Dry September but Wet Golf Courses

Talking to turf managers at the moment it’s clear to see that despite having a dry summer they are having to manage some very wet courses.

I don’t think this has surprised many turf managers but its has caught a few members by surprise who were playing on very dry and firm surfaces one week only to arrive a week later to find soft surfaces, restrictions on buggies, trolleys and in some cases closed courses.

Maps courtesy of the MetOffice

Looking at the rainfall figures for the month (The above picture shows rainfall against average) we have the fairly typical mix of rainfall across the country with some areas receiving less than 75% of average and some receiving more than 200%.

Maps courtesy of the MetOffice

The average maps can distort the picture a little though. The above map shows a clearer picture of how little rain some areas of the country had. As usual the East receiving significantly less rainfall than the West.

The below charts show Septembers rainfall represented as a percentage of that years annual rain. The coloured charts show what periods of the month the rainfall accumulates.

The years are then organised in highest to lowest rainfall order.

Winchester – 6th wettest September since 1984
Doncaster – 7th wettest September since 1984
Manchester – 8th wettest September since 1984
Whitstable – 8th wettest September since 1984

What is obviously different about 2019 is the amount of rain falling at the end of the month.

What is also clear is the challenges now being faced. As we enter October on the back of two very tough summers with still 6-12 weeks of growing weather in front of you, many are facing significant challenges regaining full turf cover before we go into winter. Whilst rainfall was needed the amount we have received has not helped.

Thin turf cover, excessive rain, the traffic of general turf maintenance plus worm casts issues all adds up to what could be a tricky period for many.

Those courses that struggle to maintain turf density during these difficult summers may want to commit some time to thinking about the maintenance programs they have in place and looking for ways to Were doing some really nice trial work at the moment looking at how we can help turf managers maintain better quality turf at low moisture levels. I’ll keep you posted.

See all of Glenn’s Turf Blogs here.

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