New Topdressing Program

A Blog Post By: Craig McKinley, Course Superintendent

Last season, we changed our topdressing program from a relatively heavy topdressing every few weeks, to a lighter one every Monday. We feel that switching to this light, weekly rate will not only keep greens smoother and truer for putting, but also allows us to work more sand into the green's profile.

A frequently asked question is, "Why sand?"  Well, greens are grown on a sandy-mix because it allows air and water movement in the soil profile to ensure healthy turf. Another reason for topdressing, is to dilute any dead plant material (thatch), to ensure firm putting surfaces.

Our weekly topdressing starts with greens being mowed; followed by a light coat of sand. 

Bucks Run Golf Club Mount Pleasant MI Topdressing

This next picture shows the light dusting we put down.

Bucks Run Golf Club Mount Pleasant MI Sand Dressing

The next step is to brush the sand into the canopy, so that it does not get picked-up by our greens mowers and your golf balls. By brushing, we are also working out the grain in the greens. The term grain refers to when the Bentgrass is lying over and not standing upright. Bentgrass, when mowed at a low height, will lay over in order to retain as much of its leaf tissue as possible. Since a plant creates its energy through photosynthesis, it tries to have as much surface area as possible to absorb that sunshine. Brushing the sand into the turf canopy props that leaf tissue up, allowing us to get a tighter cut. When a tighter cut is achieved, the plant will focus its energy to growing laterally, giving us a denser stand. 

Finally, the greens are rolled to smooth the surface for the golf that follows.

Bucks Run Golf Club Mount Pleasant MI Rolling Greens

If you would like to see the progress we have made with topdressing, simply look at the top layer above the cup the next time you’re reaching in after that birdie putt.

Bucks Run Golf Club Mount Pleasant MI Cup Top Layer

I hope this has given some insight into our new topdressing program, and that you have enjoyed the improved putting conditions. Our Grounds Staff looks forward to seeing you on the golf course!

Posted by admin at Jun 26, 2015 Category: June 2015
Tags: Bucks Run Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Golf, Topdressing, Sand