When Tim Cunningham and Clint Weeks sat down to plan their 2022 greens program, they knew something had to change. After three years at Lockwood Folly Country Club, they were still struggling with weak, unhealthy putting greens. Appearance and playability were faltering.
Their turnaround started with a soil test, which Curt Geron and Rodney Crouse helped them interpret. Test results revealed significant problems hindering the ultradwarf bermudagrass greens.
The soil had a high sand content, which caused a low cation exchange capacity and low levels of organic matter, both of which became evident through testing. These issues prevented the turf from taking up nutrients, so it was critical to increase nitrogen and minor nutrient inputs with the new program.
“The amino acid-based program is also an important part of our success. Regular applications of Foundation Forty, CSi L, and Amperage made a difference in color and just the overall strengthening of the turfgrass stand,” Tim said. “Our turf color is more natural and lasts longer as well. We’ve had a very busy tee time schedule, and these greens are handling the traffic stress much better than they did before.”
Tim and his team also dealt with an irrigation water problem. The bicarbonates in their irrigation water were contributing to the issue of unavailable nutrients in the soil. Armament K became integral to counteract the bicarbonates and provide better nutrient uptake. Tim makes a great point: “It is important to stick with the program, especially with our poor water situation. Consistently applying Armament and the Foliar-Pak amino acids has made a huge difference in our greens.”
Another unique challenge on the greens at Lockwood Folly is an impenetrable layer of residual topdressing sand buried from ten or twelve years ago. The layer is about three inches below the surface of the greens and prevents roots from growing through it. Without completely renovating the greens, Tim had to compensate for the layer with a powerful plant health program.
Soil test data shaped what became Lockwood Folly’s 2022 greens program. With weekly soil and foliar sprays, the Foliar-Pak program helped correct persistent soil and plant issues. Tim and his team completed the program along with solid tine aeration, DryJect, and a good fungicide program to provide comprehensive maintenance.
With the combination of making some crucial changes in cultural practices, dialing in the fertilizer needs with Soil Solver, and the unique technologies that Foliar-Pak offers, they noticed a big difference in plant health, playability, and appearance. Healthier greens and improved playability helped Tim and his team turn years of challenges into a success story for everyone at Lockwood Folly Country Club.