PGA PGM Turfgrass Management – Level 2

Superintendent Role and Responsibilities
-Direct an agronomically sophisticated turfgrass management program to provide a sound playing surface.
-Manage the entire property
-Comply with government regulations
-Hire/Train/Manage Turfgrass Management Staff
-Work in conjunction with the greens committee or governing body.
-Understand the game, play regularly to evaluate course
-Serve as an expert resource on Turfgrass Management
Assistant Superintendent Role and Responsibilities
-Directs and participates in maintenance of course.
-Supervises maintenance and repair of mechanical equipment.
-May serve as Superintendent in his absence.
Equipment Manager Role and Responsibilities
Oversees a comprehensive preventive maintenance program.
Horticulturist Role and Responsibilities
Manages the greenhouse and nursery to produce and install ornamental landscaping.
Foreman Role and Responsibilities
-Serves under the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent as supervisor.
-Delegates work assignments.
-Oversees job performance.
-Inspects course conditions.
Irrigation Specialist Role and Responsibilities
-Responsible for programming, operating, and maintenance of irrigation system.
-Reports to Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent.
Chemical Technician Role and Responsibilities
-Performs chemical applications on the property.
-Responsible for reading, understanding, and keeping current with material safety data sheets (MSDS).
Equipment Operator Role and Responsibilities
Performs work involving the use of large equipment.
Gardener/Triplex Operator Role and Responsibilities
-Operates light motorized equipment and trucks.
-Performs related work as necessary.
Turfgrass Adaptation
Create and plant grasses that match climate, for example: planting grasses with specialized properties, higher heat tolerance, drought, shade, cold, pest and disease resistance.
Turfgrass Selection
-Courses select grasses to match the characteristics of facilities (Type of Facility and Location).
-Grass selection also varies with on-course location, for example: greens are planted with grasses that withstand lower mowing heights.
Zones of Adaptation and Location
Cool Season – Northern US
Warm Season – Southern US
Transition – Where climates overlap
Zones of Adaptation: Cool Season
-Located in the Northern US, climate averages temperatures of 60-75 F
-Types of grasses: Bluegrass, Bentgrass, Fescue, Ryegrass
Zones of Adaptation: Warm Season
-Located in the Southern US, climate averages temperatures of 80-95 F.
-When temperatures drop below 50F grasses planted here go dormant.
-Types of grasses: Bermuda, Bahia, Zoysia
Zones of Adaptation: Transition
-Located in the Central US, where climate temperatures vary.
-Types of grasses: Vary upon location and average temperatures.
Basic Survival Needs of Turfgrass Plants
-Sunlight: needed for photosynthesis (plant food production).
-Water: rainfall, irrigation, effluent water
-Nutrients, 3 essential nutrients supplemented through fertilizers: Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium
Types of Soil
Types of Soil: Sand
Made of larger particles that allow water and nutrients to pass through quickly. This type of soil prevents resources from being readily available for plant growth. This type of soil tends to be Alkaline on the pH scale.
Types of Soil: Clay
Made of smaller particles that hold water and result in poor drainage and can be compacted and saturated with water leaving no room for oxygen. This type of soil tends to be Acidic on the pH scale.
Types of Soil: Loam
The ideal mixture of Sand and Clay, the combination of particle sizes allows roots to absorb water and nutrients and leaves enough room for oxygen.
Ideal Soil Composition
-Allows water and nutrients to get to plant roots, be absorbed as needed while leaving room for oxygen.
-Ideal pH is slightly acidic or 6-6.5 on the pH scale.
pH Scale
Lime can be added to raise the soil’s pH levels.
Sulfur can be added to lower the soil’s pH levels.
Routine Practices
Routine Practices: Watering
-When to water and how much to water depend on grass/soil type, temperatures, wind, humidity and rainfall.
-Greens are typically watered more because the shorter mowing heights put stress on the turfgrass plant.
-Water requirements are constantly changing.
Routine Practices: Syringing
-A light application of water to the surface of the turfgrass plant to cool the grass.
