Golf Course Superintendent Ready to Answer Any Questions You May Have

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,347 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    To go along with the hole cutting questions, who typically makes the decision where to cut the hole? Do you just train a guy to do it and tell him what quadrant or are you using a guy that plays/understands golf to prevent cutting holes too close to the edge of the putting surface or cutting them in an impossible spot?

    Seems it would be easy to accidentally end up with several holes in a row where the hole is cut in the center of the green or all to the left or all to the right, especially if you use a front-middle-back three zone scheme.

    Do you take into account where the tee markers are when you are cutting the holes for par threes? Places with runway tee boxes probably not an issue. I have played places with the freeform style tee boxes where the tee location and hole location coupled together made accessing a certain portion of the green very, very difficult.

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @smashdn said:
    @BNGL How often do you change hole locations? What is customary or is it all dependent upon wear around the hole?

    The reason I ask, local private club that I can see on the way to work the holes have been in the same location for three days. Also, I used to play a league on a public course every Tuesday that used quadrants to move the holes. Seemed that we were always playing to the same/similar holes in the same quadrant.

    Do supers ever take into consideration that if you play the course two days in a row or the same day each week that the golfer is playing to the same holes often?

    Well to answer the first couple questions, everyday. Now maybe some days we don’t if there wasn’t any play but they’ll still be checked and moved if necessary (mowers and irrigation can damage it). The mowers and rollers will compact turf around the hole and effectively shrink it which is why I have my setup crews go last behind everything, plus there the eyes on the course usually foreman or assistants each takes a nine.

    Yeah depending on when your league days are you can often get the same location especially if there’s 7 zones. (Monday would always be zone 1 etc)

    I’m at a new club now and we do a daily pin sheet no sections.

    That’s where a good golf committee and league chairman are beneficial because they can mention that to the club and get something positive done.

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @smashdn said:
    To go along with the hole cutting questions, who typically makes the decision where to cut the hole? Do you just train a guy to do it and tell him what quadrant or are you using a guy that plays/understands golf to prevent cutting holes too close to the edge of the putting surface or cutting them in an impossible spot?

    Seems it would be easy to accidentally end up with several holes in a row where the hole is cut in the center of the green or all to the left or all to the right, especially if you use a front-middle-back three zone scheme.

    Do you take into account where the tee markers are when you are cutting the holes for par threes? Places with runway tee boxes probably not an issue. I have played places with the freeform style tee boxes where the tee location and hole location coupled together made accessing a certain portion of the green very, very difficult.

    Generally I want guys that play or at least understand golf which can be hard to do depending on the area. In Jupiter guys really didn’t play, which is unfortunate but those private clubs aren’t open to employees at all. So it makes it tough, but we try to teach and figure out who can handle cutting cups. It’s an easy job go at your own pace but you have to have an eye for detail and enough common sense to say, “today’s rotation is number 5 but 5 is right on a crown according to the map so I shouldn’t cut it here” some guys get it others don’t. And we plan accordingly.

    As far as distances I always try to keep it within plus/minus 100 yards of the card for the total distance so flag back tees front etc. if I have a tournament or someone makes a request then it’ll be setup special, but for member play I need them to move along. Plus significantly changing the yardage would alter the handicaps I would think.

  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,347 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jun 5, 2019 4:15pm #515

    My gripe with the tees/holes relationship hasn't really been a distance disparity from what is on the ground versus the card, but more the tees are on the far right hand side of the box and the hole is cut over there too and it may force you up against trees (all courses have trees here). It just seems evident that someone who doesn't play set that up.

    If I ruled the world I wouldn't force a shot shape off the tee by the location of the tee. You want to cut the hole so a cut or draw works better that is fine. I can at least choose to play my normal shot shape off the tee and contend with the results on the green. Just don't force me to hit a shot off the tee because I am crammed hard against trees that doesn't work on the green.

    I'll never play there but 18 at Augusta gives me the heebie jeebies.

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @smashdn said:
    My gripe with the tees/holes relationship hasn't really been a distance disparity from what is on the ground versus the card, but more the tees are on the far right hand side of the box and the hole is cut over there too and it may force you up against trees (all courses have trees here). It just seems evident that someone who doesn't play set that up.

    If I ruled the world I wouldn't force a shot shape off the tee by the location of the tee. You want to cut the hole so a cut or draw works better that is fine. I can at least choose to play my normal shot shape off the tee and contend with the results on the green. Just don't force me to hit a shot off the tee because I am crammed hard against trees that doesn't work on the green.

