I was on the putting green the other day, and
the subject came up, why is the practice green always different than the golf
course greens ? This triggered a memory of a blog posted a few months back
asking the same question. With it being asked at our home course, I thought it
would be a good time to take a little walk down to the green keepers barn and
see if there’s an answer to the question.
Not only are these different types of construction a result of being built during different time frames, but they are just different in general. The greens on the golf course are built for creating playable challenges and it becomes the job of the green keeper to maintain those greens in a suitable manner with all the undulations and dips and idiosyncrasies that come with most playing greens. However, the putting green, usually during construction, is built relatively flat with few undulations and it is built very much with maintenance in mind.
|Another reason for the difference in putting
greens and on course greens, can be the environment. The environment of the
practice green is often times quite different than the environment surrounding
the greens on the golf course. For example, he pointed out that our practice
green is in an area that has full sun. Whereas of the first four greens on our
golf course, only one has full sun. These different environments result in
different growing conditions and different growing speeds. For example, if you
have a nice hot summer day, and your teeing off later in the afternoon, you
might find the practice green has been weathered to the point where there is
wilt, and it is lightning fast. You then go and play the first hole where the
green has been shaded since around one o’clock, or probably the last three
hours, and you’ll find that that green is almost shaggy-like.
It’s had it’s growth for the day, and now it is shaded and it is not wilting, in fact it is starting to stand up straight, searching for the sun and it is a little slower. The opposite can take effect on a 70 degree and slightly cloudy day. The practice green, being fully exposed to the sun will have rapid growth and it will be slower than the green that sits in the shade for three hours in the afternoon, which because of the shade and lack of the sun had slower growth, so therefore, that green is a little faster.
Other environmental factors that can impact the practice green and the playing greens, can include wind. A green such as our practice green is in the wide open can get wind burn, and get very dry, very fast, whereas the greens that are in the trees are protected from the wind, and don’t suffer the consequences of the wind.
And of course the last reason that practice greens are different than playing greens are the maintenance practices. Some maintenance practices are necessary due to the fact that the practice green is subject to more trampling and compaction and abuse, therefore they tend to get left in a higher height with different mowers. Another reason can be that the practice green is maintained in manner to take more abuse than the playing greens take, and of course you have the classic budgetary reason that the practice greens is maintained differently than the playing greens.
I thought that was pretty good explanation and
summary of the question.
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