Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Golf Course Etiquette

I played golf yesterday at Morro Bay, as I occasionally do, to see how the courses are playing and to get feedback from our customers. I was happy with the conditions of the course as far as quality of cut and general aesthetics, although some people mentioned that some of the rough was a bit tall. I agree, but the mower can only cover so much ground in a day and we have had quite a bit of rain recently, so bear with us as we play catch up. The greens were exceptionally good in my opinion and the crews' hard work is paying off. We are using some new methods to control the Poa annua and it's seedheads including rolling 3x per week and topdressing occassionally. The greens have responded very well creating a smooth surface, a few bumps here and there (read on I will address this issue below), firming up quite a bit, and rolling about a 9.25-9.5 on the stimp meter. Yes that is right near 9.5! Now that is not too fast by the standards of the best golfers on flat greens, but on Morro Bay's greens it is nearly too fast. With all of the slope on the greens and the influence of Black Hill and the Pacific Ocean I guarantee it is nearly all that you want to handle and the greens will test the best of putting strokes. The players in my group were putting balls off of the greens and we had the occassional 5 putt. From my perspective that is dangerous as we loose pin positions and potentially increase golfers frustration.

Addressing the bumpiness of the greens...there are so many ball marks that are not being repaired and those that are repaired have not been fixed properly to the point that the repaired marks are dying or being scalped by mowers. It is part of a golfers responsibility to fix your ball mark and I like the adage of fixing at least one more. Yesterday I was fixing probably 20 marks per green and probably could have fixed 20 more, but we had to move to the next tee box. To speed the repair of the damage it is important to properly fix the ball mark. Many times people will use their divot tool and pry the soil up to fill in the depressed area. This does more damage than not fixing the mark at all. The reason is as you pry the turf up the lifting tears the leaves from the roots effectively killing the plant and ultimately leaving a dead brown spot on the green in a week or two. That brown spot will then take at least 2 weeks to heal and fill in on our Poa greens at Morro Bay and maybe longer on a bentgrass green. To properly fix the ball mark you should insert your repair tool into the turf at an angle toward the center of the ball mark. Instead of lifting the turf you should do the opposite and push the outsides of the mark to the center of the mark. Continue this process all of the way around the ball mark until the cinter of the mark has been filled in with good healthy turf. This procedure will allow the ball mark to heal within hours and maintain the true ball roll that we all desire. It is every golfers' responsibility to leave the golf course in better condition than you find it and it truly helps many of those putts around the hole find the bottom of the cup!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Josh for the short lesson, and something that we all should practice. Good to meet you at the course today, and I sure enjoyed the tournament. I would like the R&A to consider useing those cups at all the courses. Sure made putting fun. By the way, I think the greens at Dairy are in great shape.