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A golfer’s guide to course maintenance

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A golf course superintendent’s job is not an easy one.

And it’s made more difficult by the very people they work hard to impress.

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For every person that plays golf who knows how to correctly fix a ball mark on a green, there are three tee times worth of people who don’t know or don’t  care.

Therefore, it is the job of course maintenance staff to pick up after a population of people that are quick to curse the course superintendent, but slow to help out themselves.

Here are a few other ways people can help make any course they play better.

The biggest issue is fixing a ball mark. Those little indentations on the green from those perfect approach shot that lands two feet from the cup. If a player is unaware of the proper technique on how to fix a ball mark, staff at any course will eagerly tell you and even show you how to do it.

Fixing divots is another issue, but how to do it differs depending on where you are playing and what kind of grass the course grows. On bent grass fairways, golfers are asked to fill in the divot with a sand/seed mixture that usually comes in a canister affixed to the cart. Throw a little in the divot and smooth it out.

On other courses, golfers will be asked to pick up the chunk of turf that came up from their swing and put it back. Twenty seconds of work on the golfers part means a lot more can get done by the grounds crew.

Smokers of both cigarettes and cigars and sunflower seed chewers be warned. Put your doused butts and your seed casings in the garbage, not on the green or in the sand trap.

Bugs are a nuisance to everyone, but bug spray is a killer of grass. When applying bug spray stand on a cart path or in the parking lot, not on the grass.

Ropes are placed on the course not for decoration and not because the grounds crew hates golfers. They are their usually because the ground is wet or under repair. Respect the ropes and all the following golfers will respect you.

Carts are a necessary evil on golf courses these days. It’s really a contradiction. Somebody pays a certain amount of money to enjoy their time with friends and being outside. They enjoy it so much they rush to get 18 holes done in less than two hours. While proper pace of play is important and a less than four-hour round of golf should be the norm, don’t do it by driving a golf cart right next to the green or tee box. Walking is more likely to help your health than make it worse.

Another thing concerning carts, cart paths will not get destroyed from over use so don’t be afraid to use them.

One of the best quotes I’ve heard concerning this topic was this:

“I would love if every golfer would respect the golf course because it’s our baby,” said an unnamed superintendent. “We take care of it every day and you see some golfers and it just seems like they don’t want to respect the course. It’s not the city people. It’s not the local people. It’s everybody.”

Respect the course and use proper golf etiquette when playing golf.

While a great swing may wow your playing partners, good golf etiquette will gain you more respect. 

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889
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