Golfdom’s putting greens survey results

By |  May 16, 2012

By now you’ve received the May Golfdom, and in that issue we boast that we received more than 1,000 responses to our last two survey questions.

Here are the first 100 responses to the question, “What is the most significant change in greens management in the last five years?”

1 Rolling more.
2 Alternating greens mowing with greens rolling
3 Turf growth regulator programs
4 Greens rollers
5 The ability to “dust” greens with the dual-spinner topdressers.
6 Air, Water and Nutrient management in the root zone leading to healthy turf that provides a firm smooth surface.
7 Getting away from the ‘lean and mean’ phylosophy. It created more problems than benefits.(IMHO)
8 More sand and verticutting
9 Regular use of growth regulators
10 improved mower technology, (i.e., hybrid mowers, electric mowers)
11 roll more
12 Supers getting dumber.
13 The interaction between mowing, rolling and the use of growth regulators.
14 For me it was a more aggressive verticutting program
15 The Toro 648 ProCore.
16 water moister meters
17 Aeration equipment/methods continue to improve to provide excellent results while creating far less disruption to the playing surface. Methods of aeration such as: Dryject, planetaire, and various deep solid-tine machines make conventional coring a thing of the past for many facilities, much to the delight of the golfing clientele.
18 Top dressing more often. At least 1 light dressing every 2 weeks. Verticut at least once per month.
19 rolling
20 I don’t have the budget to use anything that is significant in the last five years!
21 providing the same conditions with less money
22 The loss of PCNB. It forced many of us to use a combination of fungicides that gave us better control and was easier on the health of the turf. A change for the better.
23 Moisture meter useage
24 TDR 300 Moisture sensor, Toro 648 with quad tine blocks, and better machines for light topdressing.
25 Height of cut on newer varieties: don’t know how mechanics get mowers that low.
26 hybrid ultradwarf grrasses
27 Increase in cultivation, and a change in thinking of complete rolling to site rolling
28 Golfer expectation of green speed and the steps taken to provide them, rolling, height of cut, top dressing, and aerification changes.
29 the new varieties of bentgrass in combination with products that inhibit poa annua invasion
30 Less input often results in better conditions
31 The way in which we keep our greens healthy, fast and playable.
32 Greens rolling becoming the norm for golf courses of all budget levels.
33 The increased use of plant growth regulators.
34 Fertilizer technology! Enabling the superintendent to achieve more with less inputs.
35 We have taken the approach that firmer and faster greens through water conservation practices has made our greens more healthy, less ball marks and more consistent.
36 Rotary mowers low cut no scalp
37 Faster, better aerifiers for venting greens. Education on benefits of rolling by raising height and keeping greens fast by rolling.
38 growth regulators have made managing green speeds and keeping speeds consistant easier Rollers have improved and studies have supported rolling more Mich St/ Oregon st
39 less money to work with.
41  the major decrease in funds
42  cultivation practices
43  The use of colorants. They help to warm the greens in the spring and help photosynthesis throughout the season.
44 Civitas, rolling
45 Toros 648s and the ability to quickly needletine greens with no disruption probably has been the biggest advantage Golfer expectations have mostly remained the same even though budgets have been cut. Also the change toward fast and firm over green – although slow – is a step forward
46 Rebuilding greens. Converting from push up to USGA spec.
47 Disease resistance
48 Ride on rotary topdressers.
49 Rolling everyday, mowing everyother day Great consistency day to day!
51 good greens speed while maintaining healthy turf
52 Better chemicals-fert has led to better turf. By better I mean thicker, healther and better able to withstand the summers. Now I am see chemicals to kill poa-the first of the silver bullers to come.
53 Efficiency of aerification equiptment has provided the biggest impact to greens maintenance process.
54 I think improved cultivation practices and equipment innovations have improved the way greens are managed as well as new control products, these have made a large difference.
55 less water and rolling
