Keep the Greens Rolling Smooth!
The greens at any golf course are the focal point and The Golf Club at Rio Vista is no exception. Greens are also the most expensive part of the golf course to maintain.
As golfers, we want the greens to roll smooth and fairly. To me, putting is golf's great equalizer because anyone can be a great putter. It doesn't matter how far or straight you are able to drive the ball, if you don’t putt it into the hole in one or two strokes, your score can add up quickly.
When CourseCo took over management of the golf course in August of 2019, the greens conditions were the starting point for the Renaissance in Rio Vista. Standard agronomic practices such as fertilizer, fungicides, aerification and proper mowing heights are all important pieces of having good greens conditions.
The other big part of keeping the greens rolling great comes from our golfers. This is why we always need your help in keeping the golf course better for everyone, especially on and around the greens.
While Covid-19 has delayed our beginning golf classes from starting at the Club, it's worth noting that anytime I instruct a novice golfer, we always start with putting. The reason is because putting is that important! While all our swings are unique and have their limitations, putting lowers scores and is the foundation for the rest of the golf shots in your bag.
Back to those beginner lessons, on day one we also talk about playing Ready Golf including what to carry in your pockets while you play. A ball and some tees don't really come as a surprise to most newbies but when I pull out a divot tool (also called a ball mark repair tool) many have no idea what it is.
As I mentioned, anyone can be a great putter with a good mindset, solid setup position and practice. How frustrating is it though, when you are watching your ball roll closer and closer to the hole, it looks dead on line BUT it hits an old ball mark that wasn’t repaired and rolls off line past the hole. To prevent these bumpy conditions on the greens, everyone should carry a divot tool in your pocket and repair your marks on the green. In a pinch a tee can work as well and is better than not fixing your mark at all, but the tool is designed to do the job making it the better option.
Sometimes it's hard to find exactly where your ball lands on the green so start by keeping an eye on where the landing spot is when your approach shot hits the green. When you arrive at the green, one of the first things you'll want to do is repair your ball mark.
To do so, insert the tool behind the ball mark and gently pull the top of the tool towards the center. Continue working around the ball mark, so that the surrounding turf pulls in toward the center of the indentation. Avoid using a twisting or lifting motion so as not to damage turf roots. Once you have finished, gently tap the area down with your putter to create a smooth, firm surface.
It really is that easy and makes a big impact. You can take it one step further with the motto ‘leave the course better than you found it’ when you have time to fix your mark and another one someone else missed. So keep that divot tool handy next time you play and help us keep the greens rolling great.
Kandace Clatterbaugh, General Manager