The 2023 spring season was extremely wet and stayed that way into early summer lasting until the end of June. In the past 13 years at Pravets Golf Club, we have not experienced such a prolonged period of rain and cold weather during this period.
The continuous rainfall affected our ability to carry out our normal spring maintenance such as weed spraying, topdressing, overseeding, hollow coring and our other usual agronomy practices. This early spring maintenance of the course is critical to prepare the golf course for the summer months as well as the early autumn tasks for the winter months and the general overall turf health.
The wet conditions of the last 3 months caused shallow roots in the turf and the inability of the grass to defend itself against heat stress and disease. Combined with the poor rootzone depth of the fairways and a subsurface of mainly clay, the situation escalated after a few days of high temperatures.
The fairways and maintained rough due to their construction, have high enough moisture levels to survive in the heat and for this reason they will usually always appear to be wet in the mornings.
Our aim is to find a happy medium to give them what they need without sacrificing your game of golf and ball roll. Unfortunately, we cannot dry the course out further as their construction does not allow for that and will ultimately result in turf loss.
Greens and tees are in good condition and holding up to the heat quite well. They are watered once weekly to keep them firm and true throughout the golf season.
The deep rough is an ongoing issue at this golf course as it has not been seeded with fine grasses and has been left in a natural state, so the weeds and clover proliferate in these tropical conditions. The GCM department is working on controlling the rough with constant cutting, some late weed-spraying, and thinning out the rough areas, bearing in mind that European golf has been hard hit by EU regulations who have banned many of the chemicals used and what you see now in disease, weeds and environmental conditions will become common in a short time.
Any help from our members and golfers to repair ball marks on the greens, fix divots on the fairways and rake footprints in the bunkers will allow our greenkeeping department more opportunity to focus on the above issues.
Enjoy the game!