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

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

63

The effects of light-weight rolling on putting greens

G.W. Hamilton, Jr, D.W. Livingston and A.E. Gover

Penn State University, University Park, USA

Abstract

The rolling of golf course putting greens to increase ball roll distance is becoming more popular with golf course superintendents. Light-weight rolling may increase compaction, which can be detrimental to the turfgrass stand. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of light-weight rolling on ball roll distance, bulk density, and water infiltration. Plots were rolled 0, 1, and 2 times per week for 14 weeks. Light-weight rolling increased ball roll distance an average of 38 cm. The increase in distance lasted less than 48 hours. Bulk density in the surface 2.5 cm of soil and saturated infiltration were not affected by rolling.

Keywords: Rolling, Green Speed, Compaction, Infiltration, Golf Green, Putting Green.


1 Introduction

The distance a golf ball travels on a putting green is typically a concern for the golfer and golf course superintendent. The distance a ball rolls can be measured with a Stimpmeter (USGA, 1979). The distance the ball rolls may be a function of how fast the ball is traveling, however, to term this measurement “green speed” or “speed” may be misleading since the variable being measured is distance. A more appropriate term to use concerning Stimpmeter readings might be Ball Roll Distance (BRD).

Practices to increase BRD (e.g. low mowing heights, reduced fertilization, reduced watering) are not agronomically correct for proper turfgrass management. Some supplementary cultural practices, such as topdressing and verticle mowing, have also been tried to increase BRD (Throssell, 1981 and Langlois, 1985).

Langlois (1985) also evaluated rolling as a means to increase BRD. A Jacobsen hand mower modified with additional weight was used to roll bentgrass plots. Rolling did increase BRD, but the effect only lasted for a day or two.

Rolling has been used extensively on lawn bowling greens and cricket pitches. Many types of commercial rollers have been developed for this purpose. The use of commercial rollers on golf course putting greens has increased in recent years and continues to gain acceptance, however, detrimental effects of rolling are unknown and need to be thoroughly researched and documented.


2 Objective

To evaluate the effects of light-weight rolling on ball roll distance, bulk density, and water infiltration on putting greens.

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

-425-

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