Ball roll after 270 rounds

T-Jay Creamer is the golf course superintendent at Olympic View GC in Victoria, British Columbia. The greens there are a mix of bentgrass and Poa annua, and as of May 2024 it’s considerably more Poa than bent.

When N fertilizer is reduced on Poa surfaces, anthracnose is a big concern. When there’s no aeration on Poa surfaces, slow infiltration rates and soft putting surfaces are a big concern.

That’s why I find what T-Jay is doing to be so interesting. Surprising, even.

A core from one of the Olympic View greens when I visited in March 2023.
A core from one of the Olympic View greens when I visited in March 2023.

He’s managing these greens using the grammar of greenkeeping. That is, he’s basing management decisions on the playing surface, he’s monitoring the growth rate, and he’s adjusting what needs to be adjusted.

And it turns out, he’s been able to reduce total organic material at the 0–2 cm depth, maintain firm greens, have 100% grass cover, no issues with infiltration or anthracnose. And he’s done that without solid tine or hollow tine cultivation (aeration) for more than two years, with an annual nitrogen application in 2023 of about 6 g/m2 (1.2 lbs/1000 ft2), and this on a course with 56,000 rounds.

If you’d like to see some photos of these surfaces, and hear full details from T-Jay about how he’s accomplishing this, we talked about the management of those greens in this ATC Doublecut video.

You can also listen to our discussion as a podcast.

T-Jay recorded a video of ball roll at the end of a day with 270 rounds. We discussed that roll in this short 3 minute video.

If you’d like your own copy of the bobble test rating scale, which we discussed and used in the video, you can get it here.

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