Playability and player concerns vs. turf health: which is more important?
Playability and player concerns regarding the speed of your greens are not uncommon. Having fast greens is a goal for every greenskeeper, because they know players want a fast, smooth, uniform putting surface. But because of the conditions required to make a fast putting surface, it’s not always ideal to keep making your greens faster.
Here are three reasons why fast greens may not always be desirable:
- Fast greens must be mowed extremely low. The shorter you cut grass, the less dense they become. Their root systems suffer. Their processing of carbohydrates slows down. In the end, shorter grass is less healthy and less resistant to disease.
- In order to maintain healthy functions and to retain a deep green color, turfgrass requires supplemental nitrogen applications. However, reducing nitrogen also slashes density and resistance, creating a smoother putting surface. So what’s more important: healthy blades, or a fast putt?
- Heavy rollers have been used to flatten putting surfaces, but it’s fallen out of favor as people realized its contribution to soil compaction. The concept of rolling pits grass health and root system vitality against a reliably smooth and fast putting surface.
Your course’s playability always has to be balanced against maintaining turf health. The correct course of action is not always clear cut. But in the end, keeping your grass healthy and green is paramount if you wish to avoid costly repairs, course renovations, or lengthy downtimes.
Are you ready to learn more about playability and player concerns and maintaining healthy putting greens and healthy turf?