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Greens Dept.


I have been working in the greens department at one of the best courses in Canada for a few years. If you have any questions on how things are done or any insight on the behind the scenes aspect of a course, feel free to ask away!

13 Replies

  1. No'l

    Hi there! I've always been fascinated with greens keeper works. Not only how they manicure the edges and make diamond tracks in the fairways, but more so in preparation, especially when the courses' most important tournament are about to be played.

    We're in the Southern California area and we get a lot of sun, but not enough rain for the most part of year. Some of the public courses around me have water rights or have ample supply of recycled water, which I'm sure you never have to deal with out your way. But, I am assuming that most courses have a timer for the watering system. I have a lot of questions, but I'll only ask one at a time to give others a chance. So during the long day season when it's the hottest time of the year, could the course be watered as soon as sundown?

    The reason I ask is because, for the longest time I've played a course during summer time, we tee off anywhere between 7:00 - 7:30 sometimes at 8:30 and the fairways would be so drenched- soaked with water to a point that carts would have rooster tails following, some areas almost in puddle even though the course drains well as it's built on a foothill. Our drives would have a foot of roll sometimes none as we can see a ball divot close to our ball.

    Could this be a system issue that they're not delivering water fast enough that it goes on using all the time when it's dark? (It's hard to think that)

    Thanks for your time.


  2. Jack H

    Love the idea! Great opportunity!

    My question is what are the requirements for where you place the pins? Does your superintendent educate you on where you can put the pins?

  3. Cathi, Titleist Club Concierge

    Hi Evan, This was a great idea! I know that grasses in Canada might be different than those used in So Cal or even East Coast due to weather and growing seasons, so this could be very interesting. We do have a couple of guys on our TT forums that are also Greens keepers and Supers and it could be a good discussion on the differences in grass maintenance around the country and in Canada.
    My question is this - several of our courses in the area (SoCal) have moved to Kikuyu fairways due to the hardiness, rapid growth and heat tolerance. What I have noticed is that due to the thickness of the Kikuyu, when players take divots, the entire turf is removed and there are deep holes left if the player does not carry a sand mix. Sometimes, they are 1-2" deep, which can be difficult to get out of (and disappointing if you are in the middle of the fairway). Is there a way to maintain a mix of grass so that the divots are not so deep?
  4. EDoyle

    First I would suggest getting golfers that don't dig deep divots...
    in all seriousness, I don't think there is a way to really eliminate large divots as golf as a sport requires you to get under the ball for correct flight. I'd suggest making sure the golfers all carry a sand mix when they go out with them or at the very least replace their divots and step on them so the grass compresses and the roots can reconnect with the ground. Also more frequent fairway maintenance, I know we roll our fairways a few times a week and are cutting them almost every other day, Keep the fairways nice and watered and healthy so that in the areas without divots the grass will flourish. My course also sends out a team of 1-4 people to fill divots, either in the afternoon whilst golf is playing or nice and early so you can get more done. So no I don't think there is a certain mix that will eliminate this, just more attention to the fairways would help a lot.
  5. Cathi, Titleist Club Concierge

    Hi Evan, LOL- before they went to Kikuyu, it was not as deep, but since the Kikuyu provides such a large cushion, it digs a real hole, not just a divot and Kikuyu shreds so there is not much to replace. I was hoping there was something that could be done in regards to replacement. Thanks for your reply!
  6. Jeffery M

    My son also worked at a golf course for several years and his biggest complaints were ball marks on greens, if you could fix yours and 1 more. Also get rid of wooden tees as you find broken ones all over the tee box. I use plastic ones and very seldom break one or lose one. Whatever you can do as a player to help makes the course a lot better. Lots of credit to Greens keepers as they work long hours and different weather conditions. Keep up the good work as we appreciate it..
  7. Steve S

    Hello EDoyle, I am a Supervisor at a county owned course in South Jersey. I've been there for 22 years and still love it. The course used to private until the county bought it in 1989. Lots of history. We have bent grass and pos greens. The fairways are a blue rye blend. The rough is rescue. Loved your post! Nice to hear that other folks live the turf life.
    Play Well.
    Steve S.
  8. Allen L

    Hello EDoyle,
    Some years ago I read an article somewhere that said that a university was testing underground irrigation of greens. At the time I thought oh well someone in academia wants a PhD. Then I gave it some thought, water from the bottom up may be a good idea. Is there any real world evidence that underground watering is a good method?
  9. EDoyle

    Diamond tracks is very difficult to do as once you make one pass over the greens the dew is gone and it is impossible to see your lines, so my course just goes up the right side and down the left side. Not as fancy but it gets the job done. Preparation is stressful because everything needs to be perfect so we have everyone doing the job they excel at.

    for the water issue my course waters greens sometimes just so when we mow we can see our lines, I don't know my courses water schedule but I know we have full control of watering whenever we need and the ability to turn it off as well. The issue about fairways being soaked is probably due to bad drainage systems or just poorly located pipes, they could've once been great drainage locations but the ground is always shifting especially when water is involved.

  10. EDoyle

    I don't replace pins that often, all I know is that I place them exactly where my super tells me to. Changing pin locations is beneficial to the ground as it lets other areas breath, and it also gives golfers a chance at a different put out situation whenever they play a course.
  11. EDoyle

    ball marks on the greens are definitley a pain but my biggest complaint would be golfers not raking themselves out of bunkers and not replacing the rakes exactly where they found them
  12. EDoyle

    I don't think my course does this as we have heads for hoses and sprinkler systems set up everywhere, obviously it is the classic way of doing things but maybe that is the future of watering courses more efficiently
  13. EDoyle

    The turf life is great, except those killer early mornings

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