COURSE CARE
It’s A “Sticky” 12 July 22, 2014 By Brian Whitlark

Data collected from daily Stimpmeter readings arm the agronomic staff with the information needed to achieve desired green speeds, such as on green No. 14 at Forest Highlands Golf Club, site of the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.

Course setup can be difficult when hosting your member-guest event or even more so when hosting the best junior golfers in the world. Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz., is doing just that this week in hosting the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. One key component of setting up the golf course in a fair yet challenging manner is achieving desired green speeds. Green speeds have intentionally been managed to increase from practice rounds to the stroke play portion of the Championship. Despite an appropriate level of irrigation water applied to the greens on the evening of Monday, July 21, green speeds have remained the same as the first day of competition. It was interesting to hear comments that the greens felt “sticky” on the morning following light irrigation when compared to the day before. The “sticky” feeling is likely a result of the water applied the previous evening. Drew Annan, director of golf course maintenance at Forest Highlands, chuckled at the comment, noting that he often hears similar remarks from members, such as “the greens just don’t feel like they are rolling 10, 11, 12, or whatever the number may be.” Despite those perceptions, Stimpmeter readings do not lie. All the agronomic staff can do is employ the appropriate mowing and rolling strategies to achieve target green speeds on a daily basis. So far, so good as green speeds are right on target, offering a fair and challenging playing surface for these talented young ladies.

Source: Brian Whitlark (bwhitlark@usga.org)

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