Mar 24

Getting Ahead of Wear & Tear This Season

By Pat Jones | With rounds and cart traffic looking to be well above average again this year, what can you do to strengthen your turf’s response to the stress that comes with success?

If the silver lining of the pandemic was increased play and giddy growth at the cash register, the tiny black cloud that came along with it was heavier cart traffic and just plain old wear and tear on the turf.

Did you see that stuff or other symptoms of success at your place? Lots of folks did according to a little research I put out on social media. The biggest impacts supers reported were:

Photo Credit: USGA
  • Tee boxes overwhelmed with divots and unable to heal quickly enough to keep pace.
  • Way more fairway cart traffic damage, particularly around cart path entrances and exits.
  • Increasingly low-cut collars, susceptible to foot and pull-cart traffic.
  • Ball-marks and surface scuffing on greens.

So as the 2021 season gears up, what are supers doing to mitigate or, better yet, prevent the problems? Obviously, traffic management practices, compaction relief and good old golfer education are needed. But what about agronomic solutions to make turf more resilient? What about focusing on stronger, healthier turf where you need it the most?

The Aquatrols agronomy team has created a program to make your turf more resilient when and where it needs it most. Here’s a quick summary of how it can help your turf and the ways other superintendents have used these products:

Get better delivery of your liquid nutrition products (and everything else in the tank) by adding Dispatch Sprayable®. You can overcome soil-water repellency while getting nutrients into the soil and strengthening your turf’s ability to respond and rebound from stress.

“Aquatrols Dispatch has my fairways looking the best they have ever looked! We’ve been battling to get them to take water and soften up for years with no fairway airifier and I think we are now on the right track!”

Jordon Harrington, Koasati Pines Golf Club

When play is at an all-time high, quick recovery of stressed areas is key. Aqueduct Flex®’s easy to apply, fast-acting granular formulation makes it a must for tee boxes, collars and other areas – big or small – that need some help.

“I couldn’t believe the way our course’s walkoff area came back within a week after applying Aqueduct Flex.”

Scott Aitchison, Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Firmness is your friend when it comes to reducing ball marks and other damage on putting surfaces. Zipline® delivers stress tolerance and plant health benefits on greens and collars as well as tees and fairways.

“Zipline gave us firmness. Fewer ball marks, less stress, less disease pressure.”

Tim Christians, Makray Memorial Golf Course

Help your turf bounce back from stress by giving it a strong foundation. TurfRx Si® helps make sure your calcium works for you by building a strong cell wall structure, while TurfRx Supreme® enhances your turf’s nitrogen metabolism – both leading to improved overall turf quality and increased resiliency.

Healthy roots play a factor in giving your turf the strength it needs to help fight off abiotic stresses. TurfRx Fairway+® not only helps to increase root development but also helps to enhance the recovery of stressed areas.

Check out the full recommended program for wear and tear and use our calculator to determine your turf’s stress needs here.

One other interesting silver lining of the pandemic was the agronomy team at Aquatrols and Redox had even more time to combine their knowledge and really examine how these products all work in conjunction with each other. As a result, our people in the field are learning more every day about how water management, plant health and nutrition all work together to produce healthier turf.

So, as another summer of stress approaches, there’s never been a better time to reach out to the Aquatrols team or your local rep to learn more and try something new. Just because traffic is a necessary evil, it doesn’t mean you have to live with the negative impacts of it.  


About The Author

Pat Jones has been writing about the golf course business for 33 years. He also teaches and speaks regularly on the state of the industry and trends in the market. Jones is no stranger to working with the Aquatrols brand having served as an advisory member of the company’s board of directors from 2002-2010. Today, his firm Flagstick LLC provides content, research and strategy to companies, distributors and associations in the market.