Biggest greens maintenance change in the last five years? — Pt. 2

By |  May 31, 2012

Here are another 100 responses we got from our greens maintenance survey. We asked Golfdom readers, “what has been the biggest change in maintaining greens over the last five years?” A small window, but we saw a ton of answers… 

I’m unsure of the best way to post these… I’ve done 100 responses back-to-back now. But I could go 500-500 and be done with it… but is that too large of an information dump? Well, it’s not like I’m wasting any paper here. Behold! The power of the internet.

Anyway, here are another hundred responses from you, the readers. We see here more love for Toro’s ProCore, soil moisture meters, rolling… well, I’ll let you have at it:

101  Repositioning of fiscal resources….. tight budgetary constraints as well as increasingly demanding clientele…. No one is feeling prosperous.
102  We have had two of the hottest years back to back that I can remember in 45 years working on a  golf course. We have had to resort to much more handwatering than ever before and returned to a more frequent spiking regimine.
103  For us it was rolling. We began this practice twice a week three years ago and green speed and smoothness have improved dramatically. We also were able to cut green mowing from seven days a week to five.
104  Rolling
105  Grooming to manage grain in Bentgrass and puffiness in poa
106  The advent of quick rollers.
107  Just learning to manage the (bent/Poa)turf that you have. More needle tining. More overseeding with the new varieties of bent.More use of Growth regulators. Higher height of cut with more rolling.
108  The most significant change we endured these past 5 years was the major weather changes experienced here in Southern Indiana. Extreme wetness followed by hot drought type conditions.
109  Alternating rolling and mowing has been the most signicant change for me. I can keep green speeds averaging at 9.5 and only Mow 3 times a week.
110  The increased use of “old” techniques such as brushing and rollling to improve playability while maintaining plant health.
111  Rolling was the most significant change for me, but it had been around since the very early days. I wonder why it took so long for the practice to be implemented by so many.
112  Smarter purchasing practices of chemicals and fertilizers, shopping for best value instead of the best price.
113  Solid tine aeration to a depth of 9-10 inches. 45 year old push up greens with heavy clay base and 5-6 inches of topdressing. It has made a huge difference in greens health.
114  Kin dried topdressing sand and the cassete options available for greens mowers
115  For us it was going to iron and trimmit applications with less fertilizer.
116  weather and fertility
117  The practice of drill and fill aeration every fall and more topdressing with straight sand.
118  Growth regulation, and rolling
119   Light frequent fertilization and more use of bio-stimulants
120  The expectations of our members regarding green speeds.
121  Finding, thru reserch, that rolling once and sometimes twice daily and mowing every other day reduces dollar spot by 50 to 67 percent….It works i have been doing it for two full seasons now going int my third and I have witnessed the savings by 65 percent in my dollar spot control.
122  needletine, more often
123  NON-INVASIVE slicing aerification equipment which allows for better aerification but does NOT effect the revenues at daily fee courses
124  The use of growth regulators
125  Verticutting and lite topdressing.
126  Utilizing Graden Contour Sand Injection machine to manage organic matter accumulation at playing surface.
127  Many courses in the Southeast are converting “Thank God” to ultradwarfs. Converting has dramatically changed both Superintendents management practices and their lives (for the better).
128  Growth regulators/seedhead prevention
129  Water quality/cost
130  increase in use of fans
131  core aeration
132  A major trend towards going lean, low, and dry to milk out any additional speed possible while keeping quality high.
133  Finding out that using high rates of K and no influence on green quality.
134  fans, venting
135  dealing with resistant or “new” diseases
136  use of utradwarf bermudagrasses
137  Snow mold options
138  For us more liquid fertility
140  I  feel the newer aerating and topdressing equipment has allowed people to vent the greens using needle tines and topdress lightly during play much more often than in the past.
141  Realizing that turf professors don’t have to worry about thier jobs and can convince us of damn near anything.
142  I think it’s the introduction of the greens roller. Now you don’t have to mow shorter to get faster greens speeds. Greens can be rolled during the heat of summer and the height of the grass can be higher.
143  Hybrid mowers, it is nice not to worry about hydraulic leaks.
144  Experimenting with different irrigation techniques, specifically deep and infrequent irrigation cycles.
145  green speed
146  Keeping hoc up while maintaining speeds.
147  The weather… the heat the last few years has been unbelievable. I don’t think the public or greens committees realize how hard it is to keep grass a live during these hot days..
