Oklahoma Golf Courses Not Up To Par After Extreme Summer Heat

Tuesday, August 24th 2010, 4:28 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

OWASSO, OKLAHOMA -- Many Oklahoma golf courses aren't up to par after taking a beating from the summer heat.

The combination of too much moisture in the soil and too many hot, hot days is turning greens brown. And Tuesday's nice break from the summer heat is too little, too late.

At Bailey Ranch in Owasso, it's a nice, comfortable day for a round of golf. But the break in the August heat, didn't come soon enough.

"I think everyone, turf managers and golf pros are waiting for this summer to end and we can all move on," said Chris Cook, Course Superintendent.

While most greens on the course made it through the extended hot spell in good shape and Bailey Ranch remains open, the heat wave took a toll on several greens.

"Coming out of the gate this spring with winter kill issues, and then trying to get back on our feet from that and dealing with this intense prolonged heat of the summer has been a huge challenge for us and our staff," Cook said.

Course Superintendent Chris Cook says the same hot weather day after day and too much soil moisture wasn't a good combination.

"Sand greens can mimic air temperature pretty closely but when you have a lot of water it gets really hot and stays hot all through the night and into the next day, so there's never any relief for that plant," Cook said.

Many courses in the Tulsa area are experiencing the same damage, including Olde Page Belcher, which closed last week.

"The high humidity, the high temperatures and the rain in the middle of July basically caused the grass to boil," said Tom Wolff, General Manager.

Tom Wolff says it was almost like the greens had a fever that couldn't be broken. At Olde Page Belcher and Woodbine at Mohawk, they're replacing the bent grass greens with dwarf Bermuda to try to prevent the damage from happening again.

"It's going to have no impact on the general fund whatsoever or other city services," Wolff said.

While work is underway at Belcher and Bailey Ranch, course managers and superintendents agree, they don't want to experience another year like 2010 again.

Olde Page Belcher is closed while the greens are replaced. It should reopen in four to six weeks.

Bailey Ranch remains open for business. Greens fees have been discounted and in September work will begin to replace the destroyed greens, and re-seed damaged ones.