Our Experts Explain Course Care

coursecare_experts

USGA agronomists located throughout the country each visit more than 130 courses annually. Their experience helps golf course staff and officials produce the best golf turf possible within each course’s budget.  Utilizing a wealth of information and offering an impartial yet concerned perspective, our course-care experts will answer your questions regarding turfgrass growth, ecologically sound land management and the conservation and protection of natural resources on golf courses.

 

Latest Articles

Posted: 8/7/2014 10:55:16 AM

It is often thought that the only irrigation needed to properly maintain a golf course comes from the automatic irrigation system. This leads members of the community questioning whether or not handwatering is a waste of water. Read on to understand why handwatering is a necessary and important practice. ...

View Article

Posted: 6/11/2014 11:26:11 AM

When is the best time to water turf? At night or during the day? The answer will help you better understand golf’s use of water, why you’re likely to encounter irrigation during your round of golf, and even help in maintaining your home lawn. ...

View Article

Posted: 5/15/2014 9:34:20 AM

 Since water is scarce, why not use seawater to irrigate golf courses? Is this even possible? Read on to learn how and where saltwater can play a role in the successful management of golf courses. ...

View Article

Posted: 4/2/2014 4:10:18 PM

 With warming spring temperatures, we know you're excited to get out on the golf course. Just remember to have patience when it comes to course conditioning as this winter has been severe. Here’s what you can expect and how you can help your golf course get back into great shape. ...

View Article

Posted: 3/20/2014 3:26:42 PM

 Given the severe winter experienced throughout much of the U.S., golfers are eager to tee it up as soon as temperatures warm. To ensure that range tees have turf coverage come summer, the use of synthetic practice tees is recommended until turf breaks dormancy and resumes active growth. ...

View Article

Posted: 2/21/2014 8:43:05 AM

How long can putting greens survive beneath snow? The winter of 2013-14 has brought about polar vortexes and a series of snowfall events that have buried many northern states for over a month. Should you be concerned? ...

View Article

Posted: 1/22/2014 10:36:44 AM

Ever wonder why golf facilities delay play until turf is no longer covered in frost? Read on to better understand (and appreciate) how frost delays serve to protect the condition and playability of the course. ...

View Article

Posted: 12/12/2013 10:56:53 AM

 Water availability is a growing concern for many regions of the country. Is your golf facility prepared if a drought strikes or water restrictions are put in effect? ...

View Article

Posted: 11/8/2013 1:46:51 PM

How often are holes changed on putting greens? How often should they be changed? Read on to learn about factors that determine hole changing frequency and what’s right for your golf facility. ...

View Article

Posted: 10/3/2013 11:50:24 AM

 How is it that Tiger Woods and Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III can play their respective professional sports on the same turf? Read on to see how USGA Green Section research extends beyond golf. ...

View Article

Posted: 9/5/2013 10:00:55 AM

 Want to grow the game? There’s a short course within your golf course that may be perfect for youth, beginners and shorter hitters. ...

View Article

Posted: 8/8/2013 4:33:34 PM

     Summary: The how and why of vertical mowing putting greens  ...

View Article

Posted: 7/10/2013 9:53:56 AM

  Do you know the difference between syringing and hand watering?  ...

View Article

Posted: 5/16/2013 9:17:06 AM

While most golfers understand that core aerating greens is necessary, ever wonder why it is performed at different times of the year depending on where you live? ...

View Article

Posted: 4/16/2013 9:06:08 AM

 The benefits of rolling are well documented and it is a common practice on putting greens at most golf facilities, but how much is too much? ...

View Article

Posted: 3/11/2013 1:34:31 PM

Overwhelmed with so many ball mark repair tools available? The solution to properly repairing ball marks is easier than you think. ...

View Article

Explaining Turf Grain
Article Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Posted: 11/26/2012 8:55:28 AM

Ty McClellan, Manager, Green Section Education Grain on putting greens is mentioned frequently when watching golf on TV and it always creates plenty of discussion within our membership. What should we be doing so it is not a problem at our golf course? In all likelihood your golf course is already being maint ...

View Article

Posted: 10/16/2012 11:41:59 AM

USGA Green Section In recent years our superintendent has restricted carts to paths following heavy rainfall. This year we are in a drought and, again, we have been occasionally restricted to cart paths. Is there a reason why (or when) we are restricted to cart paths? (Nebraska) One of the most difficult deci ...

View Article

Posted: 8/29/2012 9:15:49 AM

USGA What is the difference between cool-season and warm-season grasses? Extreme summer heat and the current drought have prompted discussions about replacement turfgrass options on our fairways. (Kentucky) The difference between cool-season and warm-season turfgrasses comes down to basic plant physiolo ...