    I'll never play there but 18 at Augusta gives me the heebie jeebies.

    Ah ok I gotcha, yeah that could be just someone not understanding how to play golf but also something an arborist and a chainsaw could handle pretty quickly.

    There’s more room there than you see, 18 for example is tight but it opens up relatively quickly and from the members tees it’s not as intimidating as it appears in television

  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 3,019 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    BNGL do you think it’s possible for course designers to make a maintenance friendly course?

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @mallrat said:
    BNGL do you think it’s possible for course designers to make a maintenance friendly course?

    Where are you talking? In Europe absolutely. Here in the states you can, but often don’t.

    The club I worked in Hobe Sound we recycled ever drop of water from the property so the course had to drain to certain areas areas and then be pumped to ponds. Fazio/Bel Jan has to make it work.

    From a turf prospective though the best turfs will require more attention. TifGrand is a phenomenal playing surface and what we had on tees and approaches/collars, our tees stimped 8 and apps were routinely 10 plus, mowing at .225 and .175 respectively. But that turf requires attention and inputs. How did they decide on the turf? A combination of what works in the area, what the maintenance team can handle, and what the membership wants from a playability perspective.

    I would say that the more natural looking the course, ie as little earth movement as possible the easier it would be to maintain. Think of your classic links courses in Great Britain, the fairways flowed with the land and the greens were sheltered in areas where water collected. Nature took care of things.

    The advent of pumps and modern machinery that can establish a golf course on the moon with enough dollars behind it has significantly altered golfers perception. We can just do so much more stuff now that wasn’t possible so Now you have to have the forced carries and deep bunkers and fast greens with wall to wall green to be considered a good golf course. Which is that right? No, is it wrong? No.

    Hopefully that kind of answers it? I feel like I got off on a tangent there lol

  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 3,019 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Answered it some but very insightful. The answer kind of went in a different direction than I was thinking. I was thinking more about a course being labor intensive in certain areas (if you PM me I can go into detail about what made me ask this today.) Mainly stupid things like my last course(‘s it was a 36 hole facility) both courses were designed for greens & collars to be walk mowed. Spraying and tri-plexing are a nightmare. Also thinking of bunkers and the severity of slopes and using fly mowers or tee boxes that are square (every course around here walk mows square tees vs tri-plexing rounded tee boxes.

  • James the Hogan FanJames the Hogan Fan Members Posts: 646 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @mallrat said:
    Answered it some but very insightful. The answer kind of went in a different direction than I was thinking. I was thinking more about a course being labor intensive in certain areas (if you PM me I can go into detail about what made me ask this today.) Mainly stupid things like my last course(‘s it was a 36 hole facility) both courses were designed for greens & collars to be walk mowed. Spraying and tri-plexing are a nightmare. Also thinking of bunkers and the severity of slopes and using fly mowers or tee boxes that are square (every course around here walk mows square tees vs tri-plexing rounded tee boxes.

    We triplex square boxes; worst of both worlds! Just hit the corners over and over...

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  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @mallrat said:
    Answered it some but very insightful. The answer kind of went in a different direction than I was thinking. I was thinking more about a course being labor intensive in certain areas (if you PM me I can go into detail about what made me ask this today.) Mainly stupid things like my last course(‘s it was a 36 hole facility) both courses were designed for greens & collars to be walk mowed. Spraying and tri-plexing are a nightmare. Also thinking of bunkers and the severity of slopes and using fly mowers or tee boxes that are square (every course around here walk mows square tees vs tri-plexing rounded tee boxes.

    Ah ok gotcha! Labor intensive is a luxury tbh. There’s a club called Old Corkscrew in Estero Florida, Jack Nicklaus Signature design a terrific challenge and a great golf course...but due to labor it’s triplexed regularly instead of using walkers. Granted triplexes now a days can cut just as well as walkers, they couldn’t before (weight, turning radius, etc), but walking is viewed as more precise and elevated in status. The course still looks and plays great, but it gives you that extra special from walk mowing imo.

    I don’t necessarily agree with circular tees, but those can be easily changed to square or circular and vice versa tbh, but the problem with circular tees I have found is that the edges will eventually start to slope away because the weight of the cleanup laps constantly turning pushes the turf away from the center, and when you mow it’s quite common to scalp out the turns accidentally. With square tees I have found that it’s easier to mow, and easier for different people to mow if I have to switch routes (we try to burn the stripes into the turf) different people just have to lineup and go.

