Know Your Course: Greens

Golfers are very picky of the golf course where they want play. They don’t like playing in areas where the greens were just punched. That is why keepers of the greens implement a lot of methods to make sure expert care is given and golfers play golf without being annoyed.

There are a lot of problems that resemble a nightmare if no perfect trouble shooting tips are used. One aspect that is very important in keeping a good greens is the drainage. Although, this is often overlooked, it is a vital part in keeping the green especially during rainy seasons.

A real golf course will eat up from $65,000 or more for just a single green. A base layer to maintain the shape is required for a green. The drainage should be made up of crushed stones, a layer of sand, PVC pipes, and at least 13 to 14 inches of cheaper sand with peat for the root zone layer. The sprinklers should be available including bunkers. A more expensive part, which is the sod, is needed also for the surrounding area.

The labor needed in providing maintenance for the green is not for golf course owners who do not like cutting the grass more than once a week. The hard part of the work is preventing turf grass problems and being vigilant on how to maintain it as it should be. Cutting of the grass should be made every two to three days or everyday if there are golfers who want to play on the green everyday. There is also other work that demands more time and cost such as aeration, fertilization, putting herbicides, top dressing, putting fungicides and/or pesticides. Below is a list of some methods and time frame needed in taking care of the golf course greens.

Care for Greens Activity and Scheduling
Irrigation: 1 – 3 days interval
Mowing: 1 – 3 days interval
Top dressing: 3 to 6 times a year
Aeration: Once a year
Pesticide: Only when it’s needed
Herbicide: Only when it’s needed
Fungicide: Once a month
Fertilization: Once a month

The types of grass that can be used are either the creeping bentgrass or Bermuda grass. Bentgrass is considered by gold course owners in areas where the climate is moderate to cool while Bermuda is the type of turf recommended in tropical or sunny temperatures. Bentgrass is easier to grow and provides a greenskeeper income. Using Bermuda in hot climates make it more costly. The techniques used in maintaining the two kinds of grass are the same, the only difference is that it would be difficult to use Bentgrass in places that are tropical since it is hard to keep it moist. Only 22% of American golf course owners use Bermuda while 78% prefer Bentgrass. Here are the list of places and the turf type they use according to a survey made by GCSAA.

US State: Bentgrass/Bermuda grass

Alabama: 19/81
Arizona: 59/41
Arkansas: 60/40
California: 86/14
Florida: 2/98
Georgia: 49/51
Louisiana: 2/98
Mississippi: 9/90
Nevada: 93/7
Oklahoma: 90/10
North Carolina: 67/33
South Carolina: 14/86
Tennessee: 65/35
Texas: 50/50

Hawaiian owners are using one hundred per cent Bermuda grass while all the other US states are using a hundred per cent bentgrass. Southeast Texas is using Bermuda while Bent is being used in Northwest Texas.

A standard mower, preferably the rotary types, are needed since the greens should be rolled and cut to a height of 4/16 inches. Others are still considering synthetic grass than bentgrass for the golf course. Although synthetic ones can be cheaper, some golfers may not like the idea. Here are the pluses and minuses of each type of grass:

Type of Greens: Pros vs. Cons

Real bent grass

1. Maintenance can be a hobby but skills and training are needed
2. More pleasing and attractive but can be time consuming
3. Hole locations can be changed but costly grass mowers are needed
4. Grows fast and cheaper than seeds but irrigation is needed

Fake grass

1. Maintenance is not needed but concrete holes are permanent
2. May look real during playing but can be discovered fake by expert golfers
3. Can take any weather condition but a bit more expensive than real bent grass seeds
4. Worry free maintenance but requires labor fees for installation

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