View Article

Posted: 7/11/2012 8:54:44 AM

USGA What exactly do fans near putting greens accomplish? Several golf courses I have played recently are using them, but they only seem to run in the summer. (Missouri) Fans are often used to cool the turfgrass canopy on putting greens, typically cool-season species such as creeping bentgrass and Poa ...

View Article

Posted: 6/12/2012 12:45:07 PM

Experts Explain: Manual Watering Of A Course I have always wondered why putting greens are occasionally watered by hand? I don’t usually notice except during the summer. (Washington) There are a couple reasons for which you may see maintenance personnel watering greens by hand during your round of ...

View Article

Posted: 5/20/2012 9:22:49 PM

USGA Green Section Every year questions arise on where to place bunker rakes and never has our course been able to reach a consensus. Should rakes be positioned inside or outside bunkers? There is no rule on bunker rake placement and both are common. The USGA recommends placing rakes outside the bunker and par ...

View Article

Posted: 4/23/2012 5:13:16 PM

USGA Green Section It has been years since I have seen our golf course this busy this early in the spring. Are there any concerns with such an early start to the golfing season? Golf facilities across much of the U.S. have experienced a boon in play and enjoyed early season revenues given the unseasonably warm ...

View Article

Posted: 4/7/2012 7:20:56 PM

USGA Green Section As the new Green Committee Chairman I am already feeling the pressure to identify ways to cut costs on the golf course, both now and into the future. Is there any guidance that can be provided for this ongoing concern? (Colorado) Our agronomists field many questions each year on this very t ...

View Article

Posted: 1/18/2012 12:29:42 PM

Green Section Question: Our golf course superintendent wants to spend about $1,000 on a fancy soil probe to measure soil moisture. Is this expense worth it? Can’t he just water the grass when it is about to wilt? (Skeptical in Pa.) Answer : It’s a worthwhile investment for many different reasons. For one t ...

View Article

Posted: 1/3/2012 9:39:58 AM

Pat Gross, USGA Q: Please help settle a debate at our club. Is the proper term “Green Committee” or “Greens Committee?” Some contend that the term “Green Committee” is outdated and refers more to environmental issues, recycling, carbon foot-print, and other such issues. Which is proper? (Arizona) A: History i ...

View Article

Posted: 11/7/2011 11:40:47 AM

USGA For some reason, our golf course staff does not want golf carts to be used on our hybrid bermudagrass fairways during January, February and March. I know of no other course in our region that has this guideline, and a large majority of our golfers disagree with it. What do you say?   This is a case where t ...

View Article

Posted: 10/19/2011 9:47:47 AM

Bud White, director, USGA Green Section Mid-Continent Region The drought of 2011 has been a record-breaker in nearly all areas of the lower and central Midwest. Superintendents are directing their attention to the long term consequences of these extreme environmental factors to evaluate and prepare for 2012. ...

View Article

Posted: 9/22/2011 7:16:33 PM

David A. Oatis, director, Northeast Region Between the rains in the East and the drought in the South, cart paths have never been more important to courses. Now is the time to plan for improving your path system. As a Green Section agronomist who sees more than 100 golf courses each year, I believe that the ...

View Article

Posted: 8/16/2011 3:18:08 PM

Course Care Question: During the recent Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) conference and show several of my fellow superintendents from the Midwest were discussing the possibility of an abnormally hot, dry summer season. Can the USGA point me in the direction of a credible source of long- ...

View Article

Posted: 1/4/2011 9:30:57 AM

Why do golf courses close for overseeding in the desert southwest, while Florida courses do not? Is there a way to avoid closing the golf course for overseeding in the southwest? (Arizona)   In the desert southwest, bermudagrass goes dormant for 6-10 weeks, typically from mid-December through the end ...

View Article

Posted: 1/4/2011 9:07:12 AM

We have a problem with heaving soils on our golf course.   In late winter the surfaces of fairways and greens are severely heaved. The surfaces eventually settle as the frost leaves the ground and we roll the surfaces. Unfortunately, we lose a significant number of sprinkler heads during the process. Is there anyting that can be done to reduce the damage? ...

View Article

Greening Up
Article Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Posted: 5/27/2009 1:55:51 PM

We've had a problem with a few of our greens over the last couple of years, and our superintendent has recommended removing trees to improve sunlight penetration. Does this make sense, and how much could it possibly help? The trees ...

View Article

Sand Bunker Depth
Article Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Posted: 5/27/2009 1:52:47 PM

How deep should sand be installed in a bunker? Is there a way to determine an appropriate depth? It is important to realize that the sand in a bunker is not at a consistent depth throughout the entire bunker area. ...

View Article

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image