Sample CCS Report

USGA Green Section Course Consulting Service Report
Your Country Club
Any Town, USA

United States Golf Association
Golf House Region Green Section
PO Box 708
Far Hills, NJ 07931
Phone: (908) 234-2300
Fax: (908) 781-1736

Present During Visit
John Doe, General Manager
Bob Jones, Green Chairman
Tom Smith, Superintendent
Bill Greens, USGA Green Section
Date of Visit : August 05, 1997
Date of Report: August 18, 1997

Statement of Purpose: The purpose of the USGA Green Section is to assist subscribing courses in matters of agronomic management. All recommendations are offered free of bias, since the USGA has no connections or obligations to any manufacturer, supplier, or contractor. Additionally, since 'quick fixes' seldom result in permanent improvement, some of the recommendations in this report may not be easy to implement and it could take more than a single season to produce the desired results.


It was, as always, a pleasure visiting Your Country Club to discuss course maintenance operations on behalf of the USGA Green Section. Before reviewing our major topics of discussion, I would like to recognize the significant improvement in the condition of the greens resulting from the ban on steel spikes. In specific, the spike marks and turf thinning that disrupted putting quality around the hole locations have been virtually eliminated. Nationally, the number of courses that have banned steel spikes is estimated to be over 2,000 and the results have been the same for each. Another interesting bit of information is that a majority of the Senior Tour players (including Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd) have voluntarily started wearing spikeless shoes in competition and, for the first time in history, the NCAA Men's Division I Championship was held at Conway Farms Golf Club under a spike ban. For all individuals who played a role in the new spikeless policy, I offer my sincere compliments.

Green Management

Green No. 4 - As a follow-up to previous visits, the condition of green No. 4 was examined. In the past, the rear quadrant has suffered dramatic thinning during the summer months because of limited air circulation and concentrated steel spike damage. Having eliminated the damage by steel spikes, the condition of green No. 4 had improved dramatically. To continue the recovery process, two recommendations were offered. First, to eliminate the damage caused by turning the walk-behind mowers between the putting surface and the rear bunker, covering the creeping bentgrass with plywood was recommended. Second, to further improve air circulation and make room for better pedestrian dispersion, removing three small walnut trees and one small elm tree was recommended This tree removal will also help bring forward the hickory tree, which, in the long run, will provide a better backdrop for green No. 4.

Green No 5. - During the examination of green No. 5, heavy morning shade was felt to be the cause of the poor condition of the turf on the right quadrant and adjacent collar. To illustrate the negative effects of shade, please note Illustration 1.



Illustration 1: The effects of shade during different times of the day on closely mown turf. As shade inhibits photosynthetic activity, cultural management cannot overcome its detrimental effects.

To improve sunlight exposure on green No. 5, the following tree work was recommended:

  • Remove the three lower limbs on the oak tree nearest the putting surface
  • Remove the oak tree in the center of the grove that casts shade over the center of the green
  • Remove the lower limbs on the oak tree next to the one recommended for removal for additional exposure

Green No 6. - During the examination of green No. 6, three recommendations were offered. First, to improve the performance and appearance of the collar during the summer months, replacing the perennial ryegrass with creeping bentgrass sod was recommended. Second, to eliminate the damage caused by turning the walk-behind mowers on the collar, covering them with plywood was recommended. Third, rebuilding the face of the greenside bunker with soil bags was recommended. For details regarding the use of soil bags for bunker face reconstruction, please note the enclosed article by Jim Snow.

Green No 11. - During the examination of green No. 11, it was reported that the turf had been damaged by a recent fertilizer application. As this damage was concentrated in the left and rear quadrants of the putting surface that are affected by shade and poor air circulation, tree and brush removal were recommended. In particular, the removal of the Osage orange tree to the left of green No. 11 and the underbrush behind green No. 11 were recommended.

