We are frequently asked, “why does Chambers Bay topdress so frequently?”
The putting greens are topdressed with sand every 2-3 weeks throughout the growing season. Combined with morning dew, this may cause the ball to pick up sand. The primary reason greens are topdressed is to manage the thatch layer. Thatch is a combination of living and dead plant material and is a natural byproduct of growing healthy turf. A reasonable amount of thatch helps turf resist foot traffic, however, too much thatch will hold water and create soft, “spongy” playing surfaces. Less thatch typically means less opportunity for disease, and smoother, firmer putting surfaces.
We attempt to apply the minimum amount of sand to match projected growth, which can be a challenge as growth decreases in the fall. To help minimize the negative impact of sand, we usually follow up with an application of wetting agent to aid in reducing the impact of dew and enhance distribution of thatch/soil moisture.
As we transition from fescue to Poa annua putting surfaces, thatch management remains critically important to maintaining the turf firmness that provides an authentic links golf experience.
Check back with us in the next couple of weeks as we will be providing updates on the re-surfaced putting greens on holes #7, #10 & #13.