Golf Course Maintenance

Golf Course Maintenance

During the winter months all golfers need to always look at how to keep their golf course in good playing condition because of the inclement weather, so here are a few golf course maintenance tips to help you not only enjoy playing golf in the winter months but also a few other additional golfing tips thrown in on how to keep up speed of play when the condition are not only difficult, but also hard when it is difficult to locate your golf ball because of the changes in weather conditions. Golf Course Maintenance - Players on a frozen tee

Repair your pitch marks

At my golf course you hear all golfers moaning about the greens even in the winter months, mainly saying that the course is in great shape for this time of year but the greens are a bit ‘shabby’ – well they are only shabby because of thoughtless golfers who do not even attempt to repair their pitch marks when playing their second shot onto the green, so when you are next playing don’t just repair your pitch mark but also find others that need repairing and repair those too – every golfer on the course will then enjoy decent running greens even in the colder winter months.

Repair your divots

How many times have you seen golfers move endless amounts of grass and dirt and then just proceed on and continue playing their round of golf, this is a big no no, if someone came along at took a big chunk of grass out of your lawn at home you wouldn’t like it, especially after you have spent endless summers cultivating and looking after it, greenkeepers are no different they take pride in their work and you should replace your divot as well as you can by treading it back into place, no one likes a churned up fairway – so next time you are playing golf give it some thought and think of others and replace your divots.

Repair and rake bunkers

In the winter months when it is cold, wet and you are playing golf it is no different to playing in the warmer months, so when you have played your golf ball out of a fairway or greenside bunker take an extra couple of minutes to rake and tidy up the bunker before you carry on playing your round of golf – however, there is an exception, when the courses are frozen with frost then the sand in the bunkers might be frozen and it is impossible to rake them – but that is the only exception, otherwise always rake the bunkers after you have played your shot.

When we play golf in the winter months there are so many ways of possibly losing your golf ball, this could be that there are still fallen leaves from the autumn months, low winter sun when you cannot see your golf ball after you have hit it and frosty ground when it is hard to see a normal white golf ball, here are some tips to help you speed up play and also for you to enjoy your round of golf knowing that you have taken steps to do so, here are a few tips.

Brightly coloured golf balls

When there has been an early morning frost and the fairways and greens are covered with frost and it is very hard to see your golf even if you know what direction you have hit it, so I suggest having a few golf balls in your golf bag of either orange of yellow golf balls, Golf Course Maintenance - Yellow Golf Ballsnot only can you find them easier when are looking for them you can also see them flying through the air much better – so add a few additional brightly coloured golf balls to your golf bag you will be so glad you did. Golf Course Maintenance - Players on a frozen tee

Lower winter sun when playing your golf shot

This can be the most frustrating part of playing golf in the winter months, you know you have just hit the perfect shot and no one in your group has any idea which direction it has gone, how frustrating! So next time one your playing partners are playing their shot stand behind them and watch the ball for them, in turn, they can do the same for you. Not only does this speed up play it also ensures that you do not have trouble locating your golf ball and also not losing any golf balls unnecessarily, watch out for your fellow golfer and they will also, in turn, do the same for you.

Wooden golf tees or golf ball tee spacers

In the winter months you will always get days when the ground is frozen and you are still playing off of the normal grass tees, so add into your golf bag some wooden tees that will be stronger and easier to penetrate the hard ground for you to be able to tee the ball up when playing your tee shot. Alternatively if you are playing a golf course that has winter mats for the tee then add some plastic tee ‘spacers’ that are a set height and easier to tee up on winter mats – this will then ensure that you are setting up your tee for the same height that you normally have when playing in the warmer months of the year.

Hand warmers for your pockets

I see so many golfers turn up on the golf course very underprepared for the cold weather, it’s as if they have just realised that it is in the winter and you are bound to be feeling the cold on cold winter mornings. So next time you are in the gold pro shop pop in and purchase a few hand warmers to put into your golf bag, but be warned the majority of hand warmers take approx. 30 minutes to warm up and react to the air after being opened, so open the hand warmer packet about 30 minutes before your tee off time and feel the benefits of the nice hand warmer ready and willing to keep you warm for the whole 18 holes of golf.

Putting on frozen or frosty putting greens

I have thrown this one in because it happens all of the time when playing on frozen or frosty putting greens, the ball reacts differently in the colder months and the golf ball can tend to pick up quite a bit of the frost or ice lying on the top of the green, so always be prepared to give the golf ball a harder hit because the golf ball will always pick up the frost when travelling to the hole, it’s a bit like a snowball when you roll it on other snow, it picks up the snow and gets bigger the further it travels. So your golf ball is no different and will pick up the frost or ice so give it a hard hit and don’t worry too much about the break it’s all about the pace – so give it a harder nudge whilst the greens are frozen and covered in frost.

Maintaining the putting green and tee boxes

This may sound like an obvious pointer but I watch so many golfers do it, but during the winter months keep your golf trolleys whether they are electric or pull trolleys away from the tee boxes and also the putting surfaces, this not only protects these areas during the inclement weather but also ensures that when your ball does come to rest near the putting surface you are going to get a semi-decent lie because of no trolley wheel ruts or marks around the green. Golf Course Maintenance - Player on Fairway

Because of winter rules you are allowed to lift clean place your golf ball on all mown areas throughout the golf course, so if golfers are wheeling their golf trolleys through the fringes of the green it is undoubtedly going to leave a mark and not giving other golfers the opportunity of lift cleaning and replacing their golf ball on a decent playing service.

It’s the same on the teeing area, keep your golf trolleys off of the teeing areas so all golfers can at least have a chance of finding a good spot to tee their golf ball up on, looking after your golf course in the winter months will ensure that you and your fellow golfers will still enjoy their round of golf even during the very cold and dreary winter months.

Well that about wraps up this article on a few suggestions on keeping your golf course in a good condition in the colder winter months, not just for you but for other golfers as well but also a few additional tips on keeping an eye on your golf ball and also keeping the speed of play up, the days are shorter in the colder months so the amount of golfing time is restricted so these tips should help you on your way.

If you liked this article you may also like this article I wrote about knowing the Winter Rules in Golf, CLICK HERE to read the article.

As always if you have any comments or feedback regarding this article golf course maintenance please do not hesitate to leave a comment below, I will be glad to respond to any responses received.

Michael Baker
Bogeys to Birdies

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