Golf Course Management

APR 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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46 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.14 When I initiated my frst lightweight rolling putting green study at Michigan State University in 1993, I had no idea I would still be researching the mechanical practice nearly 20 years later. In the '90s, the initial objective of lightweight roller research was to gather data to determine whether the practice was safe. Concerns included the limitation of rolling frequency due to the increased possibility of compaction, tissue bruising and the more prevalent movement of diseases that are spread by mechanical means. Just 10 years ago lightweight rolling was primarily used to alleviate frost heaving, prep seed beds or increase green speed for tournaments — if it was used at all. Today, because of surprising results from research, lightweight rolling has been embraced as a means of creating healthy turf - grass and increasing customer satisfaction. Because of my extensive research with the practice, I have been asked time and again to create a list of "The Top 10 Reasons to Lightweight Roll." I'll admit to originally scoffng at the idea, but the truth is, I was the perfect individual to create such a list, so I fnally gave in to the requests. What follows are my top 10 reasons to lightweight roll. 10. Alleviate heaving and minimize scalping when climatic conditions dictate The numerous freeze/thaw cycles that occur in temperate regions of the world result in soil frost heaving, which leads to bumpy soil surfaces in the spring. It is customary to roll turfgrass surfaces before the frst spring mowing to minimize the potential of scalping. Similarly, when heavy rains are followed by hot humid weather, thatch can swell, creating puffy turf that is prone to scalping. Under these climatic conditions, rolling before mowing can decrease the potential of scalping. 9. Seed bed preparation Rolling is important during the establishment of turfgrass sites for several reasons. First of all, on high-value areas, it is imperative to roll the site multiple times before seeding to compress the root zone and reduce or eliminate soil settling during or following establishment. Second, numer - ous turfgrass books rightfully preach the importance of having good seed-to-soil contact during the establishment of turfgrass sites, and the best way to have good seed-to-soil contact is to roll the As recently as 10 years ago, superintendents were limiting rolling frequency due to their concerns about compaction, tissue bruising and spreading disease. Today ... lightweight rolling has been embraced as a means of creating healthy turfgrass and increasing customer satisfaction. 044-055_April14_roll.indd 46 3/18/14 2:50 PM

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