    Deep bunker faces are typically a hallmark of championship golf courses, which play host to generally better players and clientele. So that becomes the designers responsibility to know who will be playing the course. Falcons Fire in Orlando, is a Rees Jones Course and he moved a lot of dirt...particularly on 13. There was probably 25 bunkers on that hole alone, major PITA, bunker drainage sucked and they needed constant attention but they weren’t deep they were more pancakes. Yes a hazard but easy to get out of. Because it was designed as a resort course, there was supposed to be shopping and two hotels in those voids on the front nine, so you wanted to design a course that was memorable and looked tough but got people around. Compare that to say CC of Winter Haven which went from a pushover member owned private, to a championship private after Rees Jones’ redesign the bunkers were redone greens were raised up bunkers were raised to flash from the tee the floor was dropped after totally blowing up 5 holes or so.

    So ultimately after all that rambling, yes it is possible but you have to know your customers, do they want a championship course? They do? Great I can drop the bunkers elevate the greens etc but you need to make sure that the owners are willing to spend to maintain the course the way it was designed. Because if you do have the proper labor force available then it becomes viable and maintenance friendly.

  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,347 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Never liked the appearance or playability from a landing strip tee box. Free form to make it easier to mow and gives the set up guys more freedom to give the golfer more looks and options and angles. A 20 yard shift of the tees left and right does infinitely more to make the hole more interesting than moving the tees forwards and back 20 yards. No defined spot for the reds or whites or blues. Maybe the whites and blues are playing within five yards of each other but the blues from a significantly harder angle? Just my thoughts.

  • Zac1321Zac1321 Members Posts: 145 ✭✭✭

    @smashdn said:
    Never liked the appearance or playability from a landing strip tee box. Free form to make it easier to mow and gives the set up guys more freedom to give the golfer more looks and options and angles. A 20 yard shift of the tees left and right does infinitely more to make the hole more interesting than moving the tees forwards and back 20 yards. No defined spot for the reds or whites or blues. Maybe the whites and blues are playing within five yards of each other but the blues from a significantly harder angle? Just my thoughts.

    there is a run down local course(extremely poor conditions) by me that I play just because I think it has a unique/fun layout. It has a few holes where I will go up our down tee boxes just because they are at complete different angles and give the holes significantly different looks. Ever since coming across reading about the reversible course (forest dunes) course in Michigan I have wondered why more courses don't try out having a few lateral options for tee boxes at least on the shorter par 4s and par 3s to give different angle looks

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @smashdn said:
    Never liked the appearance or playability from a landing strip tee box. Free form to make it easier to mow and gives the set up guys more freedom to give the golfer more looks and options and angles. A 20 yard shift of the tees left and right does infinitely more to make the hole more interesting than moving the tees forwards and back 20 yards. No defined spot for the reds or whites or blues. Maybe the whites and blues are playing within five yards of each other but the blues from a significantly harder angle? Just my thoughts.

    Just a funny story but we renovated a golf course and moved the tees over basically across the cart path not closer or further away. Mr. Nicklaus drove around (it’s a Jack Nicklaus Signature) and he stopped on 8 and asked if the tees were different. We said yes and he scoffs, “you had a good hole until you moved the tees.” Couple months later we reopens the “new old” tees lol

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    https://www.golfcourseindustry.com/article/poa-annua-myths-turf/

    Something interesting about poa and hopefully points one in the right direction I have gotten several messages about my thoughts on the greens at pebble this week.

  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,347 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Jun 11, 2019 12:45pm #526

    @Zac1321 said:
    There is a run down local course(extremely poor conditions) by me that I play just because I think it has a unique/fun layout. It has a few holes where I will go up our down tee boxes just because they are at complete different angles and give the holes significantly different looks. Ever since coming across reading about the reversible course (forest dunes) course in Michigan I have wondered why more courses don't try out having a few lateral options for tee boxes at least on the shorter par 4s and par 3s to give different angle looks

    I play a course a town over from me pretty regular that had a few holes redid and relocated so the flow is just a little different than how it was first conceived. They left one of the abandoned holes in tact and I assume it serves as a turf nursery if need be. They also left the corridor where an old hole was. In doing so they have created a spot where a new tee box could be created to make the hole play quite differently. The good thing about it is that the new tee would be right off the path that goes to the other tee complex for the hole so it would not impact flow and is not located where an adjoining hole would hit into that box or vice versa. In the picture the old hole is red. The lengthened #10 by moving the green I assume. It is hard to tell where it used to be but #10 green is definitely new. They made a whole new #11. The abandoned #11 is in red. That tan spot is a sink hole that could easily be played over. Depending upon what it looked like from my proposed new tee (orange) you may need to cut a tree or two.

