"A high-level of playing performance offers challenge and enjoyment through natural variability of weather and season." - R&A Director of Golf Course Management, Steve Isaac.
Firm, dry and healthy surfaces produce the most consistent playing conditions for a fair and desirable, yet challenging, test of golf on greens and fairways, regardless of the visual appearance of the turf. Smoothness and trueness are key qualities of consistent and reliable putting surfaces.
Excessive expenditure on irrigation and fertilisers will produce soft, wet and unhealthy turf, which is prone to climatic stress and susceptible to attack by diseases and pests. This kind of high-input approach will prove both very labour-intensive and costly. It also results in the rapid accumulation of organic matter; the management of which is disruptive to play and stressful for turf.
The optimum conditions for playing performance are most easily established during the design and construction phase of a golf course. For existing courses that wish to improve their levels of playing performance, an effective ongoing turf management plan, based on best practice, will deliver the desired result.
Achieving and maintaining high levels of playing performance will meet the expectations of your members and customers, while also ensuring that the course is open for play for as much of the year as possible. To assess performance, your business will benefit from keeping records such as number of rounds played, days of green and course closure, and dominant grass types to greens and fairways. The R&A has compiled a list of evidence fields which it considers vital to the assessment of ongoing sustainability.