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Rain, Golf Shoe Damage And Continuing Education October 29, 2013 By Bud White

(L) Asking golfers to carry a gps device in their pocket as they play graphically illustrates how much traffic is concentrated to the area where the hole is located. This image depicts the tracks of 80 golfers.  (R) Some spikeless shoes cause significant damage to greens – particularly when golfers fail to pick up their feet around the hole.

Many areas of the drought-stricken Mid-Continent region have finally received rain in the last few weeks. Soil moisture has improved which puts bermudagrass in a much healthier environment for entering winter dormancy. 

Several golf facilities are noticing more putting surface damage than normal due to new golf shoe design. The most damaging is said to be new traction bars, or cross-shaped nubs, common with some of the popular golf shoe manufacturers. This aggressive “spike” design is said to increase stability for golfers, but it is making (and leaving) its mark on the turf. For damage to be minimized golfers need to be more conscientious on greens taking care not to drag or scuff their feet. A posted picture or two in the golf shop of damage around the hole from a busy play day is a great way to get the attention of golfers. 

Conference season is upon us and listed below are some of the regional events. Please put these conferences on your calendar. Excellent educational sessions are available for a wide variety of staff members, including assistants, mechanics and spray technicians. Your general manager and course officials would benefit as well. 


November 12-14

Texas Turfgrass Association Conference and Show (Dallas, Tex.)  

December 3-4

68th Annual Oklahoma Turfgrass Conference & Trade Show (Stillwater, Okla.)  

December 5

Missouri Green Industry Conference (St. Louis, Mo.)  

December 16-17

Heartland Green Industry Expo (Common Ground Conference, Overland Park, Kan.) 


January 22-23

Arkansas Turf Association Annual Conference (Hot Springs National Park, Ark.)       

 Source: Bud White (

Information on the USGA’s Turf Advisory Service

Contact the Green Section Staff