September 23 is Thank a Golf Course Superintendent Day! But why is the greenskeeping crew so important?

A professional who looks after the grounds of a golf course or country club is best known as a greenskeeper. Greenskeeping teams (or groundskeeping) are not just in the golf industry, but are also in charge of the upkeep, care, and appearance of football fields, tennis courts, racetracks and anywhere with a sport turf playing surface.

Greenskeepers and their maintenance team manage all pin placement and hazard marking for both regular club play and tournament play. Experience and capability are more important than formal education when it comes to a trained and reliable greenskeeper.

Greenskeeping is a field that integrates biological research, earthmoving, surveying, and GPS sensors to manage soil and grass and keep the turf in good shape. Greenskeepers often labour alone outside in any weather condition, but are part of a bigger team. Greens are cut and watered, fairways are maintained, holes and flags are moved to prevent wear, and rough areas are maintained by planting trees, shrubs, and flowerbeds. They also aerate the soil by poking holes to achieve the proper balance of solids, air, and water. Greenskeepers are increasingly being asked to assess their work’s environmental impact in terms of water-saving and pesticide use.

The next time you’re at a course and notice a well-kept green terrain, be sure to thank the greenskeeper for their hard work and dedication!

greenskeeping crew creating hole golf course management operations

Importance of the greenskeeping crew

1. Measuring the Green Speed Using a Stimpmeter

Greenskeepers use a stimpmeter to determine the speed of golf greens and maintain consistency across holes. Green speed is affected by various factors, including design, undulation, and grass type. Stimpmeter values cannot be used to compare one facility to another. A greenskeeper can speed up the green by cutting the grass shorter, cutting it many times in different directions, or topdressing it with a bit of fineness sand to change the putting surface.

2. Setting the Pins for Play

The only aspect of the job that differs from other groundskeepers and gardeners is placing pins and tee markers. Other than that, many groundskeeping duties are identical. The hole and pin on the green are routinely moved. A greenskeeper must consider all of these factors when establishing or moving pins on greens:

  • The location of the pin will influence the difficulty of the hole
  • Around the putting hole, the soft ground grass on the golf green will develop wear and tear
  • A pin and a hole cannot be legally placed at every location on the green

In some instances, the greenskeeper pushes and sets the tee block markers. Tee markers are stakes in the ground that mark the line on which to tee off or strike the golf ball. If a greenskeeper moves all of the tee markers to the back of the tee block, the total yardage to cover is significantly increased.

3. Greenskeeping & Data Collection

Data must be retained by law once your greenskeeping team has been out spraying a pesticide on the course, whether it is done to make it healthier or to make it grow. Keeping track of fertilizer inputs is considered best, as well as a legal requirement.

Collecting observable data in order has become the norm as the job has become more scientific. Moisture content, green speed, volume clipping yield, soil temperature, surface firmness, smoothness, and trueness are measurable, recordable, and analyzed variables. Previously, this may have been done on an annual basis with such a visit from an organic farmer who provided a technical paper. On the other hand, the modern course manager is highly qualified and more than capable of collecting data and producing a technical report.

greenskeeping cutting golf course green

4. Greenskeeping in Golf Club Management

A greenskeeper is in charge of the upkeep, care, and overall look of a golf course. Their responsibility is to keep the course in good condition and provide golfers with a constant challenge and enjoyable experience. A golf course has four key areas: tees, fairways, greens, and roughs, each of which needs special maintenance. Greenskeepers are frequently in charge of the upkeep and tree planting/removal, shrubs, and flowerbeds.

Greenskeepers start their day very early in the morning to ensure that the best playing surfaces are accessible and achieved regularly and the course is ready for play. The greenskeeping crew must also be constantly aware of golfers on the course, ensuring that their work does not interfere with play, and prioritize health and safety in all activities.

Now we have a better idea of why the greenskeeping team is the backbone to any private or public golf club. They perform the golf club management services to keep the golf ground ready and up to par.

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