More than 300 Muscovites are dying every day from the unprecedented summer heat , and Russia is bursting into flame . Meanwhile, here in the sweltering United States, the Wall Street Journal reports , the putting conditions are dreadful :
Huntingdon Valley Country Club outside Philadelphia, which dates from 1897, shut two of its three nines two weeks ago because of serious turf disease caused by the hot, wet weather….
Members at the Golf Club at Cuscowilla, east of Atlanta, received letters this week that the club’s highly regarded Ben Crenshaw-Bill Coore course would be closed for eight to 10 weeks so that the wilted greens can be completely replanted….
Even Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y., the site of five U.S. Opens, is having serious weather-related problems with its turf.
Who is to blame for the disaster? Short-sighted humans:
When hot weather hits bentgrass courses, course superintendents also raise mowing heights. That yields more leaf surface and improves evapotranspiration but can slow down putts by a foot or more on the Stimpmeter, which measures green speed. “Better slow grass than no grass” is a mantra among greenkeepers, but the pressure from golfers to keep the greens rolling fast is relentless.
If only people could be more responsible about their golf environment. Now the whole rest of the summer may be ruined.