Green No 12. - During the examination of fairway No. 12, it became evident that green No. 12 is covered by heavy shade in the morning. To improve the exposure of green No. 12, removing the two locust trees adjacent to the front right corner of the green was recommended. To illustrate what effect the removal of these trees will have on the appearance of the green site, please note Illustration 2. This illustration was produced using a digital image taken during our tour of the course.




Illustration 2: A before and after view of green No. 12 at Your Country Club.

Green No 15. - During the examination of green No. 15 concern was expressed regarding trees surrounding its perimeter. In specific, an Osage orange tree was shading the rough immediately adjacent to the front right corner and blocking air circulation over the putting surface. With this in mind, its removal was recommended. Also, the grove of eight small ash trees located behind green No. 15 was a concern, as they will someday block air circulation. With this in mind, removing the center five ash trees was recommended to open a clear avenue through which air can flow in the years ahead.

Controlling Growth - To precondition the creeping bentgrass for summertime stress and maintain steady putting green speed from sunup to sundown during the spring and fall, applying the new growth regulator Primo® was recommended. This new product from Ciba-Geigy has a novel mode of action that separates it from all other growth regulators previously introduced to the turfgrass industry. This novel mode of action regulates turfgrass growth by blocking the final reaction for the biosynthesis of gibberellic acid. As a result, Primo® regulates the growth of leaf blades but does not slow down lateral stem elongation or HTMLContent development. By regulating only leaf blade extension, putting green speed remains steady from sunup to sundown during peak periods of vigorous growth while ball marks continue to heal normally. The other effect from Primo® is increased non-structural carbohydrate storage. This effect helps precondition the turf for summer stress.

To take advantage of the multiple benefits of Primo® most courses elect to treat the greens when the creeping bentgrass resumes normal growth in the spring and then re-treat every two to three weeks through fall. Initiating a Primo® treatment schedule in mid- to late summer would not be recommended as growth is being regulated by the prevailing weather conditions.

Tee Management

Range Tee Management - Based on the pattern of divot removal from the driving range tee, it was again recommended that the placement of the bagstands be changed. First, to help concentrate the removal of divots, the bagstands should be moved closer together. Second, to prevent a narrow strip of turf from not being used, as the bagstands are rotated from front to back across the range tee, they should be rotated at a slower pace. The importance of concentrating divot removal and consuming every square foot of turf during one complete rotation is to prolong the length of time for divot recovery. As a point of reference, the hybrid bermudagrass portion of the range tee should support a recovery period of approximately 25 days. To illustrate the ideal pattern of divot removal, please note Illustration 3.

Illustration 3: Ideal pattern of divot removal from a range tee during a four-day period.

Fairway Management

Creeping Bentgrass Eradication - During the examination of the fairways, it was noted that large patches of creeping bentgrass had survived the winter treatment of Roundup®. To remove this unwanted invader from the zoysiagrass fairways, treatment with the herbicide Fusilade® was recommended. Fusilade is a selective herbicide that recently received registration for use on zoysiagrass fairways. To compare notes with another superintendent using this product to remove unwanted grasses from zoysiagrass, the following reference is offered:

Another Country Club
1 Country Club Drive
St. Louis, MO 66666
(314) 555-1212

Aerification - To fill in the depressions left in the fairways after sodding and divot removal, aerifying the fairways with a cam-driven aerator was recommended. Cam-driven aerifiers, such as the Ryan GA-60 or Toro Fairway Aerator, have the ability to remove 4- to 5-inch deep cores without significant disruption of the playing surface. These cores can then be pulverized with a flail mower so that the soil will become topdressing and fill in the small depressions.


It was a pleasure visiting Your Country Club on behalf of the USGA Green Section. In addition to the Turf Advisory Service visit, the subscription fee is, in part, supporting ongoing research efforts at leading Universities across the country. To date, these efforts have produced numerous turfgrass varieties and identified maintenance practices, which help to protect the environment.


Bill Greens
USGA Green Section


Enclosure: "A Useful Technique in Bunker Renovation" by J. Snow