Summer is prime golf season for many of us, with long days and warm temperatures providing plenty of opportunities to get out on the course. For superintendents, delivering the best playing conditions possible during this busy season involves a delicate balancing act between the demands of play and the impacts of harsh summer weather. Here are a few things every golfer should know about summer playing conditions:
Consistency can be hard to come by
While many golf facilities strive to deliver peak playing conditions during the summer, periods of high heat or humidity can disrupt those plans. During stretches of extremely hot weather, it is often necessary to adjust maintenance practices to give grass the best chance of remaining healthy. Raising the height of cut on putting greens or mowing them less frequently may temporarily slow down green speeds, but it can help prevent damage that the greens may not fully recover from for weeks.
Rain, rain, go away!
Unfortunately, strong storms are common throughout much of the U.S. during summer. A storm can bring a round of golf to an abrupt end and can also disrupt playing conditions for days afterward. Bunker washouts are among the most noticeable impacts in the aftermath of a storm and they can be time-consuming and expensive to repair. Wet weather can also limit golfer and maintenance traffic, which disrupts mowing operations and causes cart restrictions. Many golf facilities are renovating bunkers and installing drainage to minimize the impact of storms, but rainy weather will always require golfers to have some patience before things get back to normal.