56 Having switched from bentgrass to an ultradwarf in 2008, there have been numerous changes for me. The ultradwarfs allow superintendents to be much more aggressive in their management techniques. Much of this is required due to the grass, but the “micro-management” of ultradwarfs through frequent greeoming (light vertical mowing – less than .20″ deep)allows us to produce finely textured, incredibly smooth putting surfaces throughout the year.
57 Rolling
58 Level of play
59 More rolling
60 The Procore 648 changed aerification into a less dreaded practice. The speed and quality has been terrific.
61 Definelty rolling. That has come along way. All of the research and benefits that have been shown to help manage green speed and health of turf.
62 The better coring machines available to the market mainly the 648 Toro aerifier
63 The most significant change in greens maintenance in the last 5 years is the ability to quickly and efficiently vent greens with the 648 Toro aerifier. It allows us to get ahead of play with little disruption to the putting surface.
64 Growth Regulators
65 Hands down it would have to be the alternative mowing/rolling strategy that has allowed greens to hold desired speed without sacrificing quality.
66 Jac. Eclipes mowers
67 Light sand top dressing PGR
68 The newer bentgrass varieties are allowing mowing heights to be lower, therefore putting more pressure on those of us with older varieties to push them further to gain green speed.
69 The new artificers (specifically toro’s pro core 648) have changed the serif ovation process for the good
70 liquid fertilization
71 Rolling.
72 Having switched to new mowers that allow for an increased frequency of clip (FOC) I have been able to raise the height of cut (HOC) and still increased average green speeds. The lower FOC and higher HOC result in a cleaner more uniform and faster surface. The higher HOC also improves plant health and survival with more tissue for a healthy plant without the stresses previously placed on the greens to maintain speeds.
73 utilization of technology inputs to make more informed decisions on cultural practices
74 Pro Core 648 & venting every 2-3 weeks
75 the weather extremes
76 14 blade reels to maintian greens speed while keeping heights up slightly
77 The decrease in money because of the economy. Everyone still holds the expectations of when budgets were larger but do not want to pay for it anymore. It takes green to keep them green.
78 research that showed you can roll your greens more than 3 times a week without creating compaction
79 not sure
80 Members wanting higher stimp readings on a daily basis.
81 Rolling of greens some instead of mowing greens every day
82 Fertilizer and water management
83 We have seen ultra dwarf Bermuda start to replace the bentgrass that replaced the original Bermuda cultivars from the 60’s and 70’s. Are we coming full circle? Will a super bent cultivar one day reclaim lost ground? Either way moving from C3 greens to C4 greens in the transition zone is a huge change.
84 Managing golfer expectation with less money and hotter more brutal summers. Seems that golfers have become more and more outspoken if things are not exactly what they expect each day. Problem is that one golfer wants the greens one way and another wants them the exact opposite, both are equally outspoken within the club.
85 Better fungicide effectiveness.
86 Rolling
87 For us, it was the height of the cut. It became very obvious that the shorter the cut, the more difficult it was to maintain the welll-being of the greens. It was also more expensive to maintain short greens. It was easier, more financially feasible, and healthier for the greens to be higher and slower..
88 changing grass to suit the temp.
89 The change from bent tO ultradwarf Bermuda in the south
90 more hands on doing things manually
91 new diseases keep challenging us
92 New cultivars of bentgrass and bermduagrass. The other is the use of soil moisture probes i.e. the TDR 300, most have been able to cut down on their water usuage.
93 numerous needle tine aeration
94 core aerification clean up has greatly improved. Walk mower quality of cut. 14 blade reels, Frequency of clip,…
95 Trimmit & Primo Programs
96 The weather.
97 I think Xonerate is going to make managing poa annua on putting greens easier. I have not tried it, and I don’t know if I will since my greens are > 50% poa. However, for new greens with little poa in them, I believe this product will keep those greens nearly poa free.
98 Challenging weather conditions in our area have made owners and members more aware of the fragile nature of Bent grass when it is under stress.
99 Doing more with less money.
100  The need for faster green speeds is the driving force behind Greens management in most of todays Golf courses.
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