Golf Grass Vitality Overview

The chart below shows the three years 2018, 2019 and 2020 (to March) and highlights the contrast between 2018, and its challenges, with 2019. The position of the 2020 graph raises question about the state of golf grass health and resilience as we go into the main growth phase of Q2 in 2020.

Another way to look at the same data is examine the frequency of NDVI scores through the season. This approach creates a characteristic distribution which is clearest for 2019 in which there were fewer weather challenges.

In contrast the stress induced by the Beast from the East and the drought in 2018 creates much more scattered/inelegant image.

Finally the the question about the relative performance across regions is intriguing. Why the data shows such consistent patterns across the the three years is not clear. But what is clear is that today some regions of Great Britain may be in far better shape as we go into the spring compared with others.

The samples in each region are not large as this is just an exploration of the data to see if there is merit in looking at this more robustly, but questions emerge:

  • Would we have expected the North East to be the best performing region?
  • Would we have expected such a difference between Scotland and the North East?
  • What factors could explain this difference – weather, soil, management? The samples are small but there is more here than sample error alone!
  • If we exclude the north east from the calculation do we really have an average Q1 golf grass vitality in 2020 that is below that of Q1 2018?

The data can shed some light in relation to the last question by comparing Q1 2020 with Q1 in 2019:

A quick comparison of Q1 in 2020 with Q1 in 2019 confirms the impression that 2020 starts off at a lower level of potential than 2019 did. And it raises a further questions – what happened in the North West of England? In future updates we will look to relate some of the NDVI findings with weather statistics.

Click here to find out about 2018.

Click here to find out about 2019.

Please enter your thoughts – where do you think we are today in terms of grass health on golf courses and how do you see the season playing out?

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