Helminthosporium Pays Us A Visit Again

Leaf Spot by Eric von Hofen
Almost over night we see the results of Helminthosporium on our TifEagle greens. This is the first time in a year we have seen any signs from our little friend here in Miami. I wrote a similar post on this disease almost a year ago to date. Last year we had record cold temps that brought on the signs of the disease. This year we have had a month of well above temps with light rains that have kept the soil around 80 degrees. This was just enough to increase the pressure of the disease and for us to see the damage. I have started a program of applying fungicides on a 14 to 21 day rotation. I will use Fore, Insigna and Daconil for control and prevention of the leaf spot this winter. It has been 16 days since my last fungicide application so I’m not surprised to see the spots pop up. I spray my greens every friday with a light Harrells fertilizer package so adding fungicides will be easy to do. I will keep you updated this winter on the progress on the control of Helminthosporium. I see a connection between the amount of sun, rain fall and soil temps when the Helminthosporium shows up. Let me know what your seeing on your golf course.

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Turfunderground’s Top 5 Public Golf Courses in Palm Beach

Eric von Hofen and the Breakers Hotel
Heading to Palm Beach, Florida this winter for some sun, relaxation, and golf?   You better do your homework if you want to play some golf. There are over 290 golf courses in Palm Beach Country, but most of them are private and you can’t get through the gates. So if you are lucky enough to have a wealthy uncle or friend from college that lives in the one the gated golf course communities, you will be hard pressed to find a game.

Palm Beach county has a population of over 1,200,000 million people so the courses are packed in the season. Palm Beach island has a year-round population of 10,468, with an estimated seasonal population of 30,000. The winters are mild and produce night time lows in the 50’s and day time highs in the 70’s. This winter has been below the norm and like many areas of the country. It has been cold during the month of December and January should be better for sure.

You can experience some of the best public golf if you follow my list.

1. The Ocean Course at The Breakers Hotel. Course was redesigned by Brain Silva.
2. The Champion Course at PGA NATIONAL. Course designed by Jack Nicklaus and also home to the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic.
3. North Palm Beach Country Club. Course was redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in 2006.
4. The Rees Jones Course at The Breakers Hotel. Course was redesigned 2006.
5. The Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course. A gem by the sea for sure. Course was redesigned by Raymond Floyd in 2009 and was voted Best Par 3 in America by Golf Digest.

Have fun, bring your sunscreen and your wallet.

 

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First Day of Winter and Golf Courses are Off Color

Eric von Hofen and frost damage on bermudagrass
This year’s golf season in the Sunshine State kicks off to a cold reception on the first day of winter.  I wrote a post last week explaining just how cold it has been in Florida and it has not let up.  Normal temperatures during this time of the year are in the mid 70’s during the day and low 60’s at night.  But not this year. Over the last two weeks, golf course superintendents have arrived at work to find temperatures in the 30’s and frost in some areas. In the picture above, it shows that the roughs on golf courses in Miami are damaged from the frost. Normally we have two or three days of cold weather a year and the turf bounces back when it warms up. Golf courses up and down the east and west coasts of Florida have been hit very hard. Palm Beach County is home for many snow birds living in gated golf communities are realizing that for the second year in a row the turf behind their homes will be dormant. Those golf courses that chose to overseed the roughs will look good while others will look brown and in need of water. It just needs sun and a few 80 degree days and we will be back in business.
Eric von Hofen
This picture shows frost on a paspalum tee box in Miami. It is a shame that this has to happen during the high golf season when so many people come from around the world to enjoy the sun and emerald green fairways of Florida. This Holiday season, golfers will have little to show off at their home courses. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that January will bring some warmer days. We need to see some green fairways to see some green in the cash register.

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Helminthosporium on TifEagle Bermudagrass Greens

eric von hofen
Almost over night we see the results of Helminthosporium on our TifEagle greens. This is the first time this year we have seen any signs from our little friend. We have had two weeks of well below temps that have taken the soil below 50 degrees. This was just enough to increase the pressure of the disease and for us to see the damage. One good thing is that we have had full sun and no rain. This will help bring the soil temps back up above 58 degrees and start growing turf again. I plan on starting a program of applying fungicides on a 14 to 21 day rotation. I will use Heritage, Insigna and Daconil for control and prevention of the leaf spot this winter. It has been 32 days since my last fungicide application so I’m not surprised to see the spots pop up. I spray my greens every friday with a light fertilizer package so adding fungicides will be easy to do. I will keep you updated this winter on the progress on the control of helminthosporium.
Eric von Hofen

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Turfunderground’s tour of the Palm Springs

Eric von Hofen at LaQuinta Resort in Southern California
Heading to the the Palm Springs area this winter for some sun, relaxation, golf and great food?   You can experience some of the best in the desert if you follow my list.  Palm Springs has a population of over 47,000 people and it is the first city you hit when you enter the desert from Los Angeles on I-10.  Los Angeles is 111 miles away from Palm Springs.  Temperatures range as high as 105 degrees in the summer months. The winters are mild and produce night time lows in the 40’s and day time highs in the 70’s.  The Palm Springs area has over 125 private and public golf courses and even more places to eat.  After living in this area and enjoying the many restaurants it has to offer, I have made it easy for you by coming up with my “top five places to eat” list.
TurfUnderground’s Top Five List for the Palm Springs area:
1. La Quinta Cliff House
2. Adobe Grill at the 1926 La Quinta Club and Resort
3.LG’s Steak House
4.Devane’s Old Town
5.Pacifica Seafood Restaurant

Enjoy and let me know if you check them out. Come back soon and see Turfunderground’s Top Five list of Public Golf Courses in this area.
Eric von hofen and Palm Spring windmills

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What’s wrong with this picture?

Is your range tee or practice area large enough to handle the wear and tear from regular use? Do you have to hit from a synthetic turf when you warm up or practice? These are two tough questions that many golfers and courses have to ask themselves everyday. Now what product do you select? This picture shows that even synthetic turf has a life span. The current turf was installed four years ago and it has lost cushion. Golfers are having problems teeing up a ball and hitting irons off of this surface. I feel that the product has lost it’s pile height/cushion because of the sun, foot traffic and heavy use for the last four years. The synthetic turf was installed on a sand based product and it drains well. So water was not an issue.

I have placed a new synthetic turf test square right on top of the current product so golfers can see the difference and test it out. This process brings back a bunch of bad memories for golfers that remember the first product that came out 10 years ago. That product was loaded with rubber and sand. The idea of that was to help with the shock of the club hitting the ground and make it feel more like hitting out of real turf. This idea might have lasted for the first few months after it was installed then it quickly turned to rock. Golfers hated it and made many courses remove the product. Today we are faced with selecting a replacement synthetic turf. There are not many companies that make the product but there are a bunch of companies will install it for you. Nylon over polypropylene is what we are faced with. Check back in a month and I will tell you which one is the winner. Which one do you think will win?

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