How To Spray The Right Way February 3, 2017 By USGA Green Section

Golf course superintendents apply materials with precisely calibrated equipment to achieve uniform coverage and maximum efficacy.

A multitude of products are applied to turfgrass by spraying. Sometimes products are sprayed to deliver essential nutrients that promote dense and healthy turfgrass. Other times products are sprayed to protect the key playing surfaces from damage caused by diseases, weeds or insects. Ultimately, the goal of spraying is to help maintain high-quality playing conditions on tees, fairways and especially putting greens.

Superintendents use a variety of sprayers ranging from simple backpack sprayers to extremely sophisticated, computer-assisted, mechanical sprayers. New spraying technology – such as GPS guidance, auto steer and ultrasonic sensors – helps superintendents apply products with extreme precision, even over large areas and irregular terrain. However, it is important to remember that even high-tech sprayers do not take care of themselves. Sprayers and their components require continual maintenance and calibration to ensure top performance.


Mole crickets can cause serious damage to playing surfaces if they are not properly controlled.


Golf course sprayers can be outfitted with a plethora of different spray nozzles. Superintendents choose nozzles with specific characteristics that match the objectives of each application. Selecting different nozzles helps overcome challenges faced when spraying. For example, if the product must reach the soil to be effective, superintendents use nozzles that deliver a coarse spray pattern; but if the product must be applied to the leaf blades, superintendents use nozzles that deliver a fine spray pattern.

The spraying equipment used on golf courses can be very high-tech. As such, the spray technician must be skilled and have a strong attention to detail. Furthermore, the sprayers require continual maintenance to ensure successful applications. Superintendents carefully select the appropriate nozzles, spray volume, operating pressure, and operating speed that will effectively, efficiently and precisely deliver each application to its intended target. Remember, golf course superintendents try to avoid spraying unless it is absolutely necessary to protect the key playing surfaces.


Additional Resources

PDF Version