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Keeping inputs to a minimum while producing optimum playing surfaces

C62291821dac0dd5b7ef3b72a30cd137?s=47 Micah Woods
March 10, 2016

Keeping inputs to a minimum while producing optimum playing surfaces

Presented on 10 March 2016 in Thailand as part of the R&A Seminar on Sustainable Golf Course Design, Renovation and Maintenance in Asia. This discusses playing surfaces for golf, what the conditions should be, some advice on how those conditions can be achieved, or adjusted closer to the desired conditions, and in particular explains how this can be done with a minimum of inputs such as water, fertilizer, energy, and pesticides.


Micah Woods

March 10, 2016


  1. Keeping inputs to a minimum while producing optimum playing surfaces

    Micah Woods Chief Scientist | Asian Turfgrass Center www.asianturfgrass.com The R&A Seminar on Sustainable Golf Course Design, Renovation, and Maintenance in Asia March 2016
  2. Optimum playing surface: smooth, bounce, roll fine fescue Scotland

  3. bentgrass & bluegrass Kunming Focus on the primary playing areas

  4. Focus on the primary playing areas bermudagrass Hanoi

  5. Smooth, bounce, roll bermuda & carpetgrass Rayong, Thailand

  6. Smooth, bounce, roll manilagrass & carpetgrass Chonburi, Thailand

  7. Tifeagle & manilagrass Thailand Smooth, bounce, roll

  8. Tifeagle & manilagrass Thailand Smooth, bounce, roll

  9. Paspalum & ryegrass Shanghai Smooth, bounce, roll?

  10. Tools for data collection on the golf course creeping bentgrass

    Yamanashi, Japan
  11. Data, what is it good for? The data are only

    useful when they can be used as a decision making tool. • Identify a target range. • Learn what affects green speed, surface hardness, and soil moisture. • Use data and that knowledge to work more efficiently and improve playing conditions. fine fescue England
  12. Green speed, measured with a stimpmeter, as ball roll distance

    in feet. seashore paspalum Thailand
  13. None
  14. Modify the green speed by adjusting … - the mowing

    height - frequency of rolling - N rate - plant water status - grass species
  15. Lightweight rolling is very effective in increasing green speed. fine

    fescue Scotland
  16. Surface hardness, which I've measured with a Clegg hammer as

    Gmax. bermudagrass Singapore
  17. None
  18. Modify the green hardness by adjusting … - soil organic

    matter - soil moisture content - sand topdressing - scarification - coring - other types of cultivation
  19. Sand topdressing is an important practice to control surface hardness.

    bermudagrass Thailand
  20. Volumetric water content measured with a Theta-probe or TDR-300 in

    %. bermudagrass Singapore
  21. None
  22. Modify the soil moisture by adjusting … - irrigation -

    soil organic matter / sand topdressing - drainage
  23. When organic matter accumulates, soil moisture can be high, with

    soft surfaces. seashore paspalum Hong Kong
  24. To get better control of soil water, manage the accumulation

    of soil organic matter. seashore paspalum Hong Kong
  25. None
  26. 1. Minimize maintained turf Kunming

  27. Minimizing maintained turf reduces inputs like water, fertilizer, and energy.

    tall fescue rough Suzhou
  28. 2. Choose grass species that require fewer inputs ATC research

    facility March 2009
  29. Zoysia spp. on tee, fairway, rough, and green Fukuoka, Japan

    August, 2015
  30. 3. Use soil on site. Don't sandcap.

  31. Tremendous ground contours, excellent playability. But no sandcap. bentgrass &

    ryegrass USA
  32. What happens when we grow turf in sand? 1. Sand

    has low water holding capacity – we have to add more water. 2. Sand has low nutrient holding capacity – we have to add more fertilizer. 3. When more water and fertilizer are added, the grass grows more.
  33. Once a sandcap is in place, the organic matter must

    be managed. organic layer over sandcap Singapore
  34. None
  35. None
  36. why do we core aerify greens? creeping bentgrass Japan

  37. why do we apply sand topdressing to greens? Tifeagle bermudagrass

  38. If the organic matter is not managed, greens fail. Once

    a fairway is sandcapped, that same work of organic matter removal and dilution with sand must be done on the entire sandcapped area. sandcapped seashore paspalum fairway, Hong Kong
  39. Sandcapped seashore paspalum fairways, no rain for previous 21 days.

    Seashore paspalum Thailand
  40. An alternative: drainage, plus sand added as topdressing Poa annua

    & ryegrass USA
  41. An alternative: drainage, plus sand added as topdressing fairway topdresser

  42. None
  43. “The end result is a well- drained, stable, sand- based

    field at a fraction of the cost required for other renovation processes.” this & other articles at bit.ly/grass_contour
  44. 4. Rent or purchase old equipment for the grow-in. Avoid

    damaging new equipment at the grow-in stage.
  45. 5. Have the golf course superintendent involved from the start.

    Preferably the same superintendent who will maintain the course after opening. Source everything yourself. Don't just hire a general contractor and let them do it. bermudagrass Hanoi
  46. 6. Do it right the first time. Mistakes at the

    time of construction are difficult to fix. path & drainage Japan
  47. 7. Measure year after year, and take steps to reduce:

    • water • fertilizer • pesticides • energy from Golf Course Management, 2013
  48. bermudagrass Guangzhou 8. Participate in an environmental management/certification program.