Eric Leonard, superintendent at the Cherokee Country Club in Madison, Wis., recognizes the importance of a well-maintained golf course. Not only is it essential to the more than 200 members who play there but it’s also the home course to 12-time, PGA Tour winner Steve Stricker.
“I hear the complaints from members when there are weeds on the course,” Leonard says. “Even when 98 percent of your facility is clean, customers will notice that 2 percent. I want to treat the weeds before they’re ever seen.”
Leonard first applied a mixture of Dimension® 2EW and Defendor® specialty herbicides May 8 to 6 acres of turf around the club, including the driving range, the clubhouse lawn and a private yard. The applications were made several weeks before dandelion bloom.
To help combat dandelion, clover and crabgrass — the club’s biggest offenders — 1 quart of Dimension 2EW was tank-mixed with 0.25 pint of Defendor and applied per acre.
“We applied the mixture to the driving range first. It’s a wide open area, and people have to pass it to get to the course. It’s really their first impression of the club,” Leonard explains.
He also applied the product combination to 2 acres along the main entrance and to property near Stricker’s home. Soil temperatures ranged from high 50s to low 60s. The air temperature was around 65 F. Leonard assessed the treated turf several times after the initial application and was surprised by what he saw — or, rather didn’t see.
“The driving range was an eye-opener for me,” he says. “We’ve always battled weeds at that site. This was the first time in my nine years here that we didn’t have to.”
In the past, Leonard and his team relied solely on postemergence herbicides. They would spot-spray year-round whenever the weather permitted.
“We are always stretched thin in spring — constantly battling the weather and making sure the course is ready for the players,” he says. “We also spend a lot of resources on fungicides and disease management, so weed control typically comes last.”
Not anymore. Leonard and his ground’s crew have found a way to efficiently work Dimension 2EW and Defendor into their annual weed control program.
“We’ll use this combination across the course to treat once in spring and again in fall,” he says. “That should also reduce the number of spot treatments we’ll have to make throughout the year, saving us additional time and dollars.
“After noticing fewer weeds, better course conditions and happier members, my only regret is that we didn’t use more the first time around.”
State restrictions on the sale and use of Defendor and Dimension 2EW apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details.
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