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Golf Course Superintendent Ready to Answer Any Questions You May Have


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#121 BNGL

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 02:40 AM

 schley, on 14 April 2018 - 01:30 AM, said:

 BNGL, on 08 April 2018 - 06:19 PM, said:


We just had our biggest event of the season, and we got the place in the best shape I have ever seen (worked on tour, at US Opens, played some of the best courses in the world). I had 15 guys spend a total of 22.75 hours filling and repairing divots and ballmarks on greens. Over 340 man hours just repairing minimal damage.

Holy shishkabobs!  Is this number just once a year I assume?  Wow that is like 1 hour 15 minutes per green!  BTW any before and after photos of the green after this spa treatment?

Yes just once a year at that level of detail. Although it is a second job regularly through out the year. I'll have to find some other pics but this is the Tuesday after. Got a nice even coloration as a result of pumping then full of iron. We keep our greens pretty lean, which encourages speed via a thin leaf blade. Couple that with regular use of plant growth regulators (Primo) and toprdressing every Tuesday. We have a smooth, fast, frictionless putting surface. We were 13 feet 6 inches Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon when I was watering, I didn't measure, but they had to be 15 plus.

IMG_1523691359.154153.jpg


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#122 BNGL

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 03:07 AM

 ArtMBgolf, on 13 April 2018 - 08:42 PM, said:

The Carolinas have winter kill problems this year on the greens, due to the worst winter in 40 years.
This is made worse by hybrid bermuda greens that are not overseeded.
Some courses that have good greens, used covers on the greens.    

Are green covers on cold nights going to become the norm, now that not overseeding greens is popular?

Perhaps. Studies have shown that covers are effective means of protecting putting surfaces. There's some northern Florida courses that have them to use in the really cold nights.

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#123 caniac6

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 05:03 AM

 BNGL, on 14 April 2018 - 03:07 AM, said:

 ArtMBgolf, on 13 April 2018 - 08:42 PM, said:

The Carolinas have winter kill problems this year on the greens, due to the worst winter in 40 years.
This is made worse by hybrid bermuda greens that are not overseeded.
Some courses that have good greens, used covers on the greens.    

Are green covers on cold nights going to become the norm, now that not overseeding greens is popular?

Perhaps. Studies have shown that covers are effective means of protecting putting surfaces. There's some northern Florida courses that have them to use in the really cold nights.
Some courses have had success putting a thin layer of pine needles under the covers to provide insulation. A memo from the CGA said there was WK showing up in some places where covers were used. Some of the fairways that retained a lot of water are showing signs of WK.

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#124 finleysg

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 08:15 AM

Catching up on this thread from several months of neglect, I was struck by the 20 year lifespan for greens. My home course is celebrating its 50 year anniversary in July, and the greens could really use a re-build, but it's a muni and that is just never going to happen. The poa makes for pretty bumpy putting surfaces until mid to late June when we finally get enough warmth at night to get the bent and the poa growing enough so that, at least in the morning, the grass is all the same length. Last year our super rolled the greens in the mid to late afternoon for our Wednesday night events, which helped to keep the ball rolling (slowly) on a line.

I don't know why, but our course never truly pops until July, and then the turf is typically great for the rest of the season.
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#125 mallrat

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 08:56 PM

 finleysg, on 14 April 2018 - 08:15 AM, said:

Catching up on this thread from several months of neglect, I was struck by the 20 year lifespan for greens. My home course is celebrating its 50 year anniversary in July, and the greens could really use a re-build, but it's a muni and that is just never going to happen. The poa makes for pretty bumpy putting surfaces until mid to late June when we finally get enough warmth at night to get the bent and the poa growing enough so that, at least in the morning, the grass is all the same length. Last year our super rolled the greens in the mid to late afternoon for our Wednesday night events, which helped to keep the ball rolling (slowly) on a line.

I don't know why, but our course never truly pops until July, and then the turf is typically great for the rest of the season.

Where are you located? This may be completely weird but you can go in the Northwest forum and our Poa thrives in the winter. Slightly longer cut and a regular roll and top dressing program.

 BNGL, on 14 April 2018 - 02:40 AM, said:

 schley, on 14 April 2018 - 01:30 AM, said:

 BNGL, on 08 April 2018 - 06:19 PM, said:


We just had our biggest event of the season, and we got the place in the best shape I have ever seen (worked on tour, at US Opens, played some of the best courses in the world). I had 15 guys spend a total of 22.75 hours filling and repairing divots and ballmarks on greens. Over 340 man hours just repairing minimal damage.

Holy shishkabobs!  Is this number just once a year I assume?  Wow that is like 1 hour 15 minutes per green!  BTW any before and after photos of the green after this spa treatment?