    I think a tee like that could be used sparingly during events (especially multi-day events) just to keep people on their toes and make that hole play very differently without adding much more maintenance or cost.

    How much does a new tee box cost to construct on average?

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Saw something on Live From coverage this morning of guys mowing that I thought worth mentioning. Obviously the guys is mowing but the second guy circled is moving something called a turning board, he’ll go back and forth moving these pieces of plastic to prevent wear from the mower turning on the turf.

  • augustgolfaugustgolf Golf with dignity Coastal NCMembers Posts: 3,926 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Great catch! The course I'm trying to revive uses triplex mowers on the greens. They could not figure out why there was a circle of thin grass/dirt surrounding each green. Told them to move their turns out about 5-10' & fertilize the surrounds out to about 25' - and now we have immaculate areas around each green.

    It's the little things that make a big difference.

    I saw that as well & didn't think to comment, only admire!

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  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @augustgolf said:
    Great catch! The course I'm trying to revive uses triplex mowers on the greens. They could not figure out why there was a circle of thin grass/dirt surrounding each green. Told them to move their turns out about 5-10' & fertilize the surrounds out to about 25' - and now we have immaculate areas around each green.

    It's the little things that make a big difference.

    I saw that as well & didn't think to comment, only admire!

    Three point turns! Yeah I used to have “buttholes” on the collars and did it myself when I was green lol.

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    https://www.gcmonline.com/course/profiles/news/pebble-beach-gallery

    Posted this in the US Open thread but thought I’d put it here so it’s easier to find. Some excellent behind the scenes looks at Chris and his staff prepping for the US Open.

  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 3,019 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @BNGL said:

    @augustgolf said:
    Great catch! The course I'm trying to revive uses triplex mowers on the greens. They could not figure out why there was a circle of thin grass/dirt surrounding each green. Told them to move their turns out about 5-10' & fertilize the surrounds out to about 25' - and now we have immaculate areas around each green.

    It's the little things that make a big difference.

    I saw that as well & didn't think to comment, only admire!

    Three point turns! Yeah I used to have “buttholes” on the collars and did it myself when I was green lol.

    I actually had a “talk” with 2 of our guys about this on Thursday. Those “buttholes” and hearing the screech of tires turning is a BIG pet peeve of mine. I had to get on the mower and show them how to do bigger turns and 3 point turns when heading into a tight area.

  • caniac6caniac6 Members Posts: 2,897 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Our Bentgrass greens have done pretty well in central NC this summer. Our super did a solid tyne aerification this week, with no top dressing, and plans to pull plugs in about three weeks. What is the thinking of doing these so close together?

  • augustgolfaugustgolf Golf with dignity Coastal NCMembers Posts: 3,926 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @caniac6 said:
    Our Bentgrass greens have done pretty well in central NC this summer. Our super did a solid tyne aerification this week, with no top dressing, and plans to pull plugs in about three weeks. What is the thinking of doing these so close together?

    If he (or she) got the greens through the early, oppressive heat/drought, I wouldn't try to 2nd guess techniques.

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  • caniac6caniac6 Members Posts: 2,897 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @augustgolf said:

    @caniac6 said:
    Our Bentgrass greens have done pretty well in central NC this summer. Our super did a solid tyne aerification this week, with no top dressing, and plans to pull plugs in about three weeks. What is the thinking of doing these so close together?

    If he (or she) got the greens through the early, oppressive heat/drought, I wouldn't try to 2nd guess techniques.

    It seems odd to do two things so close, plus it seems early to be punching greens. I have a turf degree from NC State, so I do have some knowledge, and background working with bentgrass. We never punched until after labor day, and one year after a really hard summer, we didn't do it until the spring. Our guy does a good job, but I've never seen this done so close together. Mabye he's just trying to break the surface for better water penetration. Like I said, he's getting good results, but I my years of working, and being a member of this particular course, I've never seen this done before.

  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,737 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @caniac6 said:

    @augustgolf said:

    @caniac6 said:
    Our Bentgrass greens have done pretty well in central NC this summer. Our super did a solid tyne aerification this week, with no top dressing, and plans to pull plugs in about three weeks. What is the thinking of doing these so close together?

    If he (or she) got the greens through the early, oppressive heat/drought, I wouldn't try to 2nd guess techniques.

