Temporary Greens Will Speed Up Recovery From Damage

By Derf Soller, agronomist, Northwest Region
May 1, 2013

Scott Niven, superintendent of The Standwich Club in Connecticut cut a six inch hole in a temporary green much to the members delight during a green renovation project.

Sometimes, bad things happen to good putting greens. The cause can be weather, vandals, varmints, mistakes in management, etc. Perhaps your course is rebuilding a green or two. The use of temporary greens can greatly reduce the time necessary to get the permanent green or greens back in play while still keeping players on the course.

Visits to courses this time of the year often include discussions about how best to heal damaged greens from the stresses of a long winter. Unfortunately, until there are warming soil temperatures and appropriate sunlight on the putting green turf, there is not much golf course superintendents can do to speed up spring growth. What makes recovery even more difficult is that it is nearly impossible to manage damaged greens for turf recovery and still maintain good playability. If the greens are just starting to grow, the additional foot traffic and mowing hinders recovery of the turf. The maintenance staff must be able to aerate, water, fertilize and mow when the green needs it rather than foregoing these practices in favor of preparing the surface for daily play. This can best be accomplished by preparing and utilizing a temporary green.

State and regional golf associations should be contacted to see how to adjust scores when it becomes necessary to use a temporary green for the recovery period. Embrace the temporary green until the primary putting green is healthy enough to stand up to daily play. After all, it’s only temporary.

We would also like to remind all TAS subscribers that the deadline is approaching for the discounted TAS fees. To receive the $500 discount, payment must be received by May 15, 2013.

Source: Derf Soller (dsoller@usga.org)

Information on the USGA’s Turf Advisory Service

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