Yes just once a year at that level of detail. Although it is a second job regularly through out the year. I'll have to find some other pics but this is the Tuesday after. Got a nice even coloration as a result of pumping then full of iron. We keep our greens pretty lean, which encourages speed via a thin leaf blade. Couple that with regular use of plant growth regulators (Primo) and toprdressing every Tuesday. We have a smooth, fast, frictionless putting surface. We were 13 feet 6 inches Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon when I was watering, I didn't measure, but they had to be 15 plus.

IMG_1523691359.154153.jpg

Weird question but I donít see stripes or lines. Is that the camera or do you do that on purpose?


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#126 BNGL

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 09:19 PM

 mallrat, on 14 April 2018 - 08:56 PM, said:

 finleysg, on 14 April 2018 - 08:15 AM, said:

Catching up on this thread from several months of neglect, I was struck by the 20 year lifespan for greens. My home course is celebrating its 50 year anniversary in July, and the greens could really use a re-build, but it's a muni and that is just never going to happen. The poa makes for pretty bumpy putting surfaces until mid to late June when we finally get enough warmth at night to get the bent and the poa growing enough so that, at least in the morning, the grass is all the same length. Last year our super rolled the greens in the mid to late afternoon for our Wednesday night events, which helped to keep the ball rolling (slowly) on a line.

I don't know why, but our course never truly pops until July, and then the turf is typically great for the rest of the season.

Where are you located? This may be completely weird but you can go in the Northwest forum and our Poa thrives in the winter. Slightly longer cut and a regular roll and top dressing program.

 BNGL, on 14 April 2018 - 02:40 AM, said:

 schley, on 14 April 2018 - 01:30 AM, said:

 BNGL, on 08 April 2018 - 06:19 PM, said:


We just had our biggest event of the season, and we got the place in the best shape I have ever seen (worked on tour, at US Opens, played some of the best courses in the world). I had 15 guys spend a total of 22.75 hours filling and repairing divots and ballmarks on greens. Over 340 man hours just repairing minimal damage.

Holy shishkabobs!  Is this number just once a year I assume?  Wow that is like 1 hour 15 minutes per green!  BTW any before and after photos of the green after this spa treatment?

Yes just once a year at that level of detail. Although it is a second job regularly through out the year. I'll have to find some other pics but this is the Tuesday after. Got a nice even coloration as a result of pumping then full of iron. We keep our greens pretty lean, which encourages speed via a thin leaf blade. Couple that with regular use of plant growth regulators (Primo) and toprdressing every Tuesday. We have a smooth, fast, frictionless putting surface. We were 13 feet 6 inches Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon when I was watering, I didn't measure, but they had to be 15 plus.

IMG_1523691359.154153.jpg

Weird question but I don’t see stripes or lines. Is that the camera or do you do that on purpose?

Well this picture is before the mow, so you wouldn't see much of anything tbh. Our greens stripe up typically in the afternoons once we get some growth, but there's not much grain or leaf blade to lay down so not much visual striping, it is there just have to look closely. Our fairways and tees though stripe up beautifully every mow. For a little while we started burning in the pattern in, and it looked wonderful.

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#127 finleysg

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 10:43 PM

Poa in Minnesota thrives just enough to ruin bent grass greens.
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#128 BNGL

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 09:11 PM

 finleysg, on 14 April 2018 - 10:43 PM, said:

Poa in Minnesota thrives just enough to ruin bent grass greens.

Yeah poa is a problem almost everywhere. I've got some popping in roughs, and collars now on greens yet. Just takes time and discipline to detail and remove it.

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#129 mallrat

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 12:47 AM

BNGL I have a weird question for you.

Looking at the collection areas while watching the RBC, they have their collection areas mowed in straight lines coming out from the greens. Is this something courses do? If so do the mowers go straight across the greens or turn on the greens?

I ask because we and most places iíve Played mow in circles out from the greens. We also donít ever turn our collection mowers on the greens. We even go so far as not to turn the carts on the greens when dragging them. If they turn on the greens does that put any extra stress on them

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#130 BNGL

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 01:16 AM

 mallrat, on 16 April 2018 - 12:47 AM, said:

BNGL I have a weird question for you.

Looking at the collection areas while watching the RBC, they have their collection areas mowed in straight lines coming out from the greens. Is this something courses do? If so do the mowers go straight across the greens or turn on the greens?

I ask because we and most places i’ve Played mow in circles out from the greens. We also don’t ever turn our collection mowers on the greens. We even go so far as not to turn the carts on the greens when dragging them. If they turn on the greens does that put any extra stress on them

It's called burning in the pattern. Basically you now the area the same direction everyday, not just the same direction but follow the exact same lines as well. Circles is just quicker because it typically follows the contour of the green. I seriously doubt they go across the greens. When I was doing tour events, we had 7-8 guys doing approaches, so they could start at one end and work around the green to the other in time to clear the course. I'd bet they have the same amount of labor helping out. There's also these things called turning boards, there's sheets of hard plastic about 3x4 that will be laid out in front of the mowers so that they can turn without damaging the turf.