    It seems odd to do two things so close, plus it seems early to be punching greens. I have a turf degree from NC State, so I do have some knowledge, and background working with bentgrass. We never punched until after labor day, and one year after a really hard summer, we didn't do it until the spring. Our guy does a good job, but I've never seen this done so close together. Mabye he's just trying to break the surface for better water penetration. Like I said, he's getting good results, but I my years of working, and being a member of this particular course, I've never seen this done before.

    It’s different strokes for different folks. I know guys now that won’t even pull cores and haven’t for 3/4 years, which I think is absolutely ludicrous. I tined last week and will again this coming week as time allows just to facilitate gas exchange and relieve some compaction.
    To make a long story short I really don’t know why the schedule is the way it is. Do you guys play over the winter weather pending?

  • augustgolfaugustgolf Golf with dignity Coastal NCMembers Posts: 3,926 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Have you asked him about the benefits expected from this sequence of procedures?

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    or is it 1514...
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  • JAMH03JAMH03 Members Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Aug 4, 2019 3:05am #538

    @smashdn very interesting thread. Edit Sorry didn't see you were already here.

    Everyone else @smashdn has a really cool thread going too y'all ought to check it out.

    ">


     



  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 3,019 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @BNGL said:

    @caniac6 said:

    @augustgolf said:

    @caniac6 said:
    Our Bentgrass greens have done pretty well in central NC this summer. Our super did a solid tyne aerification this week, with no top dressing, and plans to pull plugs in about three weeks. What is the thinking of doing these so close together?

    If he (or she) got the greens through the early, oppressive heat/drought, I wouldn't try to 2nd guess techniques.

    It seems odd to do two things so close, plus it seems early to be punching greens. I have a turf degree from NC State, so I do have some knowledge, and background working with bentgrass. We never punched until after labor day, and one year after a really hard summer, we didn't do it until the spring. Our guy does a good job, but I've never seen this done so close together. Mabye he's just trying to break the surface for better water penetration. Like I said, he's getting good results, but I my years of working, and being a member of this particular course, I've never seen this done before.

    It’s different strokes for different folks. I know guys now that won’t even pull cores and haven’t for 3/4 years, which I think is absolutely ludicrous. I tined last week and will again this coming week as time allows just to facilitate gas exchange and relieve some compaction.
    To make a long story short I really don’t know why the schedule is the way it is. Do you guys play over the winter weather pending?

    There may be something going on under the surface that you guys don’t see? Maybe some black layer and the solid tine was just to get them through? I have no idea but we also have no idea what’s going on under there

  • caniac6caniac6 Members Posts: 2,897 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @BNGL said:

    @caniac6 said:

    @augustgolf said:

    @caniac6 said:
    Our Bentgrass greens have done pretty well in central NC this summer. Our super did a solid tyne aerification this week, with no top dressing, and plans to pull plugs in about three weeks. What is the thinking of doing these so close together?

    If he (or she) got the greens through the early, oppressive heat/drought, I wouldn't try to 2nd guess techniques.

    It seems odd to do two things so close, plus it seems early to be punching greens. I have a turf degree from NC State, so I do have some knowledge, and background working with bentgrass. We never punched until after labor day, and one year after a really hard summer, we didn't do it until the spring. Our guy does a good job, but I've never seen this done so close together. Mabye he's just trying to break the surface for better water penetration. Like I said, he's getting good results, but I my years of working, and being a member of this particular course, I've never seen this done before.

    It’s different strokes for different folks. I know guys now that won’t even pull cores and haven’t for 3/4 years, which I think is absolutely ludicrous. I tined last week and will again this coming week as time allows just to facilitate gas exchange and relieve some compaction.
    To make a long story short I really don’t know why the schedule is the way it is. Do you guys play over the winter weather pending?

    We do play all winter, and our member- guest is in Oct., so that is why he pulls plugs a bit earlier. He wants to make sure everything is healed for the tourney.

  • bulls9999bulls9999 Members Posts: 747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fantastic....
    Question: How come every course (even my own c.c. course), whenever someone is out 'watering the greens' on a hot day, they do it from hole #1 to #18 direction, and sometimes you get the same guyy watering greens, holding you up for 3-5 holes in a row? It happens everywhere...same problem everywhere. Common sense says, if you water greens from hole #18-to-#1 direction, you'll only interfere with any group just once? You need to put that in your golf course maintenance manual.

    @BNGL said:
    Good Afternoon GolfWRX,

    As the title says hit me up with any questions that you may have in relation to golf course agronomy, or why certain practices are done at certain times. Whatever the question you have, if I don't have the answer I will provide it for you.

    Fairways, Greens, and remember to repair your ball marks!

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