The past summer’s weather conditions in the U.K. has seen almost uninterrupted grass growth – which has created a dense impenetrable rough on many courses. The effects of thick long rough, often overgrown with ryegrass, has led to some particularly vociferous criticism and complaints from golfers.
However, the prospect of good autumn growth offers the positive chance to thin out dense rough overgrown with coarse grasses using Rescue, advised Daniel Lightfoot of Syngenta. It will leave the desirable fine fescue grasses favoured by players, and enhance the aesthetic appearance of the golf course, he suggests.
Results of Syngenta Player Survey research revealed that thick rough leads to the greatest dissatisfaction among golfers, especially for higher handicap golfers where lost balls and long playing rounds can discourage participation.
“The advantage of autumn Rescue herbicide treatments on actively growing coarse grasses is that the effects appear as if the grasses are beginning to dieback naturally, with no adverse comments from golfers,” added Daniel. “It leaves space for wispy fine fescue grasses and wildflowers to grow back in the spring.
“The result is rough where players can quickly find golf balls from wayward shots, with less frustration and enabling faster rounds, along with a more visually attractive course.”
“Players on courses that have suffered badly this season will particularly welcome the Rescue resolution.”
Daniel pointed out that thinner fescue rough enables greenkeepers to allow grasses to grow up and redefine challenging course design, without adversely penalising golfers or slowing up the speed of play.
“That also has a significant benefit of reducing the time and high cost of repeatedly mowing and managing the rough through the season, as well as an ecological benefit from allowing natural flora and fauna to recover.”
Rescue is now the only selective herbicide available for greenkeepers to use on amenity rough for the removal of coarse grasses.
Leading golf professional and pioneer of the love.golf programme, Alastair Spink, added the playing quality of the course is undoubtedly a key factor for most golfers.
He highlighted that today’s golfers are demanding faster rounds and are increasingly frustrated by long rough. “Most players are intimidated by the dense rough and the fear of straying off the fairway; even low handicap golfers are forced to play more conservatively,” he said.
“It is an exciting proposition if we can ultimately create a challenging course design more attractive to all levels of player, and an enjoyable environment in which to play. love.golf is an exciting new programme purpose-designed to introduce and encourage more women to play golf.
Greenkeepers’ actions to create more desirable playing conditions for all standards of golfers is an integral part to the overarching Syngenta campaign of ‘Unlocking Golf’s True Potential’. The initiative is seeking to help develop golf course businesses that are economically and environmentally sustainable, for the long-term future of the game and all involved in the industry.
Syngenta is one of the world’s leading companies with more than 28,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life.
For turf specific information go to www.greencast.co.uk
Syngenta turf products are distributed in the UK and Ireland by ICL. www.icl-sf.co.uk