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Getting Back To Normal

By Chris Hartwiger, director, Course Consulting Service

| Aug 3, 2018

If the rough is deep during a tournament, mowing it back down will be a slow process that produces plenty of grass clippings.

What happens after the last putt has been struck, the crowds are gone and all the awards have been passed out? Work! One of the often-forgotten aspects of a golf tournament is the turf recovery program that gets the course back to normal once the event is over. A good rule of thumb for post-tournament recovery programs is the longer the tournament, the longer it takes to get the course back to normal. The following is a look at what happens after a tournament and previews what golfers may expect when the course reopens for regular play:

  • Practice putting green The turf on a practice putting green can get quite a workout during tournaments. The longer the event, the more stress turf is going to receive. It is not uncommon or unreasonable to close practice putting greens for a day or two following a tournament.
  • Golf course putting greens During events for highly skilled players, golf course superintendents may reduce soil moisture to increase putting green firmness. After the event, the putting greens will be thirsty and in need of a deep irrigation cycle, making them less firm in the days following the tournament. Additionally, superintendents may decide to skip a day or two of mowing to stimulate recovery.
  • Practice facility Thousands and thousands of balls are hit from practice tees before and after tournament rounds. Therefore, thousands and thousands of divots are made. After a tournament, superintendents work diligently to repair practice tees by filling divots and applying fertilizer to stimulate recovery.
  • Rough mowing One of the least pleasant jobs following tournaments for highly skilled golfers is reducing the height of rough for everyday golf. Clippings will be prolific and often mower operators must pass over the rough in more than one direction to get a good-quality cut.


Tournaments provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase a golf course, and they add another dimension to the golf experience. Although tournaments can range from fun charity events to national championships, there is always work to be done afterwards to get back to normal.


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