Natural Grass Putting Greens: The Rewards and Drawbacks
One of the good things about choosing a natural grass putting green is that the initial installation is usually cheaper than the synthetic alternatives. You’ll want to resist, however, the urge to try to install the green yourself. More goes into installing a putting green than special grass and a good mower.
A sand base is put in, making the green sensitive to water. As such, the ground usually needs to be built up and sloped to allow for water runoff. Poor drainage will lead to pools of water that will make the grass disease-ridden. Plus, if you hire a professional they can also give you starting advice on proper maintenance for your putting green. One additional thing to keep in mind is that while the initial installation of a natural putting green is cheaper, there will be maintenance costs that aren’t associated with synthetics.
Unless you’re able to hire your own part-time greenskeeper, you really need to be an avid lover of both golf and gardening to choose a natural grass putting green. Good putting green maintenance involves precise measurements and practices of watering, fertilization, and topdressing. If this doesn’t sound daunting in itself, the precision of the maintenance entails experience and observation with your specific putting green and its conditions. In other words, while research will help, you can’t simply look up how often to water or fertilize your green and expect optimal results.
That said, a basic working knowledge of putting green maintenance will allow you to keep your green alive and usable. Think of the different golf courses you play on. You can tell the difference between the expertise (some would say, artistry) of different greenskeepers. Firm, fast, healthy greens aren’t easy for the professional to maintain and it won’t be any easier for you, either. Still, once you’ve started, you’ll immediately start to learn what works and what doesn’t for your putting green. Eventually, you can create a putting green the rivals any out there and you may even find a new love in greenskeeping.