Golf Course Maintenance Practices
and Quality Standards.
Bull’s Eye Country Club
“Bull’s Eye Country Club is a private, member-controlled golf club providing members and their guests with a premier golf facility and a consistently high quality dining and recreational experience, managed in a fiscally responsible manner.”
The goal of the golf course greens and grounds department is to ensure an enjoyable and quality golfing experience for all members and guests of Bull’s Eye Country Club. To achieve this goal there are many standard practices that will allow us to provide the expected quality and satisfaction. We strive to provide the best playing conditions while managing the effects of weather and normal wear and tear on the golf course. The maintenance standards outlined in this manual are basic maintenance techniques used for the sole purpose of making BECC the best it can be. Special events and tournaments create the need to change maintenance practices in order to accommodate the specific needs of each event. The impact of weather and other unforeseen factors are not accounted for in this manual. However, by following the guidelines outlined, it allows us to handle unforeseen situations in a much more manageable fashion. A modified set of standards is in effect for our Tri City Golf Course property.
The objective is a putting surface with smoothness, firmness, and an emphasis of overall uniformity. The greens will be closely mowed with speeds above 9.5 feet on a regular basis.
- Greens are mowed daily at a height of .130” using triplex greens mowers. Clean up passes are mowed four times a week during the golfing season. Rollers are used a minimum of three times (Twice) per week during the prime months of June, July and August and as needed the rest of the year. Double cutting is utilized periodically throughout the season to maintain adequate green speeds.
- Greens will be groomed and/or verticut periodically to maintain consistent grain management and green speed and to sustain overall turf health.
- Light, frequent topdressing of greens will be done as needed to promote consistency in play and turf health.
- Greens (will not) be aerated (in 2010.) a minimum of two times per year annually. Depending on weather, the first Monday and Tuesday in the month of June the greens will be aerated with 3/8” hollow coring tines on quad tine centers. All cores are to be removed from the greens. Topdressing will be applied and broomed in to ensure that most of the holes are filled in to promote the timely recovery of the putting surface. A second core aerification process will be done the two days following Labor Day. This aeration will utilize 3/8” hollow coring tines with plugs removed and back filled with top dressing sand. Greens will (will not) be deep tine aerified at least once per year, typically the last Monday in October or early November with a deep tine machine, usually with ½” solid tines to a depth of 10”-12”. Any aerification operations beyond what has already been mentioned and with the exception of slicing, spiking or water injection cultivation will be approved in advance by the green committee.
- Greens will be irrigated mostly during the early morning hours (before sunrise) as needed. Hand watering and syringing will take place during the day as needed.
- Cups will be changed four (three) times per week during the golf season and as needed during April and October depending on the number of golfers playing in a given week.
- Collars will be mowed twice a week during the peak season at a height of 375”. A reel cut of 1.25”, approximately 36” wide just outside the greens collar will be cut two times a week. This cut will be in the rough around each green using the intermediate rough cut mower.
- Standard agronomic practices to promote and ensure overall turf health, such as fertilizing and the application of plant protectant materials (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and growth regulators), will be determined by the superintendent. Such practices are planned and timed to minimize disruption to play on the golf course. These practices may take place at any time during the year.
- Greens will close for play each year in early November depending on the weather to ensure time to adequately prepare them for winter. Greens will open some time in April as grass begins to grow and the turf has the ability to recover from damage incurred from normal play.
The objective is a teeing surface that is smooth, firm, level and without weeds. Tees will be closely mowed and consist of predominately bentgrass.
- Tees will be mowed three times (twice) a week at a height of .375”. Growth regulators and crabgrass controls will be used to control growth and weed invasion respectively.
- Divots will be filled at the time the course is set up for play during the prime golf season and 2-3 times a week during the shoulder months.
- Tees will be aerated a minimum of 2 times (once) per year with 5/8” hollow coring tines. The cores will be broken up and soil dragged back into the aeration holes. Deep tine aeration will take place at least 1 time per year usually with ½” solid tines. Exact dates will depend on weather and current conditions. Usually aerification will take place in June and September.
