News & ToursNovember 9, 2009

Disaster Tour: From floods to bugs

The PGA Tour has had some difficult weather situations this year, topped off by the cancellation of the Viking Classic two weeks ago in Madison, Miss., due to unplayable conditions from near-Biblical amounts of precipitation.

Now come the locusts. OK, well, not exactly. But the Palm and Magnolia Courses at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, site of this week's season finale, the Children's Miracle Network Classic, did endure a series of nasty little visitors this year. The root zones of TifEagle bermudagrass greens were infested with parasitic nematodes, while mole crickets inflicted significant damage to bunker faces and green surrounds. Portions of these areas were so ravaged that they had to be resodded.

Fortunately, these issues were aggressively rectified and shouldn't mar the competition. Scott Welder, director of golf course maintenance, deserves the credit for addressing those problems, plus early troubles with the transition from rye overseed to bermuda.

Now if the Tour can only get a break on the weather. Oops. Rain and high winds are in the forecast through Thursday.

-- *Dave Shedloski

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