148  Mother Nature! Must be global warming. Our winters just haven’t been “normal” lately. It’s been difficult to keep Poa alive throughout the winter months for various reasons, whether it be ice or standing water…in January!!!
149  Better, faster aerators which create the opportunity to do more small solid-tine venting in the summer. I really think that the evolution of greens rollers has been the biggest improvement but that really started more like the past 10 years.
150   Rolling : to relieve excess stress, I don’t have to lower to ridiciulous heights for armchair agronomists and golfers who think they have a tour game…the only game they play well is video golf, even there they have the yipps
151  Growth regulators
152  fungus. specifically anthracnose
153  The use of soil moisture meters – knowledge of the site specific moisture under the turf canopy is instrumental in knowing exactly what can be expected each day.
154  mower
155  keeping the same standards with alot less inputs
156  The Toro Procore was a significant change for us and our cultural practices.
157  The increased maintenance needed to increase greens speeds and consitancy
158  I have managed them the same over the last 5 years
159  For us it was using rollers to increase speed with out reducing hight of cut.
160  Less daily mowing replaced by rolling.
161  More Rolling
162  The balls to use enough regulators and Poa annua prevention products 😉
163  For me. Higher height of cut plus much more rolling. This seems to be the healthiest solution for quality greens.
164  I think going hybrid or all electric with greens mowers has really reduced my stress level. I hold my breath that we don’t have a hydraulic leak when we verticut or use our sand mower to mow after topdressing. They’re hydraulic machines.
165  we now roll every day, and only mow on alternate days.
166  topdressing equipment and fungicide chemistry. We have become better water managers and steering away from DEFENSIVE WATERING practices.
167  Continued research on disease management.
168  better chemicals
169  keeping greens speeds consistient.
170  Floating head and clip of reel independent of ground speed.
171  Probably the studies on the rolling of the greens and not mowing some times during the week
172  The idea of rolling greens to increase or maintain green speeds
173  At our golf course, in the lat five years, it was the purchase of the Jacobsen Eclipse Triplex Greensmower which provided a higher quality groom and cut in the spring and fall before we begin using our walking greens mowers. Besides that, it was putting to greater use, combinations of new cultivating procedures like venting and modern pesticides, wetting agents, and foliars.
174  Its been more than 5 years, but the Toro ProCore has changed the aerification game. Also more people are using “flushing” on greens to manage water and salts better.
175  Moisture meters and fans.
176  The extremes in the weather. Nothing seems to come in moderation anymore (in regards to weather). We get torrential downpours followed by six weeks without rain. Heat and cold temperature extremes in the same week, etc.
177  Increased rolling frequency.
178  The politics involved in hiding the fact that we lowering budgets every year. It becomes tougher to get through stressful weather because of lack of flexibility in budgets.
179  My Procore is the best piece of equipment ever! It is clean, it is fast, and it hasn’t cause any damage since I got it back in 2005. The healing time has been almost cut in half.
180  The last two summers have been record breakers and has required more water and wetting agents to keep the greens alive. Less mowing and rolling more helped but several greens still stressed out.
181  I have started solid tine aerating my greens once a month June-August and it has really helped them get throught the heat.
182  Wider variety of turf health products that can be customized for individual micro climates
183  Increasing the frequency of topdressing.
184  more foliar feeding
185  New mower technology
186  I don’t feel that there has been a significant change.
187  Rolling has been the biggest change in my greens maintenance.
188  More rolling
189  crazy weather!
190  Budget cuts and employees qualified to watch turf, need a more educated staff.
191  New fungicides
192  Mowing less at higher heights while maintaining optimum speeds.
193  The quality of greens rollers. You can now roll very often without increasing compaction or mechanical damage.
194  more rolling
195  For myself it was alternating mowing greens one day and rolling the next. This has allowed us to raise the height of cut thus reducing stress in the summer while actually increasing the speed of the greens.
196  Unquestionably, the introduction of hand-held soil moisture meters have given superintendents the opportunity to make much more intelligent decisions in the area of moisture management.
197  improved aerification equipment / toro
198  Wetting Agents and Rolling
199  Beeing able to aerate (solid or hollow) 18 greens in one day.
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