As far as extra stress, yeah it definitely can if you're going over the same areas, but I think the benefits outweigh the potential damages. I know of crews that verticut their greens in the summer going in circles, to help make sure you're getting two directions. The biggest problem I see is the use of heavy and highly abrasive mats. All you need really is a piece of carpet on a frame that is plenty. I know that won't break up the cores as some like to do, but you should be removing those anyways


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#131 FlyingLaw1

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:03 AM

Couple of questions.

I used to work for a teaching pro. One of his assistants (he's been in the golf business for 60-something years) used to complain about aertaing greens and insisted that it was less necessary when golfers wore metal spikes as the spikes poked enough holes to allow the roots to get proper oxygen. Any truth?

How long does it take Zoysia to green up in the spring? I've heard you have to have several straight days of low temps above 50 but I really don't know how accurate that is.
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#132 BNGL

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:11 PM

View PostFlyingLaw1, on 16 April 2018 - 09:03 AM, said:

Couple of questions.

I used to work for a teaching pro. One of his assistants (he's been in the golf business for 60-something years) used to complain about aertaing greens and insisted that it was less necessary when golfers wore metal spikes as the spikes poked enough holes to allow the roots to get proper oxygen. Any truth?

How long does it take Zoysia to green up in the spring? I've heard you have to have several straight days of low temps above 50 but I really don't know how accurate that is.

Not in an amount that will make a significant difference, although I can follow his train of thought. Aerating does more than promote exchange of gases, it relieves compaction, managing thatch layers and creating space for roots to grow. While metal spikes do penetrate the surface, most (if not all) metal spikes would not penetrate the surface enough to make a difference.

As far as zoysia it depends on your location and the type, I have Zeon Zoysia at my club and it stayed green almost all winter and is definitely green now (club is in Hobe Sound).

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#133 CMCSGolf

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:41 PM

Another Aeration question:

With it being spring, I always call and ask about greens before making a tee time.  Some of the courses tell me their greens are rolling well and they don't need to aerate this year.  Is this true that if greens are really good they don't need to aerate? Or are they just cheap and poorly run?  I can't imagine normal public courses would avoid aeration without repercussions down the line when they are good since every great course I've been to still aerates.

Would love yo know if they are full of it or just very savvy.

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#134 BNGL

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 05:39 PM

View PostCMCSGolf, on 16 April 2018 - 02:41 PM, said:

Another Aeration question:

With it being spring, I always call and ask about greens before making a tee time.  Some of the courses tell me their greens are rolling well and they don't need to aerate this year.  Is this true that if greens are really good they don't need to aerate? Or are they just cheap and poorly run?  I can't imagine normal public courses would avoid aeration without repercussions down the line when they are good since every great course I've been to still aerates.

Would love yo know if they are full of it or just very savvy.

Guys in the pro shop have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to Course conditions. Although I do understand not wanting to tell customers or members, "I do not know." They make up ludicrous stories to fit their narratives to keep the cash register running.

Courses need to aerate, we know too much information as to the benefits. Aeration creates space for root growth, opens channels facilitating an exchange of gases, removes organic matter from the soil, and reducing compaction.

I have had more phone calls and comments related to stuff the meat tubes in the shop have told members....not once have they been remotely close to right.

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#135 Noyes26

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:25 PM

Awesome thread BNGL. Thanks for taking the time. Iím sending you a PM if you donít mind! Thanks in advance.

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#136 mallrat

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 10:06 PM

View PostBNGL, on 16 April 2018 - 05:39 PM, said:

View PostCMCSGolf, on 16 April 2018 - 02:41 PM, said:

Another Aeration question:

With it being spring, I always call and ask about greens before making a tee time.  Some of the courses tell me their greens are rolling well and they don't need to aerate this year.  Is this true that if greens are really good they don't need to aerate? Or are they just cheap and poorly run?  I can't imagine normal public courses would avoid aeration without repercussions down the line when they are good since every great course I've been to still aerates.

Would love yo know if they are full of it or just very savvy.

Guys in the pro shop have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to Course conditions. Although I do understand not wanting to tell customers or members, "I do not know." They make up ludicrous stories to fit their narratives to keep the cash register running.

Courses need to aerate, we know too much information as to the benefits. Aeration creates space for root growth, opens channels facilitating an exchange of gases, removes organic matter from the soil, and reducing compaction.

