Golf course management is essential to enjoy your game on a maintained and playable course. The rough is one of the toughest areas to manage, and when done incorrectly, it can negatively affect your game.
No matter your job, understanding how to manage the rough can make significant changes to the overall quality of your golf course. The team at Grass Science Seeds have created this short guide full of our best tips to help you generate fine-stemmed rough grass to help optimise your golfing experience.
What Are The Best Practices When Managing The Rough?
Select Appropriate Grass Species
Choose grass species that naturally have fine stems and a desirable texture for rough areas. Different grass species like fine fescues (such as Chewings fescue or creeping red fescue) or colonial bentgrass are often preferred for fine-stemmed roughs.
Adjust mowing heights
Set the mowing height slightly higher for rough areas compared to the fairways and greens. This allows the grass to grow taller and develop finer stems. We recommend adjusting the mowing height based on the grass species you have chosen.
Manage Fertilisation Carefully
Implement a fertiliser program that supports healthy growth but avoids excessive nitrogen, which can lead to coarse grass and increased thatch. Seek guidance from a turfgrass specialist or agronomist to determine the appropriate fertilisation plan for your specific grass species and golf course conditions.
Practise Selective Weed Control
Regularly monitor and control the growth of undesirable grasses or weeds that may have coarse stems. Implement selective herbicide applications or manual removal techniques to maintain the desired fine-stemmed grass species.
Improve Soil Conditions
Soil fertility and texture can affect grass growth and stem quality. Conduct a soil test to determine any deficiencies or imbalances in soil nutrients and amend the soil accordingly. Additionally, improving soil drainage and reducing compaction can promote healthier grass growth and finer stems.
Proper Irrigation Management
Adjust irrigation practices to encourage deeper root growth, which can result in healthier grass plants with finer stems. Avoid frequent, shallow watering that promotes weak growth and coarse stems. Instead, water deeply and less frequently, allowing the soil to dry slightly between watering sessions.
Implement Regular Aeration and Verticutting
Aeration helps relieve compaction and improves soil structure, promoting healthy root development. Verticutting, or vertical mowing, helps control thatch buildup and encourages finer stems. Implement these practices at appropriate times to enhance the quality of the rough grass.
Remember, achieving the desired fine-stemmed rough grass may take time and consistent maintenance practices. It is important to tailor your approach based on the specific conditions, grass species, and golf course requirements. Consulting with a golf course superintendent or turfgrass professional can provide further guidance tailored to your situation.
Here at Grass Science Seeds, we aim to use science and knowledge to fill every gap in the market. We are extremely proud to work with some of the best seed houses and suppliers worldwide, providing our clients with the best range of cultivars.
Our GSS Golf Seed Collection provides outstanding benefits for turf managers across the UK and can help you to successfully manage your golf course. Check out our collection here!