Golf Course Management

MAY 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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70 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.14 in a site-review protocol. Simply, a site assess- ment involves examining and characterizing the status of each plant in the golfscape. The output is raw information, eventually used as a foundation for the analysis. Soon after the assessment is complete, site analysis is conducted involving the use of observations to diagnose the site, make value judgments about the importance of each and recom - mendations for action. Assessments can be conducted in various ways, but the basic plan is to walk the site with a clipboard and sketch the non-living (hard - scape) objects and existing plants. As each one is encountered, comments such as "root fare damage to trunk" or "yellow leaves" are written in on the sketch. This may be done by section of the golfscape or over an entire hole depending on the number of items to docu - ment. In some scenarios, it's easier to focus on specifc conditions when smaller areas are re - viewed, yet a more overlapping and cohesive view can be helpful when larger areas are as - sessed. In other cases, it's also useful to work in tandem with an arborist or horticulturist from a partnering business or university Extension; they may notice things that may have been overlooked otherwise. After the assessment is fnished, the analy - sis is next with special emphasis on consider- ation of the importance of each item noted in the assessment. For example, the plants in a shrub and perennial bed may be looking pale; the analysis is to evaluate the benefts that the bed brings to the course and, therefore, the amount of time and money that is appropri - ate to devote to its maintenance. High-value plantings should be given more attention such as evaluation of the sprinkler system, planting depth or soil testing. A simple irrigation audit can be very instructive and reveal information relating to the performance of the plants in - cluding underwatering, overwatering or un- even water distribution. In this situation, re- cent weather conditions may have encouraged the development of pathogens that require a treatment program or replacement with dis - ease-resistant cultivars. Less serious observa- tions may be slated for future remediation. RPRP specifics The strength of RPRP is found in its straightforward yet multi-faceted consider - ations. Each component can have a signifcant impact on the severity of the maladies that arise in the golfscape as well as the overall aes - thetic appeal of the course. A strong tempta- tion exists to weight one or more of the com- ponents as more important than the others. True RPRP consideration occurs when each receives equal consideration. The following are some key factors to con - sider when going through an RPRP process: • Sun/shade requirements: Misplaced pe - rennials, groundcovers and woody plants often produce weak or scorched growth in Top: Sun damage to perennials better suited to the shade. Bottom: Shrub roses offer season-long color, which is important for high-visibility locations. 068-073_May14_Fech.indd 70 4/17/14 9:24 AM

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