I have had more phone calls and comments related to stuff the meat tubes in the shop have told members....not once have they been remotely close to right.

Do you see more courses out there going to a solid tine aerification vs coring? Or do you ever see the industry moving that way or is that all pretty much a course by course basis?

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#137 BNGL

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:23 AM

View Postmallrat, on 16 April 2018 - 10:06 PM, said:

View PostBNGL, on 16 April 2018 - 05:39 PM, said:

View PostCMCSGolf, on 16 April 2018 - 02:41 PM, said:

Another Aeration question:

With it being spring, I always call and ask about greens before making a tee time.  Some of the courses tell me their greens are rolling well and they don't need to aerate this year.  Is this true that if greens are really good they don't need to aerate? Or are they just cheap and poorly run?  I can't imagine normal public courses would avoid aeration without repercussions down the line when they are good since every great course I've been to still aerates.

Would love yo know if they are full of it or just very savvy.

Guys in the pro shop have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to Course conditions. Although I do understand not wanting to tell customers or members, "I do not know." They make up ludicrous stories to fit their narratives to keep the cash register running.

Courses need to aerate, we know too much information as to the benefits. Aeration creates space for root growth, opens channels facilitating an exchange of gases, removes organic matter from the soil, and reducing compaction.

I have had more phone calls and comments related to stuff the meat tubes in the shop have told members....not once have they been remotely close to right.

Do you see more courses out there going to a solid tine aerification vs coring? Or do you ever see the industry moving that way or is that all pretty much a course by course basis?

Short answer no. You gotta pull cores i.e. Remove material. While solid tines are beneficial, and depending on depth of the tines you can achieve different results. In the winter I'll tine needle tine pretty much every Tuesday, it'll help relieve compaction and vent the turf, but not to the extent of coring.

What is happening though is alternatives to coring, dryject is a newer method that cores and amends the turf with on machine. I think Merion may have done it three days before their club championship, and no one noticed. There's also a hydroject which uses water to blast holes. Both methods are aimed at reducing recovery times.

I know golfers dislike aerification time, but trust me supers hate it too. It's a slow process....but it's a necessary evil.

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#138 dhc1

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 07:17 AM

Question: on a dry day for a mid-atlantic course with A1/A4 greens, is it a sign of weakness if almost all ball marks on the green show dirt? Conversely, there are many courses where it's very hard to pierce through the grass to get to the dirt (i.e., the indentation never gets through the grass) even though the greens are cut short/fast.

Thanks!

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#139 BNGL

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:35 AM

View Postdhc1, on 17 April 2018 - 07:17 AM, said:

Question: on a dry day for a mid-atlantic course with A1/A4 greens, is it a sign of weakness if almost all ball marks on the green show dirt? Conversely, there are many courses where it's very hard to pierce through the grass to get to the dirt (i.e., the indentation never gets through the grass) even though the greens are cut short/fast.

Thanks!

Never worked on bent grass, or seen the property you are referring to, so I can only speculate.

If ballmarks are regularly showing dirt, that's a problem. But it can be a variety of things that cause weak turf; diseases, poor thatch management, too much irrigation.

Typically you're courses that cut shorter and roll faster are better managed. Cutting short and fast requires extra diligence. So as a result there's probably more cultural programs that go into those greens. Topdressing Being key. That sand when applied properly builds a firm base, almost a thin layer of cement, around the base of the plant. Standing up the shoots, giving a better cleaner cut. That's where the firmness comes from.

Also they could be new greens, new greens are always wicked firm because of the absence of a thatch layer which will build up as the plant grows.

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#140 mikedejong

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:05 PM

Can you settle an argument that we always have with buddies: do you place rakes inside or out of the bunkers? I worked on a maintenance crew for 20 years going through school and we always put them in the bunker, with the handles inline with the line of play. Then the mowers don't have to get off to move them when they mow the rough around the traps, and the rakes should not interfere with balls coming in as much. What do you do?
Thanks, Mike.

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#141 BNGL

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:22 PM

View Postmikedejong, on 17 April 2018 - 02:05 PM, said:

Can you settle an argument that we always have with buddies: do you place rakes inside or out of the bunkers? I worked on a maintenance crew for 20 years going through school and we always put them in the bunker, with the handles inline with the line of play. Then the mowers don't have to get off to move them when they mow the rough around the traps, and the rakes should not interfere with balls coming in as much. What do you do?
Thanks, Mike.

It varies. My green committee wants them inside the bunkers in the flat areas so they aren't stopping balls on the sides or faces. Why the caddies cannot carry them I don't know.

Personally I like to place them on the outside of the bunker, opposite play (so if the bunker is on the left side of the fairway, rake goes on the left of the bunker). With handles pointed back towards the tee.

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