Summer is the most challenging time for superintendents across the country. While a few lucky ones have it relatively easy, the majority of turf professionals are battling heat, drought, disease, and insects. Most maintenance departments try to do work behind the scenes but summer is when most contact with golfers is made. Today, we will look at a few things golfers can do to help their local club get through these challenging growing conditions.
Mornings and Evenings
One of the best things you can do is schedule your round at non-peak maintenance times. Sure, a lot of mowing and manicuring takes place during the morning hours, but most superintendents would like to see the bulk of rounds finished early before the heat of the day. Afternoon watering is crucial for low cut turf and having a mostly empty course during these hot hours is very helpful. Plus, limiting traffic during these times also reduces turf stress. Most maintenance activity is wrapped up by late afternoon making the evening the best time to squeeze in a round.
Follow the Signs
One of the biggest pet peeves for superintendents is golfers who don’t follow traffic control signs and ropes. These tools are used exclusively for maintaining turf health and recovery projects and any traffic at all through these areas is extremely disruptive. Especially in the summer months, follow all cart signage and restrictions to keep your course in pristine shape.
Stay Patient and Flexible
Encountering maintenance staff during the summer is almost inevitable. Keeping up with the mowing can be difficult enough for a number of maintenance crews. Add summer heat and diseases and it can often seem like too much. Also, with the increased pressure on irrigation systems, summer is the most common time for breaks and leaks. When encountering maintenance operations on the course, stay patient, wait until you know it’s safe for all parties before hitting and be flexible with your round. Unless you’re in a competitive event, consider hitting from an area that is safer for the staff. The safety of the staff should be valued more than a stroke or two of a casual round.
Summer is the busiest time of year for all departments at the golf course and any help from patrons can go a long way. By following a few of these tips, you’ll help save work for the maintenance staff and help improve course conditions throughout the year. You may even be able to help lower your dues by reducing maintenance costs.
About the Author: Brian Neufeld
Brian Neufeld’s background includes more than 15 years of experience in golf course management, specializing in agronomy. Brian uses his knowledge of the game and best practices in turf sustention to create informative pieces for GolfTourney.com’s readers.