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Plugging a Green

Posted by on May 22, 2009


For you readers out there that are not golfers, this slideshow will not top your Oscar list but the process here is fascinating.  After watching this you will be a learned and extremely knowledgable individual. You will be esteemed in your social circles and your conversations will be held in awe by the masses.

 I’ve been on a golf course hundreds of times.  I know they aerate greens to keep them from compacting and for water drainage.  But I never actually saw the process of “plugging” as it’s known.  The process begins with Kyle, the course superintendent actually taking plugs of Bentgrass and earth from the greens.  The plugs are spaced at two inch intervals. This is done in rows until the entire green is complete.  I have taken a plug and photographed it in my hand to give you an idea of their size.  Once completed the summer college help attempts to sweep them into heaps.  The next step is for a sweeper to come along and pick up the residue. As you can see, Duke, the super’s best friend has full reign of his kingdom here at Bully Pulpit GC.  Once the green is swept clean, Luke spreads fine sand over the entire area. Unfortunately Luke, the ass’t. super is from Cleveland.  And we Steeler fans can’t help but feel sorry for those lost souls hailing from “the mistake on the lake”.  Sorry Ohio.  After he has done a great job of spreading the sand, Headman comes along and sweeps the sand into the holes left by the removed “plugs”.  Headman is in his second summer here from Namibia. Finally the sand is almost all in the ground orifices and Chad then takes the Mocha Mat (heavy brown carpeting) and drags the entire surface.  Chad hails from neighboring Montana and is the Irrigation Technician of the course.  As you can see from the slide show, this process has made the green look almost normal once again.  The next to last step is to have more college summer help come along and blow away and remaining debris. Again, Duke, the king of the realm, surveys everyone’s work.  Finally, the coup de grace.  Radio controlled sprinkler systems are turned on to pack the sand and provide growth stimulation for the bent grass.  The Bentgrass (greens) specifically grows horizontally therefore, in short time the plugged holes will be filled with green turf eliminating any evidence of holes, sand or plugs.  So there you have it.  Now you can act as an expert whenever “green plugging” comes up at your next social gathering.

11 Responses to Plugging a Green

  1. Debbie

    It has always been something that I really wanted to know, how they kept the course looking so perfect even when the weather would be so crappy……….now I know the secret………I’ll make sure Jim reads this, it will make his lawn care much simpler… he is mowing close to 4 acres a week now, averaging a yard a week…………

  2. Debbie

    Larry, as you know, I am not a golfer, but, I was always amazed that a golf course could arise from an otherwise ordinary field, and often wondered how they kept it clean, green, and pristine….now I have a little more understanding of the process, that there’s more than just mowing in different directions!

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