Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the 1994 World Scientific Congress of Golf

By A. J. Cochran; M. R. Farrally | Go to book overview

62

A method for classifying the quality of golf green turf

T.A. Lodge

STRI, Bingley, West Yorkshire, UK


and D.J. Pilbeam

Department of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds,
West Yorkshire, UK

Abstract

A method of classifying the quality of golf greens on the basis of a small number of objective measurements was tested. Test data were obtained from a field trial in which the effects of differing rates of irrigation, nitrogen and phosphate fertiliser on three different types of golf green construction were examined. The objective tests used for the classification were measurements of the botanical composition and ground cover, shoot density, turfgrass colour and soil pH, phosphate, potassium and calcium content. Classification of the surfaces was achieved using the multivariate analysis techniques of principal components analysis and complete linkage cluster analysis. Ten classes of greens were identified and a key was prepared which enabled similar surfaces to be placed in a class. The classes of greens were described in terms of their average visual merit, green “speed”, golf ball behaviour after impact and the construction, irrigation and fertiliser treatments which they had received.

Keywords: Golf greens, Quality, Classification, Multivariate analysis.


1 Introduction

The quality of a golf green is determined by its appearance, its quality of play and its capacity to provide a suitable surface throughout the year. Quality is therefore a multi-faceted feature. Measurement of, for example, botanical composition, drainage rate or green speed may therefore be viewed as assessments of individual facets of the overall quality. The number of such objective measurements which could be carried out is open ended, and many correlations will exist between such measurements.

A classification of data from a survey of a large set of golf green surfaces which took into account these correlations would enable workers to identify particular types, or classes, of greens. General characteristics pertaining to the quality of each class may then be described. Subsequently, a small number of observations of any green may be used to place that green into the most appropriate class. Statements about the quality of the surface, and hence how it compares with others, may then be made on the basis of the characteristics associated with the class. Techniques for achieving such a classification are to be found in the field of multivariate analysis.

In this paper, a data set from a large field trial investigating the construction, irrigation and fertiliser nutrition of UK golf greens is re-examined with a view to testing the workability of a method of classification of golf greens. Most of the data, and the trial itself, have been analysed by conventional analysis of variance and are described elsewhere (Lodge et al. 1991, Lodge & Baker 1991, Lodge 1992a, b, Lodge & Lawson 1993, Lodge 1994-in preparation).

Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. Edited by A.J. Cochran and M.R. Farrally. Published in 1994 by E & FN Spon, London. ISBN 0 419 18790 1

-419-

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