why regular lightweight rolling would decrease these pests is not known, but it is hy - pothesized that increased turfgrass density re- duces all of them. 7. Decreased localized dry spot A lightweight rolling study performed at Michigan State University from 1995 to 2000 revealed that greens rolled three times per week displayed signifcantly less localized dry spot than greens that were never rolled. Soil sam - ples from the study showed that rolled plots re- tained more moisture and had more root mass than root zones that were not rolled. Obvi - ously, increased soil moisture content and root mass could lead to less localized dry spot on the turfgrass putting surface. In the past several years it has become eas - ier for researchers and golf course superinten- dents alike to measure volumetric soil moisture content because time domain refectometry (TDR) technology has been vastly improved. TDR measurements taken for lightweight roll - ing studies performed at Michigan State and the University of Arkansas have consistently shown that lightweight rolling does increase soil volumetric moisture content. 6. Height of cut raised and green speed retained Figure 1 shows green speed measurements from the very frst mowing height/rolling study. Plots mowed at 0.187 inch were rolled three times per week and were compared to plots that were not rolled and were mowed at 0.156 inch. In the beginning of the study, plots maintained at the higher height of cut had slower green speeds compared to plots mowed at the lower height of cut. However, after a week and a half of rolling, plots maintained at the higher height of cut achieved green speeds as fast as (and in some cases faster than) plots mowed at the lower height. Interestingly, roll - ing resulted in enough residual green speed that the higher height of cut maintained the green speed of plots at the lower height of cut the day after rolling. Since that original study, several other studies have been performed that validate those fndings. Furthermore, Rutgers University has documented that rolling and increasing the height of cut decreases anthrac - nose while Michigan State University has ob- served decreases in brown patch. 5. Decreased cutworm activity — maybe! OK. This might be a stretch, but bear with me and, if nothing else, you'll learn I am an honest individual. At the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center at Michigan State, we usually do not get enough black cutworms to warrant an insecticide spray. However, over a period 10.5 10 9.5 9 8.5 8 7/18 7/25 8/1 8/8 8/15 8/22 8/29 Day after rolling Ball roll distance in (feet) 10.5 10 9.5 9 8.5 8 7/10 7/17 7/24 7/31 8/14 8/21 8/28 Day of rolling Ball roll distance in (feet) — Not rolled, mowed 0.156 — Rolled, 3x/week mowed 0.187 Mowing height and rolling vs. green speed Studies at Michigan State University and the University of Arkansas have shown that lightweight rolling decreases localized dry spot. Photos courtesy of T. Nikolai Figure 1. Green speed measurements (ball roll distance measured in feet) were taken for the frst mowing height/rolling study in 1996. Measurements were taken on the day of rolling (top) and the day after rolling (bottom). Greens were mowed at 0.156 inch and 0.187 inch. 044-055_April14_roll.indd 48 3/18/14 2:50 PM

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