Golf Course Maintenance

Golf Course Maintenance is one of the most critical aspects to a well functioning course.  It’s high on the list of items members care about, and it is typically the largest expenses a course will ever have simply because there is so much involved in caring for such a big plot of land.

Ensuring the golf course is in perfect condition is a monumental task normally handed off to the grounds crew.  These guy are the ones who are up everyday at the crack of dawn speeding around on mowers to cut the fairway, rough, and greens to the ideal height, turning sprinklers on and off to ensure the course gets enough water, and taking care of tree removal, which many times requires a professional company.  The picture below was sent in from an old colleague.  You can see how much work goes into golf course maintenance just by looking at the picture.  It’s early fall and the well-trimmed trees are starting to change color, the fairway is nearly free of leaves, and the green is in great condition, even though it’s late in the golf season.

Notice how in the picture, there are a few trees that would block a golfer’s attempt to hit toward the green if you landed further to the right of the fairway.  The trees set up the ideal block to bring the water hazard into play.  Golfer after golfer ends up hitting that tree and dumping their shot in the lake.  Prepare for high scores if you so much as clip the edge of it.

golf course maintenance

Water management on the golf course can be a hefty task.  Special chemicals are put in to keep the water from turning into a swamp, and special irrigation techniques are used in order to flow water from one are to another without flooding the course.  Most times, special drains are installed in the center of a body of water to continuously recirculate it. You see this on TV all the time during pro events with fountains spraying into the air.

The grass is another major item on the ground crew’s list.  The height of the grass for the green, fringe, fairway, mid-rough, and deep rough all have to be different.  Do the math.  There are 18 holes, each with 4-5 types heights of grass in an area of anywhere from 1oo to 500 yards long and at least 100 yards across.  That’s a lot of grass to mow!  In addition to cleaning up the land for proper play, pesticides and fertilizers are used to make sure that the grass grows lushly and green without interference from pesky bugs and insects.

Each of these important tasks that the golf course superintendent oversees kicks into high gear if there is going to be a tournament hosted at the location.  The greens need to roll a specific speed, each layer of grass needs to be cut to a special height within a small tolerance level, and the overall landscape needs to be pristine.

Next time you go out for a round of golf, buy a beer and raise a glass to the grounds crew and the course superintendent – they busted their butts to make the place the best it could be for you to play on.  (And put back your divots after your shot) 😉

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