Presentation slides and handout from Malaysia International Golf Symposium 2013
GCSAA Webcast on Putting Green Nutrient Use & Requirements

Fairway sandcapping revisited: why I still think sand topdressing is often a better option

Woods_fairway_sandcap_agb_jan08I wrote Do Fairways Need a Sand Cap? in 2008, arguing that sandcapped fairways require more fertilizer and more irrigation, resulting not only in higher costs, but also in unmanageable (for the average golf course) organic matter production. Surprisingly, this article was rather controversial, and I've had people in the golf industry tell me they wish it had not been published. 

At this week's CIMB Classic on the PGA Tour, and often at other tournaments played on sandcapped fairways in Asia, they must play lift, clean, and place, due to soft conditions and mud (organic matter) on the ball. Is that such a success for sandcapping?

Rather than sandcap fairways at the time of construction, which invariably results in an undesirable high water holding capacity layer (the surface organic layer) overlaying a coarser material (the sandcap), I suggested that fairways be topdressed with sand. This results in just the opposite, a desirable coarser and drier zone (the sand topdressed zone) overlaying a zone with higher water holding capacity.

Bud White wrote an article this year entitled Sand Capping Solves Everything ... or Does It? giving a balanced view of this topic. See A Decade of Piling it On by Larry Gilhuly for more about fairway topdressing.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.