Replace, Repair And Rake May 21, 2012 By Keith Happ

(Left) The group had a great day of fun and gained valuable lessons about the game of golf and care of the course. (Right) It was hard to tell if it was more fun to hit the shot or rake the sand! 

Greater Pittsburgh Golf Course Superintendents (GPGCSA) Take the Time To Provide Education On Course Care To Junior Golfers.  

Saturday, May 5 was designated as Junior Golf Weekend at the Bob O’ Connor Golf Course in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The course is situated in the heart of Pittsburgh and is the home of the First Tee of Pittsburgh (FTP), one of the largest First Tee chapters in the country. The First Tee theme for the day was “Responsibility” which is one of the core values the First Tee program. The mission of the First Tee is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. The Greater Pittsburgh Golf Course Superintendents Association partnered with the FTP to provide education on course care with focus on proper course etiquette and respect for the course while playing the game. The “Replace, Repair and Rake” theme provided an opportunity to instruct on proper divot replacement, ball mark repair and raking of bunker sand. The First Tee participants learned that as golfers, they have a responsibility to the course and to others that enjoy the game. Also, while many of the participants were unfamiliar with the activities of the golf course superintendent by the end of the session all participants had a better idea of what the superintendent does and how they are involved with golf course preparation and presentation.

The superintendents set up stations that provided a hands-on opportunity to learn how to properly care for the course. Each participant received a ball mark repair tool and was instructed how to use it properly. They also learned that replacing your divot immediately after taking a shot will help the turf will heal more rapidly, which helps maintain playing quality for everyone. Sand bottles were available so they could add a mix consisting of sand and peat moss to the divoted area. The next stop was a temporary bunker. Since many had never played from a bunker every participant got a chance to try their luck with a sand shot. The superintendents then demonstrated the proper raking techniques including where to position the rake after the job was finished.

There were 80 junior golfers present for a day of instruction and fun. The golf course superintendents were pleased that these eager, young golfers responded well to instruction and were willing to care for the course and leave it in better condition than they found it!

Always remember that the agronomists of the Mid-Atlantic Region are part of your agronomic support team. If you have a question of concern, especially now, give us a call or send an email. Stan Zontek, ( or Darin Bevard ( at 610-558-9066 or Keith Happ at ( at 412-341-5922.