Thursday, April 17, 2008
I would like to take some time today to talk about proper golf course etiquette and course management.
I am sure that everyone wants to have an enjoyable round of golf here at Hawks Landing. My staff works very hard to see that the golf course is prepared to the best possible condition daily. We have been working on all the bunkers over the last few days. I feel that the bunkers are in the best condition that they have been over the years. The problem that I am having is the lack of maintenance on the part of the members. I am posting these pictures that were taken this morning showing bunkers that were not raked properly. I really do not understand why anyone would leave a bunker in this condition after hitting a ball out the the bunker, it is just not fair to the golfer behind these players. Etiquette on the golf course and course management is what we were all taught when we learned the game.
Bunkers: Here at Hawks Landing the bunker rakes should be placed inside the bunker. After hitting a shot in a bunker you should rake and smooth all footprints and the area that the shot was hit from. When exiting the bunker please do not climb up and over the steep faces of the bunker and exit from the "low" side. When we prepare the bunkers in the mornings the rakes are all placed along the "low" side and along the inside edge. We do this for a couple of reasons, 1. when you enter the bunker you do not have to jump down over the face to get a rake. 2. for maintenance, it saves considerable time and money when we are mowing. If you exit the bunker from the steep side, as in the bottom picture ,it is very hard to remove your deep footprints.
Ball Marks: Always a problem on the greens. The proper way to repair the ball mark is very easy to do. Any tool can be used if it is done the right way, just insert the tool along the edge of the ball mark and gently lift the low spot up around the mark. Then all that is needed is the bottom of the putter or your foot can smooth the mark to a perfectly repaired ball mark. Twisting the turf is not necessary and just damages the roots.
Divots: I have already seen many huge pelts of turf laying all over the fairways. Most divots can be replaced and should be replaced after hitting a ball. All you need to do is step down the divots after it is replaced the same way that the divot was removed from the turf. This will insure that air will not dry out the edges and the turf will regrow. If the divot that is taken "shreds" all that is needed is add some mix from the bottles that are on all the carts or par 3 holes. Fill the area and then using your foot or club smooth the divot mix so that it is level. This is important because if the mix is not smoothed and level the mower blades will become dull from the sand. The divot mix that is on your carts contains a bentgrass seed mixture. This mix can be used on the fairways and tees not in the ROUGH areas. If everyone would repair all the divots on the course through their round we would not have to spend so much time and money using the greens staff to fill the divots.
Carts: All carts should follow all the carts signs on the golf course. We have ropes, stakes and rocks on the golf course so that the edges of the path always look good and are not worn out from the carts. No carts are to be driven in the naturalized areas on the course.
Etiquette on the course honors the game and members. Please help us in maintaining a great golf course so that everyone can have a enjoyable round of golf.
Posted by Neil Radatz CGCS