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Bacteria shuts golf course in Kettering

The Moraine Country Club’s golf course will remain closed through Sept. 3 because of a bacterial disease.

Bacterial wilt, mainly found in the Mid-Atlantic states, has been found on other courses in Ohio, including in Columbus, said Steve Jurick, executive director of the Ohio Turf and Golf Trust. He declined to name the other courses.

The relatively new disease weakens grasses, including what’s found on putting greens, causing surfaces to brown and wilt.

The private 18-hole course has been shut down since Aug. 15 when club officials met the superintendent from a Charlotte, N.C., course battling the disease seven to 10 years, Jurick said.

Dan Sadlier, Moraine Country Club president, said the course was closed “to do what we can to get it under control.”

Greens are usually aerated in the fall, rejuvenating greens cut to 1/8 inch or less during golf season. The ground is loosened and the greens are cored to allow air to penetrate, strengthening the grass to ward off the turf disease.

While diagnoses are relatively new to Ohio, “it appears now there has probably been bacterial wilt” for five to 10 years at the Kettering club, Jurick said.

Ohio greens were susceptible to the wilt after hot, dry fall and summers in 2010, followed by heavy spring rains, Jurick said.

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