Many golf course superintendents have already made significant changes in their daily operations after the coronavirus outbreak. Golf course maintenance and safety of staff are concerns of equal importance. The current situation is also presenting some agronomic and budgetary challenges. The ongoing pandemic has affected all the revenue sources. There is an additional burden of uncertainties around the financial markets.
Proper golf course maintenance is important and you have to do it even when you have limited resources. The following are the steps you can take to keep your golf course in the best shape.
Maintenance Up The Middle
According to a survey, an average 18-hole facility covers 95 acres of turfgrass. 36% of the area consists of the tees, fairways and putting greens. The remaining 64% of the maintained area consists of practice areas, rough nursery, and grounds. However, the majority of golf occurs on that 36% maintained area. So, focus your maintenance efforts on this area.
Reduce Irrigation And Fertility In Low-play Areas
Don't try to maintain a lush, green turf in all parts of the property. Limit the amount of irrigation and fertility in the remaining 64% area. The same goes for mowing. This does not mean that you can keep your Toro Golf course mowers parked. Reduce the frequency of mowing in these areas. Focus on tees, fairways and greens.
Focus On High-traffic Areas
Carts often cause turf injury in high-traffic areas. To abide by social distancing, golfers are now allowed to ride independently. Focus on these areas.
Remove Unessential Golf Course Accessories
You have minimal staff these days. Benches, trash cans, water stations and ball washers require frequent attention. There are some accessories that are not essential. Remove them and reduce the time you have to spend servicing them. This will also give you more time to take better care of your Toro golf course mowers and mowing.
Use High-Efficiency, Wide-Area Mowers
Many golf courses are already using triplex mowers for maintaining tees and greens. This is the right time to switch if you are still using walk-behind mowers in these areas.
Increase Mowing Height In Fairways And Rough
Bump up the mowing height and lessen the mowing frequency. This is very effective for the rough. Increase the height of the cut by 25%.
Apply Heavy Rates Of Growth Regulators
When you are unable to maintain the regular mowing frequency, consider applying heavy rates of growth regulators to turf areas.
Adjust The Aeration Program
This labor-intensive practice requires the entire maintenance team. When there is a staffing shortage, avoid core aeration. Solid-tine aeration is less labor-intensive.
Limit Bunker Maintenance
Reduce the frequency of trimming around the perimeters. Limit daily bunker conditioning.
Forego Flower Plantings And Mulching
Despite looking nice, these features do not benefit the game.
Use Split Shifts
Reduce employee hours. This will also help in preventing laying off numerous individuals.
Ensure At Least A 90-day Inventory
You need this to address your pesticides and fertilization needs.
Review Security Measures
In case you are required to close, you must safeguard against vandalism or theft.
In this time of COVID-19 crisis, you have to reduce your expenses and, at the same time, have to maintain a well-conditioned golf course. You cannot ignore the maintenance of Toro golf course mowers and other equipment.