- Tee markers will be changed after cutting and the four days the course is set up for play. Ball washers and wastebaskets will be serviced at the same time the course is set up for play during the prime golf season and as needed during the shoulder months.
- Standard agronomic practices to promote and ensure overall turf health, as mentioned in the previous section on greens, will be determined by the superintendent. Such practices are planned and timed to minimize disruption to play.
- Tees will be irrigated mostly during the early morning hours (before sunrise). Hand watering and syringing will take place during the day as needed.
- Tees will close for play each year in early November, in conjunction with the greens, depending on the weather. Tees will open in or around April about the same time the regular greens open.
The objective is fairway turf with good density, uniformity, smoothness and firmness with a minimum of thatch while exhibiting good drought tolerance. The goal is to play “summer rules” at all times excluding the immediate scheduled aeration repair periods. We are currently implementing procedures to enhance and promote annual bluegrass growth because it is our primary turf cover.
- Fairways will be mowed at .600” during the golfing season. Clippings are not collected. Fairways are mowed three times (Twice) per week or as needed depending upon growth and time of year. Fairways are mowed with both 5 gang machines and triplexes. (Fairways will be box or shadow cut eliminating any striping effects.) All cutting units have grooved rollers on them exclusively.
- Fairways will be aerified a minimum of one time per year. 5/8” hollow coring tines are used. Typically this procedure occurs in May.
- Fairway irrigation will be done during the night hours. Syringing of fairways during the day will be done in the summer months when necessary. There is no hand watering of fairways.
- The maintenance department will (will not) fill divots with divot mix on a regular basis dependent upon wear and tear.
- Standard agronomic practices to promote and ensure overall turf health and playability, as mentioned in the two previous sections, will be determined by the superintendent. Plant protectant applications (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and growth regulators) will be applied to the fairways mostly on Mondays, weather permitting. The hours of play will be restricted on the days pesticide applications are made.
The objective with rough maintenance is to find a balance between rough that is penal but does not compromise speed of play or the enjoyment of playing the game of golf.
- Rough is mowed a minimum of twice (Once) a week at 2.5”. Primary rough areas are mowed with a riding rotary mower. Areas around greens, tees and bunkers are mowed with 3-gang reel mowers and line trimmers.
- Irrigation of rough is done when greens, tees and fairways are irrigated.
- A perimeter cut around fairways, at 1.25” is done three times a week. Where possible, a strip from tee to fairway (dew walk) is also done at the same time.
The objective is to have bunkers that play consistently and are firm but not hard. The bunkers should have cleanly mowed edges and compliment the aesthetic quality of the golf course.
- Bunkers are raked either completely or spot, four times (Twice) per week with a mechanical rake and or hand rakes. The perimeter edges of the bunkers are hand raked or touched up at the time bunker bottoms are raked.
- Rakes are placed around the outside perimeter of each bunker so that players will not have difficulty finding one with which to fix their own prints.
- The edges of the bunkers are trimmed on a regular basis to provide a neat and clean appearance. Mechanical edging will be determined by the Superintendent.
- The practice range will be set up daily by the golf shop staff.
- The range tee is mowed three times (Once) per week during the peak season.
- The range itself is mowed one time per week. This is done in coordination with the golf shop staff as they are responsible for clean picking the balls on the range. Mowing the range is done first thing in the morning before the range is set up.
- The Chipping green approach short game practice area will be mowed three times (Once) per week. The mowing schedule will be the same as the regular golf course tees/approach mowing schedule.
- The rough areas around the Chipping green short game practice area will be mowed twice a week at the times Mounds are cut in coordination with the golf shop staff cleaning balls from this area.
- The practice bunker will be raked during routine bunker maintenance during the season. Two rakes will be provided for raking out areas disturbed during a practice session.
