9 hole golf courses are subject to unique problems that 18 hole facilities and resorts don’t usually face. The extra wear and tear they experience when combined with limited cash can lead to courses suffering due to lack of essential maintenance.
This is because in many cases 9 hole courses are of compromised design due to the lack of space and financial resources. This can lead to smaller than average greens and tees being provided.
The negative effects of this are effectively doubled due to the fact that golfers still play 18 holes of golf (two rounds) which means that these smaller greens and tees are subjected to at least twice the wear and tear of their equivalents at 18 hole courses. This can actually amount to 4 times the wear if you consider that the average 9 hole green is half the size of a green at an 18 hole facility.
The other main constraint at clubs where there are just 9 holes is usually a lack of sufficient cash to meet all of the essential maintenance requirements which leads to fewer staff and a much reduced machinery fleet usually made up of older equipment.
Given that the fine turf surfaces like greens and tees are subjected to much higher wear per m2 it follows that they actually need more maintenance than an average 18 hole course.
But how can this be achieved with reduced staff numbers, limited machinery and minimal budget for materials and tools?
Leaving that aside for the moment golf clubs generally face an uphill struggle against a growing list of problems that combine to create stress on already limited budgets for golf course maintenance and improvements. However, on-going maintenance and upgrade of facilities, especially the golf course itself have never been more important as the pressure to provide quality and value increases proportionately to the growth in customer choice.
Added to this are the increased pressures placed on clubs through pesticide and health and safety legislation which place demands on staff time and resources that reduce the number of hours that can actually be spent undertaking essential greenkeeping and golf course maintenance and improvement work.
This unique convergence of over supply, rising maintenance costs, increased customer demands, and ever increasing legislative demands mean that smaller and 9 hole golf clubs are increasingly finding it hard to stay ahead.
The prohibitive costs associated with the hire or purchase of specialised machinery to carry out non-routine and improvement jobs adds a further burden to an already difficult choice for many small clubs, especially 9 hole clubs.
Worse still, much of this type of machinery normally sits unused for much of the year making it a very luxurious purchase even if the capital reserves are present to meet the upfront costs. This is money that can be put to much better use within the average golf club instead of being tied up in specialised and infrequently used equipment.
Enough of this doom and gloom though because the one thing that 9 hole courses usually have going for them is that they are fun and in most cases belong to a smaller and more tight knit club community.
These clubs usually have a greater sense of ownership by members and a much greater tendency for members to muck in and help out.
Combined with this spirit of community, Greenmaster is uniquely placed to help small clubs to get the very best out of their limited budgets and to produce the very highest quality turf surfaces despite the challenges.
We regularly help 9 hole clubs to create and implement plans to deliver all or some of the non-routine and renovation type tasks that small or one man greenkeeping teams find difficult or impossible to fit in.
Staff Costs and Efficiency
As much of the burden on clubs is associated with the costs of staff time and machinery provision for non routine and seasonal work such as hollow tining and to-dressing of greens, major aeration works and autumn renovations of fine turf areas such as greens and tees it makes sense to try to think of different ways to achieve that work and that is where Greenmaster comes in.
Greenmaster provides a service to undertake specialised and non-routine work for golf clubs throughout the central belt of Scotland.
We can efficiently complete many of the less common tasks leaving your staff to get on with essential programmed work on the course.
Aeration by hollow, solid or slit tine methods can be carried out on greens and tees to alleviate compaction which is a major cause of problems on small greens. By keeping on top of compaction through regular winter aeration practices we can help solve problems with:
- bumpy and uneven putting surfaces
- Unpredictable greens performance
- Green consistency across single green surfaces or inconsistent speed and playability across all greens.
- Bare patches on greens
- Moss infestation due to poor grass growth
- Dry Patches that go bare in summer.
We can carry out mechanical over-seeding to:
- Help thicken the green sward
- Increase the percentage of fine grasses in the sward
- Improve green consistency
- Improve uniformity of surface across greens
- Increase disease resistance through use of stronger cultivars
- Improve over-seeding success rates by getting the seed into immediate contact with the soil.
If you regularly top-dress your greens by hand we can save you time and money by
- Top-dressing with our lightweight pedestrian equipment
- Applying top-dressing evenly and quickly
- Freeing up your staff to do other work
- Leave the green top-dressed and brushed ready for play.
Thatch is increasingly a problem on small greens and can cause all sorts of knock on issues to arise such as:
- Bumpy, uneven turf
- Spongy, wet and slow greens
- Major disease outbreaks leaving bare patches and hollows
- Localised dry patch which leaves large bare areas on greens and surface breakup
- Poor drainage
- Weed, moss and annual meadow grass infestation.
We use the most up to date and effective means of thatch reduction which can
- reduce thatch by up to 20% in one pass
- Create the perfect surface for over-seeding
- Introduce huge amounts of air in to the surface causing further thatch reduction by natural soil borne bacteria
- Improve green surfaces by encouraging strong, even growth
- Remove thatch, clean up and be back in play immediately
Once on site, we are self sufficient and can be left to get on with the work unsupervised by your team.
All of our staff are fully qualified greenkeepers with a minimum of 10 years experience and are fully conversant with the rules and etiquette of working on golf courses. We are fully insured and can plan and organise work around your tournaments and other greenkeeping work.
Some of the work we can undertake is as follows:
Aeration: hollow tining, slit tining, mini tining, solid tining and sarrell rolling.
Top-dressing: top-dressing of greens using pedestrian self propelled dresser
Pesticide Application: by walk over or hand held sprayer.
Over-seeding: using powered over-seeder
Scarification: using conventional scarifier, verti-cutter or the Graden Thatch Removal System. using the Graden Thatch Removal System and follow this up with over-seeding and top-dressing as required.
This is just a selection of the ways in which we can help you return your 9 hole course to profitability and fun!
Call today to arrange a free course course appraisal and action plan.
Typically we will work with your greenkeeper to undertake all of the non-routine work such as aeration, spraying, fertilising and top-dressing so that you don’t have to maintain an expensive machinery fleet that sits idle for much of the year. This means you also save on machinery and machinery maintenance.
Materials are provided by us and you save money due to our ability to buy in bigger quantities. We only use top quality products so you also get better results for less money.
We can typically undertake work at lower cost and with more highly qualified staff than a small club can.
When we are responsible for your work you don’t have to worry about all of the health and safety issues related to managing staff and lone workers on the golf course; its all covered by our strict policies and insurance.