A majority of the color differences are caused by the spring seeding habits of an “uninvited turf species” called Poa annua, commonly referred to as "annual bluegrass". Poa, (pronounced: Po-uh) is
widely adapted to putting greens in areas where cool-season grasses are maintained. It is a prolific invader of the much preferred and coveted pure creeping bentgrass putting green. Under optimum conditions, Poa annua provides a level of putting green quality that is second to none.
Unfortunately, several maintenance challenges are prevalent with Poa annua. Winter injury, susceptibility to diseases, and poor performance under hot, humid conditions increase the challenge of maintaining greens with Poa throughout the year. Spring seed-head production of Poa annua is another attribute that decreases Poa‘s stock value during May and June. At Cantigny, we utilize growth regulators on greens to help manage green-speed, and reduce the amount of seed heads on our Poa. In most cases we will prevent 60-80% of the would-be seed-heads on our greens, however there are thousands of different “biotypes” that all respond differently to growth regulators. There are also several different “microclimates” within the golf course that cause alternative effects from regulators. In some cases where a green is positioned in a protected cove that is insulated from cold, this green may begin the process of sending up seed-heads two weeks before the green on the next hole that is wide open and exposed to the elements.
For this reason you may see a little bit of variation in the seed-head control from green to green. Fortunately for us, the Poa continues to grow, and we mow off the seed-heads as they emerge. We also incorporate rolling to help smooth out any inconsistencies on the green surface. Over time, the Poa annua and the Creeping Bentgrass will blend together in appearance, but rest assured, even though the greens look a little funny at times, we‘ll be providing you with a fantastic putting surface!
Submitted by: Scott Witte, Golf Course Superintendent
Ryder Cup volunteers will be asked to commit to four 4-hour shifts during the week of the practice rounds and matches, must be physically fit with good eyesight (able to follow a ball in the air), and should have good knowledge of the game and rules. Volunteers will pay a $235 fee which will include the following:
• Uniform shirt, windshirt, hat and slacks
• Complimentary access to all six days of the event (tickets are not transferrable)
• Meal and bottled water vouchers during work shifts
• Complimentary access to parking and shuttle services to and from the golf course
If you would like to participate in the program, please contact Patrick Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630/260-8272.
Participation will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so please respond quickly if you‘d like to ensure availability.