Winter injuries on golf courses
Turf grass winter survival was highlighted at a seminar in Norway on 11-12 November. The audience was a good mix of golf course managers, turf grass researchers and suppliers, and many expressed after the meeting that they had learned a lot and found new inspiration for further work on this economically very important issue.
Ice encasement, which is the most devastating stress factor on Nordic golf courses, was in the focus of interest during the seminar. Results from the newly finished research project ‘Turf grass survival in a changing winter climate’ gave the audience new knowledge about how the most widely used grass species perform under different winter conditions.
The outcome from the research project ranged from practical tests of different winter protection covers on greens to detailed information about sugar content in the grass crowns throughout the winter.
In addition to results from Nordic research, there were speakers from USA and Canada who talked about grass plants’ winter stress physiology and experiences with winter protection of golf greens.
Researchers working with forage grasses were also present, and professor emeritus Bjarni Gudleifsson from Iceland, who has worked with ice encasement for many years, explained how the turf is killed by toxic metabolites that are produced both the grass plants and by soil microbes under anerobic condtions. These toxic chemicals can also inhibit the germination of grass seed in the spring.
The seminar was set up by Bioforsk Turfgrass Research Group with economic support from the Research Council of Norway. The four year research project had been funded by the Research Council and by the Nordic golf federations through the Scandinavian Turfgrass and Environment Research foundation (STERF).
The presentations from the seminar together with a book of abstracts can be found below.