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Battling Armyworms and Winning!

Do you ever notice brown, dry areas in the rough during your game of golf and wonder what is happening? Well, if it is late July through September, the discoloration and tuff damage is likely caused by fall armyworms! Fall armyworms are a prolific pest of turf grass and agricultural crops. The armyworm moths lay eggs on any off-ground structure, particularly trees. Fall armyworms quickly destroy turf as the larvae hatch, descend trees, and devour leaf tissue.

This annual infestation is one golf course agronomists worry about most.
Agronomist John Daniels explains to USGA “infestations have the capability to take out turf overnight”. Daniels shares a single female moth could deposit more than 1,000 larvae eggs, which can hatch in just a few days. To preserve the composition and life of your course, detecting and treating armyworms in the early stages is crucial! CBS News reporting from September 3rd, 2021, states the current weather conditions pose the “worst break of armyworms in decades”. The recent dry climate, coupled with storms, have the typically Southeast based insects migrating as far north as New York and Boston, ravaging on the available green.

Treatment for armyworms can be chemical or holistic.
Professor Adam Dale Ph. D at University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences proposes to “plant more wildflowers as it will recruit wasps such as the potter wasp, which love armyworms and will remove them by the armfuls”. While this unconventional technique is interesting, The Golf Club of Georgia takes a more direct and successful approach. Our procedures include monitoring turf areas mainly around wood lines where the army worms are likely to fall out the trees. When army worms are found we use a golf course approved insecticide, Talstar, to eradicate the infestation. This course of action has worked well for our course consistently over the years. Our only worries at this point in the season is if the army worms are not taken care of, the turf will not have adequate time for recovery before turning dormant for the winter season.

Aerating For You!

The process of aerating the putting greens is an essential practice for maintaining healthy greens and providing golfers the smoothest possible playing surface. Aerification does require the course to close for the recovery process, however; our intentions are solely focused on greatly benefiting your game in the long term!The process of aerating the putting greens is an essential practice for maintaining healthy greens and providing golfers the smoothest possible playing surface. Aerification does require the course to close for the recovery process, however; our intentions are solely focused on greatly benefiting your game in the long term!


Aerification is a common and crucial practice for all golf courses. While no one enjoys their favorite course being closed, be assured we are taking all the right steps to accomplish and speed up this process. The Golf Club of Georgia sends out notices of upcoming aerification within our weekly email and in the monthly newsletter. We plan to aerate the greens during the weekdays, so the course is available for weekend games.

Instead of just viewing aerification as a course closure, every golfer should have a general understanding of the process. We begin by creating a small hole in the green. We use hollow tines which extracts a plug and removes the thatch. This provides benefits such as increased water penetration and percolation, gas exchange, and allowing for proper nutrient movement and retention in the greens. The tine size and spacing can differ. The more holes and larger the size, the more drainage, gas exchange, and nutrient exchange is available in the green. After the tines are punched, our team removes the left-over soil and plugs before heavily watering the soil to prepare the open holes to receive coarse sand. Finally, a hefty layer of sand is spread over the green and dragged into the holes which provides a channel for water and air movement. The dragging and redistribution of the sand also smooths the green to reestablish a true putting surface.

The timing of aerification is especially important. The prime time for aerification is when the course is at its peak of health and actively growing. We understand this is not always ideally corresponding with the golf schedule. However, aerating at these times promotes the best chances for a quick recovery process and minimizes risks of green damage. We only aerate one course at a time and allow ample time for it to fully heal before beginning the process on the other course. Here at The Golf Club of Georgia, we focus on golf first. We want to provide you the most optimal playing surfaces at a unique and elite club.

 
Club Admin
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Date: 9/29/21