While some things remain the same year after year, golf superintendents are increasingly aware of the changes that are necessary in the realm of maintenance. Whether those changes are due to climate change or advances in available equipment technology, almost 400 golf course superintendents sounded off on how maintenance has changed for them and what they’re looking forward to in the future.
17% – I didn’t used to, but I’m leaning that way.
20% – Yes, I see it more and more.
25% – I don’t know.
38% – No, climate change is a crock.
THE SPIN — Is it any surprise that fewer superintendents believe that climate change/global warming is affecting golf course maintenance these days? The number of superintendents believing in the weather trend, or at least thinking there was something to it, had been on the rise, according to previous surveys. But the percentage of those superintendents dropped from 50 percent last year to 37 percent this year. A freakishly cold winter in 2014 will do that to a vote.
28% – Using more wetting agents
15% – Upgrading key parts of the irrigation system
15% – Not watering the rough
42% – Allowing the course to play firm and fast
THE SPIN — Clearly, superintendents are turning off the water to conserve it — and letting courses play firm and fast. How are golfers reacting, though? No surprise that wetting agents/surfactants are getting plenty of use. The improvements made in these products over the years have garnered the attention of supers.
3% – Seeder
5% – Blower
6% – Vacuum
8% – Verticutter
13% – Topdresser
20% – Tractor
21% – Greens Roller
24% – Aerator
THE SPIN — Looks like some superintendents are concerned about compaction on their courses. Also, rolling has taken off the last few years, as study after study has proved it’s an excellent maintenance practice.
5% – GPS-guided sprayer
6.5% – Modern fairway mower
23% – Plant growth regulators
65.5% – Irrigation central control
THE SPIN — Irrigation central control rules. No surprise here. Someday GPS-related equipment will collect a ton of votes.