I thought it would be a good idea to pass along a little info on how we go about getting ready for our member guest tournament. I will most likely do this with a series of post as we move along in our preparations.
Last Thursday we officially started getting ready for our Member-Guest Tournament by Double Cutting the greens daily. This will continue throughout the tournament and is done to clean up the turf by cutting grass in two different directions. Since grain in the greens is the result of turf growing in different directions you have to do multiple cuts in order to clean it up and make the greens putt more consistent. For a PGA tournament there are officials that go out with the morning crew while they cut the greens (they walk mow), these officials are responsible for taking a stimp reading (a tool used to measure the speed of the green) after the green is cut. The official has a preset speed that the PGA has determined they desire for the tournament and if that speed was not reached with the first cut the operator is required to cut the green again in a different direction. The Stimp process is repeated and the green is re-cut until the desired speed is achieved. It could take as many as five or six cuts to reached the desired speed on any particular green. The reason this is done is to achieve consistency between all 18 greens. While we cannot micro manage our speed and cuts like a PGA Tournament, the double cutting achieves a smoother, faster rolling green. I prefer to try to start the double cutting a week or two in advance in order to give our members a chance to adjust to the new speed before the tournament.
Prior to the double cutting I have a program in which we use a combination of fertilizer, micro nutrients and growth regulators to get the greens as healthy as possible for any stress the may encounter during the tournament (extra cutting, drying out).
Another thing we do is my set up crew member does repeated checks for low cup plugs, scalped or bad plugs and tries to get them as clean and smooth as possible.
Next Edition; Fairways, Tees and Roughs.