This week's issue of the USGA Green Section Record has two articles that I really enjoyed reading. One, by MacDonald Niven, explains the value of course maintenance standards and give links to many resources that can help in the development of standards for your club. I've written about maintenance standards before, and I've spoken about their value at various seminars, but Niven explains their value much better than I ever have. He summarizes the key benefits:
- organizing and analyzing priorities for golf course maintenance
- developing an accurate budget to support desired standards
- the maintenance standards document becomes an effective communication tool to share with golfers, decision makers, and the community
- written maintenance standards eliminate emotion and subjectivity when evaluating the effectiveness of the maintenance department
I have sometimes described maintenance standards as being essential because they define what the course maintenance department is actually trying to achieve. The work can be done most efficiently if we know exactly what type of conditions we are trying to produce.
Another article gives an excellent and novel technique (at least to me) for reclaiming bermudagrass putting green edges that have been contaminated by another type of grass. Todd Lowe has written some excellent articles that I have highlighted before, on off-types in ultradwarf greens and on new trends in ultradwarf putting green management, and this one, Reclaiming Putting Green Edges Using Core Aeration Plugs, is a must-read for anyone who manages warm-season putting greens.
Lowe writes that "plugging perimeters with aeration cores offers a practical solution to encroachement of rough-type bermudagrasses into bermudagrass putting greens." After reading the article, I believe that this method can be used not only with bermudagrass greens, but also with seashore paspalum greens or manilagrass greens. The method involves identifying the original green edge, killing the encroaching grass with a non-selective herbicide, removal of the contaminated turf with a sod cutter, and then core aeration of the greens with the cores being pushed into the prepared areas at the green perimeter.
The USGA Green Section Record is a great source of turfgrass information and is available with a free subscription.