Make your golf course a fantastic experience

Make your golf course a fantastic experience

I love the passion & enthusiasm we have as golfers & maintenance teams in South Africa & around the world.

Let’s work together to make our golf courses a fantastic experience 

One of the best things I introduced as superintendent at Leopard Creek was “member course orientation” – honestly, it took no more than 5 minutes from my side & invariably the member had numerous questions.

Prior to this I would meet a new member when asking them to please not drive their golf cart up tee banks, green surrounds, or bunker edges. Cart traffic/compaction is a killer. You will notice all your goose grass infestation is typically in highly compact areas.

Let us work together – if golfers stay on the cart path & enter the turf opposite their ball this already saves turf significantly.

No go zones – which are thankfully managed by the cart GPS system at many clubs – tee banks, bunker edges – no need to park closer than ten metres to a bunker – 5 if you really have poor mobility.

As members & golf course maintenance staff let us set the example of where to drive. Drive where the turf is happy – avoid compact, wet, undulated areas.

Summer is a fantastic time for the club – great to see the pro shop, bar & restaurant buzzing. We all want to produce your ultimate playing surface at your club, but it certainly takes two to tango.

The best time to do the course maintenance is nice & early while the plant is happy, stomata (breathing holes) are open to receive water, nutrition & fungicide applications. An early morning moisture & disease check on greens is imperative. I love having an assistant or supervisor on each nine doing the course set up, walking the greens & taking responsibility for the teams’ productivity.

Summer check points

Moisture – water early morning or behind the last play in the afternoon – a weather station linked to your irrigation system is a vital tool. This will give you your daily ET which will typically vary between 4mm – 9mm depending on the heat & wind. We would typically replace 75 % of ET on fairways. Your irrigation will determine your playing surface quality.

  • Drainage – ensure your day lights are draining – I often come across a day light under water – if your green cannot drain you will develop algae, disease, turf thinning & a slippery slope to an extremely poor playing surface over a period.
  • Dusting – I love a light dusting every 21 days – this not only protects the crown of the plant but produces a nice firm playing surface.
  • PLAN (annual soil testing, spring & autumn treatment, staff training)
  • DO (follow a sound nutrition, IPM & wetting agent programme)
  • REVIEW (we zero base programmes on an annual basis)
  • RECORD (soil temp records & pest scouting maps)
  • DETAIL – this is what set’s the good apart from the great.

We look forward to collaborating with your club to produce your ultimate playing surface! #TalkingTurf #WhateveritTakes 

This article appeared in the South African Golf Trader Magazine, Jan / Feb 2023

For more information about Syngenta turf care products, professional turf care and stock availability please contact Talking Turf.