How to Make Golf Course Specialty Equipment Work Smarter for You
Maximize the benefits of your equipment and find out our experts’ picks for the five pieces of specialty equipment every golf course should have.
With the industry moving toward more frequent, finely tuned applications and treatments for turf, you may be using your equipment more and in a different way. Learn how to use your equipment to its best advantage and find out if you’re properly equipped with our experts’ picks for the five pieces of specialty equipment every golf course should have.
Frequent and lighter applications of fertilizer and plant growth regulators not only benefits the environment, it’s also good for your turf. This method allows you to better supply what the plant needs, when it needs it.
Today’s sprayers help support this practice with technology that enables precise, prescribed spraying. Highly computerized, these sprayers consider weather conditions and plant growth. Some sprayers are even GPS-driven. If you’re getting overlap or drift with your current sprayer, consider upgrading to one of the newer models.
2. Topdressing Machine
Topdressing with sand reduces compaction and improves the smoothness and speed of putting greens. With newer topdressing machines, you can apply a small amount of sand more frequently. Players like it, as the sand is more readily incorporated into the turf canopy and less noticeable when putting. Your golf course maintenance budget will like the light touch of these newer topdressing machines as less sand gets into mowers and grinds down equipment.
3. Canopy Management Tools
No doubt your canopy management tools include verticutters and groomers, but have you considered adding brushes to the mix? You might want to.
Today’s brushes offer one of the most effective ways to manage shoot growth on the top of turf. This is important from a playability standpoint as green speeds and ball roll are highly affected by excess turf growth.
Brushing potentially reduces organic matter that accumulates over time with dead or decaying shoots that slough off and become thatch. Easily retrofitted on any mower, brushes also help grasses stand up before mowing and pull up dead or decaying material in the plant’s crown. Your golf course maintenance crew may have used brushes in the past, but the newer ones are much less aggressive, more effective and well worth considering.
4. Aerification Tools
Most likely you have aerification tools in your golf course maintenance arsenal but you may not be using these tools to their best advantage. Rather than restricting use of this equipment to spring or fall growing seasons, try aerating every two to four weeks and using needle tines to improve oxygenation and surface drainage of the soil. Players won’t even notice that you’re doing this, but your turf will, as this practice improves surface drainage and delivers more moisture and oxygen to turf roots.
Again, your golf course probably has a roller, but is your team using it enough? Research has shown that lightweight and frequent rolling helps reduce the occurrence of some turf diseases, such as dollar spot. Rolling can also be less stressful to turfgrass than mowing, so consider increasing the frequency of rolling to one to three times per week and reducing the frequency of cutting or mowing.
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