Golf Course Management

AUG 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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80 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.14 The Poa predicament An experiment with a new herbicide at Pennsylvania's Centre Hills Country Club proves that "easy does it" is an effective approach. It is inevitable. In this part of the country, no matter what you do as a golf course superin- tendent or as a course manager, and no matter how hard your grounds crew works to avoid it, ultimately, you're going to face Poa annua encroachment. Our grounds team at Centre Hills Country Club in State College, Pa., knew that Poa annua would sneak into the picture in the years following a fairway conversion from perennial ryegrass to creeping bentgrass. Centre Hills, a 400-member private club, hosted approximately 17,000 rounds of golf in 2013. The property covers 230 acres and encompasses 18- and nine-hole courses as well as an 8-acre practice facility, swimming pool and tennis courts. The original nine holes designed by A.H. Finley were built in 1921. To complete an 18-hole loop, a second nine designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. was built in 1967. In 1993, Centre Hills added a nine-hole course designed by Edmund B. Ault. In 2000, Centre Hills converted the fairways on the 18-hole course to bentgrass. Over the following years, the Poa annua population reached a high of 20 to 25 percent in cleanup passes around fairways, and as much as 75 percent in a greens-height nursery plot. Although irrigation controls were upgraded in 2013, giving us precise control over run times, our team is still work - Chip Fogleman AT THE TURN (renovation) Centre Hills CC in State College, Pa., took a chance with a new product to control the Poa annua in its creeping bentgrass fairways. Photos courtesy of Chip Fogleman Our goal is to achieve a consistent creeping bentgrass/ Poa annua ratio across all 27 holes.

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