COURSE CARE
No Pain, No Gain August 2, 2011 By R.A. (Bob) Brame

We’ve all heard the phrase “no pain, no gain” as it relates to exercise.  The clear message is that improving physical conditioning requires sacrifice and exercise.  Based on the USGA championships I’ve worked during my career, it seems the same can be applied to preparing a course for a high level event.

Once exercise and healthy living become a lifestyle, endurance is improved. Doesn’t the same apply to golf turf conditioning and preparing for a big event? If the turf has not been well conditioned in advance, the resulting pain from hosting a big event will be intensified.  In the same way, when the turf is not well conditioned in advance it will not handle tough weather – there will be more weakening and potential loss.  While there are times to pull back, it is not possible to maintain a permanently pulled back posture and still provide top-notch conditioning for a high level event, especially when weather conditions are harsh. 

The underlying message is simple – guard agronomic building blocks (proper mowing, good water management, sound fertilization and healthy microenvironments) so that a solid foundation is in place to maximize quality and dependability when the hard race must be run.  Then, beyond a solid foundation, the daily details of course maintenance must be fitted to available resources.  The best way to candidly evaluate your foundation and daily maintenance operation is through an on-site visit from your local Green Section agronomist. Professional, candid and confidential feedback on the maintenance operation at your course is money well spent when considering the big picture, and the occasional race that must be run.  Give us a call to lay out an exercise program that will improve the performance and dependability of your course – if you follow the outlined program there will be much to gain.  

 Source:  Bob Brame, bobbrame@usga.org or 859-356-3272