Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Blaze Your Own Trail

The picture on the left depicts a common occurrence on the golf course and that is everybody exiting or entering the same spot. Every golf course superintendent deals with it and you wouldn't believe how much time and energy is involved to keep traffic spots maintained.

Around the greens and tees we will continually aerate to help alleviate compaction. We'll also put out sand and seed after we aerate. The sand serves the purpose of providing a better draining soil, but more importantly a soil that can withstand more traffic. The seeds purpose is to replace the grass that has passed due to traffic. We will also apply fertilizer to keep the grass we do have growing.

In the fairways and rough, the cup cutters will change entries and exits daily to help move the compaction around. There are a couple schools of thoughts on this subject. 1) Just leave the entry/ exit in the same spot and only worry about one dead spot or 2) Try and scatter the traffic around to avoid any dead spots. I am quickly coming to the conclusion that one dead spot is better because every year around this time we have multiple dead spots due to traffic.

If I had to put a dollar amount to it, I'd say we spend 5,000-10,000 per year maintaining these areas. A lot of money for an area that is typically a non golfing surface.

So I ask you kindly, the next time you are out playing, blaze your own trail. This country didn't prosper from a group of followers.