- Common agronomic practices for these areas will be scheduled in conjunction with the regular golf course (aerification, fertilizing, chemical applications, etc.), as determined by the golf course superintendent.
CLUBHOUSE and TENNIS:
- The common areas around the clubhouse and tennis grounds will be mowed and trimmed once each week, or as needed during the season.
- Planting and maintenance of all landscape areas will be the responsibility of the green staff.
- All landscape beds will be kept neat and clean of weeds. These areas will be monitored on a daily basis.
- Mulching of all beds will be done as needed throughout the season.
- All irrigation maintenance and repairs will be the responsibility of the grounds department.
- There is NO comprehensive tree maintenance program permanently in effect for the entire BECC property.
- Trees on the golf course will be maintained yearly for low branches and dead/or dying trees will be marked for removal.
- Dead trees will be removed in the late fall mostly in the period of between course closure and snow cover that prevents equipment mobilization to the site. Storm damaged trees will be dealt with appropriately and in a timely manner.
- A tree maintenance company will be called upon to do maintenance to trees that the grounds department cannot reasonably handle. This work will take place predominantly during the winter months.
EQUIPMENT anCARTS:d GOLF
- The equipment manager is responsible for all repairs and maintenance to the equipment used to maintain the golf course and grounds.
- Any equipment used during the day should be cleaned off, fueled up and parked in good working order.
- The equipment manager is responsible for managing the equipment/repair budget within the departments operating budget.
- Preventive maintenance of BECC’s golf cart fleet is the responsibility of the grounds department. In season cleaning, fueling is the responsibility of the golf shop staff. Any necessary repairs will be done by the grounds department. The golf shop staff is responsible for reporting any necessary repairs to the equipment manager. Removing a disabled cart from the course is best left for the grounds department. Carts are never to be pushed off the course using another carts bumper under any circumstances.
- The grounds staff is responsible for keeping the entire maintenance facility and its surroundings neat and clean.
- The grounds staff is responsible for periodic maintenance and small repairs to the building and its components.
- The lunch room, shop area and offices will be kept in a neat and orderly manner and will be cleaned on a regular basis.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE/ EMPLOYEES, TRAINING & SAFETY:
- The golf course superintendent will report directly to the Green Committee Chairman.
- The golf course superintendent is responsible for everything that falls under the scope of the Grounds Department.
- The 1st Assistant superintendents and equipment manager report directly to the golf course superintendent.
- All employees hired to work on the grounds department must be processed in accordance with BECC policies and procedures.
- Grounds department employees will be trained and assimilated into the department based on guidelines set by the golf course superintendent. A new employee will be made to feel welcome and a valuable part of the family of co-workers.
- The golf course superintendent is responsible for all hiring and any firing of grounds staff employees.
- No employee will be allowed to operate a piece of equipment until they are properly trained. That determination will be made by the golf course superintendent, equipment manager and assistant superintendent.
- The grounds department will operate in a safe and efficient manner and comply with OSHA regulations pertaining to its operation.
- Employees will be provided with adequate safety equipment as needed to perform their work.
- Employees will view safety videos periodically.
- All pesticide applicators will have and maintain a Wisconsin certified pesticide license. They are also responsible to participate in continuing education in order to keep up to date on current and new techniques and information pertaining to golf course and turf grass management.
The contents of this manual are only general guidelines that the grounds department follows. As mentioned earlier, certain events may cause maintenance practices to deviate from these general guidelines in order to ensure quality golf course conditions and playability. This document should be reviewed and/or modified as necessary at least once a year by the Golf Course Superintendent, Green Chairman and his Committee.
Current revision – February 2010
Mark Kienert, Certified Golf Course Superintendent
Credit is given and my thanks to Mr. Jack MacKenzie, Certified Golf Course Superintendent for allowing me to adapt the Maintenance Standards he created for his employer the North Oaks Golf Club in Minneapolis Minnesota for our purposes here at Bull’s Eye.