-Usually applied manually with a hose.
-Must happen at first signs of wilt.
Routine Practices: Mowing
-One of the most important factors in turfgrass selection is tolerance for mowing height.
-When turfgrass is mowed, the removal of the shoot (leafy part of the plant) causes a reduction of the plant’s ability to produce it’s own food, absorb water and nutrients, and disease resistance.
-The challenge is to provide a DENSE, SMOOTH, UNIFORM, FAST playing surface while maintaining healthy turfgrass.
Routine Practices: Fertilizing
Three essential nutrients needed for healthy turfgrass must be supplemented through fertilization: NITROGEN, PHOSPHOROUS, POTASSIUM
Routine Practices: Aerating
-Ideal soils are 25% air, 25% water, 50% solid.
-Aeration restores the passageways in the soil that facilitate the flow of water, air, and nutrients to the plant that are compacted through normal and intense traffic.
-Aeration also stimulates new root growth.
Periodic Practices
Periodic Practices: Dethatching
-Thatch is a layer of organic material (grass stems and dead roots) that accumulates below grass blades and above the soil surface.
-Thatch is detrimental because water, nutrients, fertilizers, and pesticides cannot penetrate to soil and plant roots.
Periodic Practices: Topdressing
-The practice of placing a layer of soil over the putting surface to smooth and decrease surface irregularity.
-Often used immediately following aeration to fill holes.
-Can be used as a way to slowly alter soil contents.
Periodic Practices: Overseeding
-Involves the planting of cool season grasses over warm season grasses to provide a green playing surface during winter months when the warm season grasses are dormant.
Traffic Management: Procedures
-Tee Marker Placement/Rotation
-Cup Placement/Rotation
-Limiting Play
Traffic Management: Tee Markers
-Tee markers pinpoint the start of all play and are a high traffic area, rotation of the markers controls the distribution of traffic and rate of turfgrass recovery.
Traffic Management: Cup Placement/Rotation
-Greens receive intense foot traffic, cup placement and rotation alters traffic patterns, reducing soil compaction and turfgrass wear.
Traffic Management: Limiting Play
Crucial to proper, responsible care of course turfgrass, players must understand and respect “inconveniences” like GUR, the restricted use of golf cars and their rules, posted signs, course markers and barriers. Limiting play is setting restrictions on the course can even be extended to environmentally protected areas.
Pests and Other Problems
Pests and Other Problems: Weeds
-Defined as “a plant out of place.”
-Areas of high stress are weakened and more vulnerable to the infestation of weeds.
-Warning signs include: soil compaction, excess water, weak turfgrass and low mowing heights (adds stress to the turfgrass)
-Weeds are treated by correcting the underlying cause and by chemical applications.
Pests and Other Problems: Insects
-Most common: armyworms, cutworms, chinchbugs, beetles, grubs, mites and nematodes.
-Warning signs include: feeding birds, small animal damage, chewed grass, dying and thinning turfgrass.
-Insects are treated by keeping thatch levels low, fertilizing for heavy growth, keep grass weed free and the use of insectisides.
Pests and Other Problems: Disease
-Primarily a result of fungi like brown patch, dollar spot, fairy ring, etc.
-Disease is treated with fungicide.
Pests and Other Problems: Water
-Standing water, poor drainage, flooding
Pests and Other Problems: Heat
-Heat creates wilt and is treated by syringing up to 3 times a day.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
-The belief that healthy turfgrass can tolerate a level of pressure from pests.
-Prevention rather than eradication.
-Appropriate minimum action first.
-Follow up action if necessary.
Golf Courses Enhance Environment/Community
-Filters air pollutants
-Cools atmosphere
-Plant Conservator
-Wildlife sanctuary
-Water treatment facility, filters pollutants from the water supply
-Absorbs noise
-Reduces sun’s glare
Effluent Water
-Undrinkable water that is used to irrigate a golf course because the large quantity of grasses and thatch serve as a natural filter for water that is otherwise unusable.
Role of the Golf Professional