Royal St. Patrick's Golf Links

                                                                                                                               in Wrightstown, Wisconsin


Tales From The Tall Grass 


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Many have heard the term topdressing, the act of putting sand on top of a playing surface. Do you know what topdressing does? Topdressing smooths the greens, it promotes upright growth, better water absorption and helps build or modify a healthy soil profile. Routine topdressing can ensure putting surfaces are consistent green to green. So how does a golf course like RSPGL get the best results from the practice of topdressing? 1) We watch for stress. Topdressing is best when greens are healthy. Beware if there is heat, dryness or disease. 2) Using the right size particle. Sand that is found in most bunkers, is not the sand you would use for topdressing. You need a much smaller particle 3) Try not to overbrush. Nothing makes sand disappear like a good rain. Let mother nature do the work. 4) Have an old mower ready to do the first cut. Have you ever cut course sand paper with a scissors. What happens to the scissors? The same thing happens to the mowers bed knives. After one cut, they are completely trashed. We spend lots of money every year wrecking bed knives and sharpening them again. If you ever played a course where the greens seemed sanded, yet they seemed shaggy, there is only one reason. They were waiting for mother nature to work in the sand, so they would not trash another set of bed knives. 5) Match your topdressing to your growth. When you match amount of sand to amount of growth, you will be doing your best to keep thatch to a minimum. 6) Make it routine. If you heard someone say, they are going to “try topdressing”. They are doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.  Topdressing is not a one time process that yields results. Results can only be achieved when you do it over and over. Topdressing is not about today, tomorrow or this weekend’s tournament. Topdressing is about the future. The greens can only be great in the future, when you make it a routine today. Is the course you routinely play showing signs that they are ensuring a consistent great future? RSPGL is. 

Upon receiving a recent trade magazine I learned there is a technology company who uses a closed system with antenna router and Smart – Tags to track everything that moves on a golf course. Every cart, every maintenance vehicle, every person walking for that matter could show up as “tagged” on this app. Superintendants would know the gaps in play if they wanted to spot water. The golf shop could watch pace of play. No longer could you call the golf shop and say “Eric, we’ve been sitting on the 4th tee for almost 20 minutes”. No Mr. Smith, you have been there for exactly 3 minutes and 48 seconds, I can see you. (You know, not to totally get off subject, but I never told you what an IRPP was did I? IRPP – Imaginary Rich People Problems. Bet you want to read that article again!) Golf course operators could use the pace of play data for an entire year to see which holes play slow, which play fast. Maybe a hole that plays slower is tree lined, and eliminating the trees would make it play faster. Ironically this has been done and courses without trees do play faster. I’ve got like 5 trees here, that must lead to some pretty fast rounds. I guess when I read stuff like this, I just freak out. Is this kind of stuff necessary? I know what you are thinking the same thing. Is this necessary? Golf operators should figure out how to mow the greens, rake the traps and make sure a beverage cart is out, and leave geo-positioning to the CIA. I couldn’t agree more!

May 9, 2017

May 16, 2017

May 2, 2017

Sand Whisperer...

April 18, 2017

May Edition

Is This Necessary...

Articles From The 

Wandering Mind of 

​Nick Stephens, PGA

When I first got into the golf business, I knew nothing about IRPP’s (pronounced “erps”). Through my apprenticeship, I began a slow indoctrination. IRPP’s could happen at any time, they could appear at any course. IRPP’s could be about absolutely anything, but they had to be about absolutely nothing. They were unpredictable. Some around me became experts in coping with IRPP, others never fully grasped that without IRPP, you might not even have a job. I remember this one IRPP: the club was re-seal coating their parking lot, and needed to paint new parking lot lines. The superintendent had to call every golf course and gather information on the width that they decided to make their parking stalls. Ironically the member driving this parking spot width study had just gotten a new Caddilac, of course he wanted wider stalls. IRPP’s can even end a career. There was this one assistant pro who was often demeaned by the female member. One day, the bag room kids pulled her clubs from bag storage, and she noticed that one of her irons had a little dirt in the grooves, so she once again unloaded on this poor assistant pro. He had hit his IRPP threshold and responded “would you like me to lick them clean?”. Shortly after, the assistant was released by the club.  He did not respect the code of IRPP. I wonder to this day what ever happened to that young up and coming pro? Did he ever learn IRPP, is he still resisting IRPP? I’m sure he just burned out somewhere, another casualty to the fickleness of IRPP. IRPP’s don’t affect me like they used to, and after owning a golf course for the last four years, I know I will never never have enough to be an IRPP, and that makes me happy.