What happens to courses under lockdown?
What happens to fairways, greens and tees during lockdown?
That’s the question a new research project aims to answer, with weekly results made available to greenkeepers and golf courses.
While some golf websites are predicting beautifully conditioned courses to return to, the reality may be somewhat different as the limitations of ‘essential’ maintenance work and the impact on turf are not fully known.
Managing turf under lockdown, a project sponsored by Syngenta, in association with ICL and STRI, will offer insights as well as techniques to manage growth more effectively.
The trial is taking place at Bingley, West Yorkshire, UK, where an area of fine turf grass will be maintained in the same way many courses under lockdown are being managed, including less frequent cutting and a higher cut height (5mm).
WATCH THE FIRST STRI VIDEO REPORT:
The results will be published each week and will include a test on Syngenta’s Primo Max II, a growth regulator that is designed to reduce growth and the frequency of cutting, whilst maintaining turf quality and playability.
Syngenta Technical Manager, Marcela Munoz (pictured below), who instigated the trial, commented:
“At a time when many courses have been forced into actions to reduce mowing frequency, turf managers need answers to what the effects will be on turf quality for the future.
“This trial recognises that most courses are in a holding position during the lockdown to maintain turf without long-term loss of quality. It will enable them to return to previous levels of playability as quickly as possible - without recourse to expensive and time consuming remedial actions.”
Weekly reports and videos from the Managing turf under lockdown initiative will be available on a dedicated webpage of the GreenCast website: www.greencast.co.uk and with further practical advice and commentary on the GreenCast Advisory blog and Twitter @syngentaturfuk