Golf Course Management

JUN 2018

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

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66 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 06.18 include specific grow-in suggestions in the USGA recommendations for putting green construction. However, the document, "Building the USGA Putting Green: Tips for Success," offers a sample grow-in fertil - ity schedule and general guidelines to con- sider for growing-in a new putting green. Future considerations e review committee dedicated signifi- cant time to considering alternative construc- tion methods for inclusion in the 2018 recom- mendations. Some of the topics considered are included in the list below. • Variable-depth construction. e idea be - hind the variable depth root-zone is to im- prove surface moisture consistency across a sloping putting green. Essentially, this method involves shallowing the root-zone depth to 8 to 10 inches (20.3-25.4 cm) on mounds and increasing the depth to 14 to 16 inches (35.6-40.6 cm) in low-lying areas. While research demonstrated merit to this idea, these current construction methods are more art than science. e USGA will continue to evaluate this method. the green surround. Many superintendents and USGA agronomists have observed higher moisture content at the low end of greens where this barrier has been installed, but once it is removed, the moisture content decreases to more desirable levels. While there are instances in which this plastic, im - permeable layer may be beneficial, there is a desire to conduct research that would better quantify water movement with and without the wicking barrier in a variety of soil con - ditions. • Geotextile fabrics. ere are potential sav - ings and benefit that may be derived from using geotextile fabrics in putting green construction. For example, imagine using on-site rock and placing a geotextile fabric rather than gravel over the top to support the sand-based root-zone. Research on the Airfield Systems, which uses a geotextile fabric over a 1-inch (2.5-cm) thick plastic grid, revealed this system stores 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) more water in the root-zone when compared with a gravel- based system, po - tentially reducing water use. However, nu- merous members on the review committee • Slope and materials used at the interface of the green cavity and green surround/approach. Currently the USGA method recommends the cavity wall should be 90 degrees to the subgrade floor or steeply sloped, but some courses have recognized benefits of tran - sitioning the sand in the green cavity out into the approach or closely mowed areas around greens. However, at this point there are no specific guidelines on the slope and depth requirements in these areas outside of the green cavity. • Solutions to remediate iron oxide layers. e USGA continues to fund research on strate - gies to either prevent or remediate cemented layers that may form at the sand/gravel in - terface under specific circumstances. Cur- rently, it is suggested that courses avoid placing a low-pH sand root zone over an alkaline pH gravel. • Water movement with and without the wick - ing barrier. e wicking barrier is a plastic membrane that may be installed vertically at the putting green cavity wall to prevent moisture from wicking from the porous sand root-zone into a finer-textured soil in When the root zone is installed, the mixture should be dumped on the edge of the putting green cavity, spread across the gravel layer, and then firmed to a depth of 12 inches, with a tolerance of plus or minus 1 inch.

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