The golf course will officially open this Friday, April 2nd. We are very excited to open the golf course and show everyone some new changes. This past fall and winter we have been busy make a few player friendly changes. Some of you may have seen the changes on holes #3, #7, #8 and #13 last fall but most of you have not seen the changes on #2, #4 and #6.
The main objective of Tetherow ownership and management along with DMK design was to make changes that would ultimately improve the playability of the golf course while not losing the unique character and feel of Tetherow. We will go into depth about the changes to the golf course next week.
More importantly, the subject of green grass and quality playing conditions will be the focus of this posting. As the golf course opens, the weather will play a large role in the quality and appearance of the turfgrass. Soil temperature and ambient temperature measurements are both very important to the growth and overall health of the turfgrass but the soil temperature is most important. Air temperatures affect the soil temperature but the soil temperature affects turfgrass growth.
Optimum soil temperatures for both shoot and root growth are as follows:
Shoot growth is 60.8 - 75.2 degrees Fahrenheit
Root growth is 50 – 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit
So as the temperatures rise day by day, the turfgrass will respond accordingly. Once we have higher ambient temperatures for a prolonged period of time, the soil will continue to warm. Currently, the lower temperatures dominate the day therefore the soil temps are slower to raise.
While ambient temperatures influence soil temperatures there are other factors that directly influence soil temperatures. Soil moisture and type of soil are factors that need to be considered as well.
Soil moisture plays a role in the warming of soil. The wetter the soil, the cooler the temperatures because it takes more specific heat to warm water than it does the air space within the soil structure. A sandy soil has more temperature influence than clayey soils. Sandy soils warm and cool at a faster rate than clayey soils, due to generally higher aeration porosity and lower retained moisture. Similarly, compacted soils undergo slower warming and cooling than well-structured soils.
With that, you can see this information in real life on the golf course. Notice that the greens and tees are greener than the fairways and rough. The heavy topdressing has accelerated the warming of the soil simply because the sand is dark and absorbs more radiant heat than a lighter sand. So we have artificially or quickened the pace at which the soil warms during a time when it naturally would be at a lower temperature. Since the greens and tees are sand based they will warm quicker than the fairways and rough which are soil based.