“There are no pictures on the scorecard” is another way of saying “there are a lot of ways to get things done.” That’s true in golf. And it’s true in golf course maintenance, as we learned this year in our conversations with superintendents, who taught us all kinds of turf-care tricks. Here are four of the most unconventional tips they shared.
1. Aerate with a Garden Fork
Aerating is an important agronomic practice that breaks up thatch, and promotes a healthy flower of air and nutrients into the root zone. Superintendents carry out the work with machines. But on a patch of turf as small as many yards, the job can also be done by hand, according to Jimmy Kidd, former longtime superintendent at Gleneagles, in Scotland, and founder of the Scottish Greenkeepers Association. Almost anything that makes a sufficient hole will do. “The equipment can be as simple as a garden fork inserted into soil and manipulated to create air spaces all over the lawn,” Kidd said.
2. Melt Ice With Sunflower Seeds
Ice can be a turf-killer, smothering the grass beneath it. Superintendents don’t want it covering their greens, and you don’t it blanketing your yard. How you do away with it is another matter. At George Wright Golf Course, outside Boston, superintendent Len Curtin told us that he often takes the standard route and sprinkles the ice with black sand or black organic fertilizer, both of which absorb sunlight, which in turn, helps melt the ice.
But every now and then, Curtin relies on a MacGyver method: scatters his frozen-over greens with sunflower seeds, which accomplish the same thing. “Just be sure that the seeds are feed-grade and unsalted,” Curtin said. And rake them up once the ice is melted, or you might wind up with an unwanted crop of sunflowers come spring.
All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy a linked product, GOLF.COM may earn a fee. Pricing may vary.
3. Spray Down Frost
The preferred way to get rid of frost is…