Ask Thad: Off-the-wall golf course maintenance

By |  June 1, 2021 0 Comments
(Graphic: Golfdom Staff)

(Graphic: Golfdom Staff)


What’s the most off-the-wall idea you have tried at maintaining your course or a specific area? Did it work?

— Allen, Blythewood, S.C.

When I got the superintendent job at Seneca Falls (NY) CC in 1999, I walked into an elderly irrigation system that was desperately in need of a total upgrade. We had quick couplers on galvanized swing joints down the middle of every fairway. I was going to show them and straighten them all! After breaking the first two woefully rusted swing joints, I quickly knew I needed a better solution. I used two threaded, nylon elbows, lubed up with Teflon pipe dope between the quick coupler key and the old Buckner impact sprinklers. I now had a very rudimentary swing joint that let me level every head, and because it was a few inches taller than I am, it even increased the throw. It was genius for a few years until we replaced the system in 2004.


What’s the most mundane task that you just have to do, but that you and everyone on every team you have ever been on really dislike?

— Tim, Liberty, S.C.

This should be an easy question, but it’s complicated. I could say collecting garbage, but I get to see the course as a whole. I could say changing cups, but I get to inspect the greens. I could say a disaster like a larger irrigation break, but to see how the team comes together in an emergency is a great bonding and team unity experience. Aerification? Leaf cleanup? Bunker edging? Still, all team efforts make you proud at the end of the day. I have a hard time picking something that’s considered mundane because even the smallest jobs contribute to the overall product at the end of the day. If I had to pick one though, it might be punching out at the end of the day.


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This article is tagged with and posted in Ask Thad, Columns, From the Magazine

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