The ‘Little and Often’ approach is something pretty much unheard of in the golf industry and one that Ross Jones, Courses Director for Get Golfing, has really brought to life. Typically, golf course managers will dump 150 tons of sand across the greens in a year – one load in the spring and the other in Autumn. Get Golfing sites do it differently. Ross is somewhat shaking up the green keeping world with his little and often method, which he believes will reduce interference during the winter season and in turn reduce interruption to golfers. He explains that “Our ‘Little & Often’ approach is more efficient, more effective and has no disruption to golf. We want to deliver consistent, quality surfaces all year round, with the smallest impact to our golfers as possible.”
This method means adding small amounts (approx 6 tons) of sand to the greens on a far more regular basis (every 2 – 3 weeks) and with a ninja tine. Ninja tining is far less intrusive than a solid or hollow tine (SEE COMPARISON IMAGE HERE) and as Ross explains in his video, is still as effective at hitting the spots we are looking to target. It’s approx 6 – 7mm and removes the organic matter it is looking to effect. The real beauty of this method means that golfers can follow on straight after with extremely limited, if any, disruption. This is at the forefront of mind at all Get Golfing sites. In addition to this, the work can be carried out within one day, so all coring, topdressing and rolling is completed in one single day in comparison to a full week of greens maintenance with a slow and cumbersome verti drain. This allows us to focus on other areas such as tees and approaches which as also part of our aeration programs. We have invested heavily in the machinery required to do this process and we will look to build on this with new top dressers and pro cores (machine that does the aerating) across all sites.
Of course, on occasion there may be exceptions to the rule, with changing environments/shadier greens and conditions at that time of year, but generally speaking they’ll hit the same target as traditional golf treatments. Ross mentions that of course there is a time and a place to take a more aggressive approach, sometimes sites will experience problem greens and difficult areas, but Get Golfing sites will always try to maintain their unique approach where possible.
While not trying to belittle other greenkeeping methods, it’s common knowledge that applying 40+ tons of sand in one hit will inevitably take longer to recover, however it can be more time efficient. This is typically going to take 2 – 3 weeks depending on weather conditions and other factors, which has a serious impact on the playability of golf courses for the golfers.
Ross explains that the team take an in depth look at the profile and surface of the greens before making any decision. Where some traditional green keeping processes may suggest an annual verti drain or hollow tine is the way forward, lots of thought and preparation with key objectives is imperative before making maintenance decisions for our sites.
This Get Golfing approach is different and unique, and ensures that the playing surfaces and in particular, the greens get the most out of the work going into them. That, combined with the minimal impact on golfers, has proved a super effective and efficient process in the last few years and Get Golfing sites will look forward to reaping the benefits in the months and years to come.
These images demonstrate the difference in size between the typical hollow tine that might be used at other golf clubs as oppose to the ninja tine used every few weeks at our Get Golfing sites. As you can see, the Ninja Tine is much much smaller and the impact on the green is much less. Even though the ninja tine still creates the desired effect for Ross and his teams, the impact on the playing surfaces is far reduced, meaning our golfers can enjoy better durability for longer periods of time over the course of the year.