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golf course droughtWhen managing a golf course, it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected, especially when it comes to water. You never know when something like a pipe failure, a fire, or in most cases, lack of rainfall, will affect your course’s water supply. Since a golf course uses, on average, about 312,00 gallons of water per day, it’s best to create a water-management plan. In fact, it’s often required by the state for courses to have this. If you wait until a drought occurs, you’re too late. Your course will need to have reduced water use long before your area is actually in a drought. (more…)

beautiful fairwaysThough most golfers focus on getting to the green, most of their time is spent in the fairways. After all, fairways account for, on average, 29% of the overall property, while greens are only 3.2%. Therefore, it would make sense that creating fabulous fairways would be a focal point for golf course supers, ensuring the grass has uniformity, with smoothness and good density. How does one achieve that? Here are the four key ingredients. (more…)

pollinatorAs we all WELL know, there are many contributors to any successful golf course operation. It wouldn’t thrive without the super, pros, investors, players and grounds crew, but other important cast members include natural wildlife and pollinators. They’re responsible for encouraging plant growth and pollinating flowering plants. Integrating wildflowers into your course landscaping is a simple way to support pollinators, and they can bring a whole slew of benefits.   (more…)

golf course managementIt’s been a hell of a year, and it’s only June. It’s likely to be rough for awhile. Courses across the US were shut down as early as March, and only in the last month have slow streams of players been allowed back on, and with stringent restrictions. No golfers means no revenue and boards are tightening the purse strings for supers. The problem is, if you want a viable course when players are back in full swing, you can’t just stop maintaining it for a couple months. But, we’ve been here before. We learned some valuable lessons in 2009 and these are five important takeaways on what you can, and what you can’t, sacrifice in a time like this.

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irrigation systemFor golf course superintendents, the number one priority is to provide golfers with the best possible playing conditions. And as we all well know, that is no easy feat especially when it comes to turf management. Your course’s irrigation system plays a huge part in that. The challenge lies in the fact that it is probably the most expensive investment on a golf course but it can have the biggest impact. When considering making upgrades to your course’s irrigation system, it’s important to understand what’s really involved. Here’s a glimpse at the reality. (more…)

golfing frustrationThere are plenty of frustrating moments on the golf course. For players, when a drive lands in a water hazard, a green is misread, or a heavy rainstorm hits in the middle of a great round can all send them over the edge. For golf course supers, when equipment breaks down right before a major tournament, a greens committee micromanages your work, or turf that just won’t cooperate are examples of the frustration we face every day. Like everything in life, some things are out of a manager’s control and it comes with the job. But other problems, like spring dead spot popping up, are manageable. (more…)

sand trapNo one likes a sand trap. Golfers hate it when they see their beautifully hit shot land in a bunker and course superintendents despise maintaining them. But there’s no getting away from them. As we all know, they’re a key component of any golf course to give players a challenge, plus it adds to the aesthetics of each hole. So to keep your bunkers looking beautiful (and your members as happy as they can be on the beach), they should be regularly maintained and, eventually, rebuilt or renovated. (more…)

Fall golf course

Golf Course Superintendents aim to create an amazing experience on the course, with lush greens, pristine sand traps, and healthy soil for better landscaping. But a common hurdle many supers face is working within their budget. Many managers have to look at what’s necessary and what’s not, which means cutting costs, like rescheduling aeration, skipping topdressing and scaling back landscaping. It’s hard to do more with less!

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golf course managementAs a superintendent it can be frustrating to have ideas about how things should be done to make things better and not have that vision shared by the people who make the budget decisions.  You’re the boots on the ground and can see what’s happening every day, but these things aren’t always as obvious to the people who are making the financial decisions. Here are some guidelines to help in presenting your proposed budget requests and getting them approved. (more…)