maintaining golf courses

Tips for Maintaining Your Golf Course

Maintenance is a vital part of any golf course, but it can be tough to perform maintenance on a schedule that doesn’t impede play. Golfers say noise from mowers and slow play due to maintenance can ruin their game. Here are some of the best tips for keeping your course in top condition every month of the year without interfering with your customers.

Prioritize Sustainability Lightning Safety
Be Specific with Maintenance Golf Carts
Eliminate Ball Marks Aeration
Repair Divots Trees
Rake Sand Bunkers Waterproof Lighting
Rough It Up Choose Durability
Course Design  

Prioritize Sustainability

It takes a lot of water, electricity and fertilizer to maintain all that vibrant green turf. Golfers enjoy the sport because they’re surrounded by natural beauty and connected to their environment. Golf course maintenance should conserve resources and protect that environment.

Clubs can insist on sustainable construction to reduce waste. Natural materials like stone walls and walkways and thatched roofs are easy to maintain and don’t introduce harmful chemicals. Some courses install underground drains and pipes that collect rainwater and store it for irrigation. Others use solar-power and composting facilities that use natural resources and reduce waste.

Computerized irrigation only waters grass when there hasn’t been adequate precipitation. Golf course software helps reduce waste. Maintenance crews can minimize fertilizer’s impact on the nitrogen cycle by using natural humus or rose cakes to add nutrients and prevent evaporation.

Be Specific with Maintenance

Maintenance crews are often focused on completing their jobs, and don’t realize the impact their activities have on game play. Create a maintenance route that accounts for play and helps crews work systematically through routine maintenance without causing a disruption.

Part of smart scheduling involves knowing how long maintenance tasks take and how much time players need per hole. Analyze the time both parties need and use it to create your schedule. Use tee time software to coordinate maintenance with scheduled games.

Eliminate Ball Marks

When golf balls fall from the sky and hit the putting green, they make a tiny crater. The resulting depression can make future putts go awry and damage healthy grass. Repairing them is part of golf course etiquette, but many golfers don’t do it. Use a ball mark repair tool by inserting it at a 45-degree angle into the raised area behind the dent. Gently pull the tool toward the center of the hole. Work your way around until the area is filled in, then step on it gently to make it level.

Repair Divots

Sometimes golfers slice away a layer of turf and leave behind a scar. Repair it by replacing the removed portion grass side up and gently stepping it into the ground. If the removed portion was destroyed, maintenance can fill the hole with a divot repair mix.

Rake Sand Bunkers

Sand bunkers are disturbed when golfers drive or walk across them. Train maintenance to identify the lowest spot and enter the bunker with a rake. Gently rake over signs of play moving from the inside out.

Rough It Up

The one place on a golf course that the golfers dislike is the rough, and yet it’s a part of the game and should be just as well-maintained as the green. It’s a time-consuming task but taking care of your rough means taking the time for even the most painstaking of tasks. It takes moisture, length and density of the grass, topography and obstacles to affect the proper conditions. Saving money and resources means leaving the rough alone; you want it as natural as possible, so you can use plant growth regulators to reduce how much you need to cut.

Course Design

The design that you choose for your course is going to be a big deal for your golfers. The design of the putting greens must be perfect, as this is one of the biggest ways to satisfy the people who visit your course. Firmness, slope and speed are the three prime things that you should focus on to maintain the perfect golf course. Asking what your golfers want is going to help you to appeal to them, and greens that are firm and fast are usually the top request. Add to that great drainage and irrigation systems, and you can create the best greens out there.

Lightning Safety

Golf accounted for a total of 28% of sports-related lightning deaths between 2006-2013, which means that courses are currently developing safety plans specific for lightning. You should try to raise awareness for the risks of playing in all weathers, and while you want to encourage people playing whenever they want to, you need to be aware of the dangers and protect your golfers.

Golf Carts

Your golf carts are an important part of your course and maintaining these are just as vital as maintaining the turf. You should be servicing these annually, with the batter terminals and water levels should be checked over every two weeks – especially if your carts are powered electrically. Hosing out the carts should be done as part of a regular routine to keep them clean and dust-free.

A golf course that is well-maintained provide community and ecological benefits for those who play. The major areas of a course need to be properly maintained if you want your golf course to remain efficient and reduce waste.


Also known as aerification, aeration is a process that has three benefits for a golf course:

It provides a way to improve the mixture of soil around the roots of the grass.

It relieves compacted soil.

Aeration prevents excess thatch from gathering.

Going below the surface of your turf is so important if you want it to be healthy, and while aeration can be a pain at times for players, it’s essential for your course. Preventative maintenance is so important for your course to have healthy turf produced.

The process happens when air space is created in the soil. It allows the grass to root more deeply, and with the removal of half-inch cores from the soil that has become compacted, which then allows air and water into the soil. New grass and turf can grow once this has been achieved. Maintenance teams can then fill the spaces with sand topdressing. This can make your roots grow downward far easier and give you a healthier turf.


It’s not just the turf in the golf course that you should be looking it when it comes to maintenance. The trees around it are a vital part of the course and should be looked after well. The trees serve as a way to keep the course shaded and cool during the hottest times of the day, and they are also able to filter the dust from the sand bunkers. Where possible, trees should not be allowed to grow too close to the putting surfaces, because the growth and nourishment here will be interrupted by the tree roots. You should implement a good tree maintenance programme to ensure that no overgrown limbs will hang too low.

Triple ‘A’ Approach

Reducing water wastage is so important on a golf course. You want the turf to look green and healthy year-round, but you don’t want a waterlogged area to play. Following the triple A method means anticipating the changes in the weather and changing your water use to follow, which prevents dry spots on the course. Then, you must adjust the schedule you follow for irrigation to increase or decrease the time by a percentage, so you can reduce the stress on the turf. Doing these things will help you to achieve conservation of water on the course.

Waterproof Lighting

The aim of anyone running a golf course is to be successful and the way to do that is to ensure the comfort of the players on the fairway. Golf courses are known to use more water than most sports do, which is why any lighting fixtures around the course should be set up with waterproof fixtures. They have to be able to withstand an onslaught of water throughout the year without turning to rust. People tend not to golf at night, but they have to be able to see what they’re doing while on the course; especially during those early morning misty sessions. Choosing to go for a resin coating on your light fixtures is a solid choice, because resin is 100% waterproof and your light fixtures will last a long time with it.

Choose Durability

Planters, light fixtures and other decorative features are going to be taking a few hits from flying golf balls, so it makes sense to buy in durable materials that can withstand the constant attack. Add to this harsh weather conditions and a continuous stream of water from sprinklers, you need materials that won’t rust or rot when wet. Look for materials that are lightweight and non-dense, so that you are spending your budget where it counts and not replacing decorations.

Whether your course is public or private, running your course is much easier with the right software. Find out how to manage tee times, point of sale transactions and food and beverage sales when you visit foreUP today.

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