Caring for a golf course is no small feat. Did you know that the average 18-hole golf covers more area than 70 football fields? Or that in a single morning, golf course workers can mow enough grass to cover 25 football fields?
And that is just the grass! Aside from making sure the fairways and greens are smooth and pristine, you’ll also have sand traps, bodies of water, paths, trees, and a bunch more things that need to be maintained.
If you are wondering how golf course managers can effectively care for their golf courses, there are plenty of tips and tricks to getting it right from the start. Here is our advice and what you should be focusing on to keep your golf course in the most beautiful and playable condition!
1. Maintain Your Equipment
Every golf course requires a variety of equipment, depending on the size of the facility, type of grass on the course, location, and the usage of the course.
Equipment conditions are important! High standards have to be kept when it comes to maintaining both the turf and the bunkers. Each piece of equipment needs to be maintained and well cared for to keep the course in pristine condition.
Bunkers have to be raked daily, with weekly edging and leaf-blowing. Each green has to be mowed between 5 and 7 days a week during the growing season, while fairways can be mowed between 2 and 4 times a week.
Cleaning and maintaining the blades of your different mowers will not only ensure that the grass is cut to the correct length but that disease isn’t spread across your entire course.
Check the tires and sand brush attachments on the Bunker Rake machine too, as this will ensure bunkers are efficiently raked.
Make sure that your fertilizer equipment has properly been cared for, otherwise, you may end up adding too much fertilizer. This can damage or even kill the grass.
If your aeration is done in-house, then making sure that the machine is maintained and well looked after will help you get a clean finish. This can also help reduce your costs if better air and moisture are able to penetrate the soil, as you can save water in the long term.
2. Consider Sustainability
There are a number of steps you can take so that the golf course you are managing is sustainable, healthy, and saves you money.
Do a water irrigation audit. This will help you to determine how much water the course uses per acre. Then, map your irrigation system and check for any leaks, equipment failure, and adjust the water pressure if necessary.
From there, you can look at putting water-saving solutions into place, like an underground drainage system to collect rainwater for irrigation use.
Switch your chemical fertilizers and pesticides for organic, as this will help keep your water and turf healthy long-term. If it is time to upgrade some of the equipment, consider using eco-friendly electric machinery like mowers.
This will help reduce fossil fuel emissions and save you money, especially when the fairways and greens are mowed frequently.
Start a compost facility on the golf course where you use natural resources. Not only will you be saving money, but you’ll have compost for every season and for when the greens are aerated.
3. Pest Control
It is important for golf course managers to ensure that the turf is healthy. After all, golfers won’t want to play on or return to an unkempt golf course.
Pest control is a vital part of good golf course maintenance, and it includes more than just weeding and removing invasive plants. Golf course managers have to continually scout for pest activity, as well as dead and diseased plants that could affect the health of the turf.
These require using targeted solutions that can protect the course in an economically sustainable and environmental way.
By implementing a pest control program, you won’t have to wait until there is a pest problem. This will allow you to reduce pest management costs and save your golf course grass.
4. Identify High-Wear Areas
Certain areas of golf courses are more prone to wear and tear than others. For example, the tee boxes and greens will most likely accumulate more wear and tear as they are more walked upon than the fairways.
Also, it is a common occurrence that golfers stray off the path with their golf carts. The areas near the cart paths are also likely to have more wear.
Once you’ve identified the areas that will most likely need more work, you can allocate time and resources more effectively in order to make sure that every area of the course looks good and is well-cared for at all times.
5. Educate Golfers
Your patrons can also help to keep the golf course in top condition. Wherever possible, educate golfers about what they can do to look after the course.
Things like repairing divots, keeping their carts on the paths, and using sustainable or biodegradable golf balls and tees where possible are all steps that dedicated golfers can take to improve the general wellbeing of a course.
While there will be some golfers who don’t care much, most of those who are serious about the game will respect the fact that you asked and take steps to ensure that they do their part.
Conclusion: How Golf Managers Can Care For Businesses Today
You should have a better idea by now of how golf course managers can effectively care for their courses. Each item on this list will help you take a step towards maintaining a visually stunning and physically flawless golf course.
It is worth noting that golf course management and maintenance should not be neglected. It is not cheap to maintain a beautiful course, that’s for sure! But keeping a gorgeous and extremely playable course will attract golfers, whilst skimping on maintenance will only lead to disrepair and unhappy patrons.
It may seem like a huge and expensive job to maintain a golf course, but trust us, it is in your best interest (not just your patrons) to keep it well-maintained!
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Jordan Fuller has been golfing and doing business for decades, with the two overlappings in many cases. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska, but has been fortunate enough to play courses all over the United States with high-powered businessmen. Jordan shares his love for all things golf-related at Golf Influence