Crucial phases in golf course maintenance throughout the year

30 Apr 2019

Just like landscapers or any natural sports field manager, greenkeepers have to adapt golf course maintenance to seasonal needs. We list below the main maintenance actions for which public authorities and private owners have to budget when opening a golf course!

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Don't miss our technical glossary for sports field maintenance!

Golf course maintenance in spring

The return of fine weather also heralds the return of intensive grass maintenance! Weakened by winter, the grass of natural golf courses needs special care to ensure it grows as quickly as possible. Greenkeepers must ventilate the ground to stimulate the development of grass roots and facilitate the penetration of fertilizers. This operation can be followed by sanding to improve soil quality. Once the spring is truly there and the grass sufficiently robust, it should be scarified for maximum ventilation. And, of course, weeds should be prevented from spreading by suitable treatments! 

As summer approaches, mow the greens, fairways and tees. Also, check out irrigation systems before the hottest days!

Golf course maintenance in summer

Long days are when most people play golf. However, heat waves are never far away! Check that every part of the course is correctly watered by regular inspections. Manual watering may be necessary on slopes or areas difficult to access. For grass maintenance, mowing and light scarification may be necessary.

Summer rains facilitate the growth of mushrooms. We recommend the preventive application of a fungicide in problem areas.

At the end of summer, start planning the works that need to be done in the fall!

Golf course maintenance in fall

In the fall, greenkeepers must be particularly attentive to dead leaves on the golf course! To ensure they do not damage the course, leaves must be removed daily and trees must be cleaned.

To provide a good quality grass in the following spring, it is advisable to re-sow in the fall, especially in September when the ground temperature is ideal. It is also essential to ventilate the soil. Note that this maintenance often makes it possible to avoid emergency returfing in the middle of winter!

And remember to close irrigation systems before winter sets in.

Golf course maintenance in winter

When nature prepares to hibernate, greenkeepers still have a lot to do! This is the time to protect greens and their surroundings while waiting for fairer weather. The lack of light is a cause for vigilance! Just like for humans, the season is favorable for the appearance of diseases so you will need to build up your stocks of fungicide. Envisage daily inspections of the grass and if possible remove morning dew to prevent invasions by mushrooms. 

On the coldest days, during frosts, greenkeepers should keep people from accessing the main greens. It is also a good period to lay out new pathways between the holes!

The end of winter is the ideal time to carry out servicing and repairs to equipment, ground irrigation systems and fairway drainage works.

Read also: Ways to reduce the impact of golf courses on the environment

Of course, these operations are only the tip of the iceberg. Every golf course has its own characteristics requiring specific maintenance. And remember to ensure golfer and neighbor safety with appropriate measures! If you have any questions about sports field maintenance, contact our partner the SGA (Swiss Greenkeepers Association) also present at Paysalia 2019!


© Photo credit: 27707/Pixabay

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