What’s Up With the Greens at MacKenzie’s Golf Course?

Jim Daly, the Haggin Oaks Golf Course Superintendent, is here to explain the smooth, fast and brown greens that you are currently seeing when playing the MacKenzie Golf Course at Haggin Oaks.

According to Jim, the “putting greens at Haggin Oaks will be managed totally different than in years past.” Morton Golf has made a decision to make the greens at the Haggin Oaks Golf Courses tournament ready every day.  We believe our every-day golfers deserve similar, if not the same, conditions as our special high quality tournaments do.

Jim explains, “The new goal on putting greens is to manage the surface and provide smooth ball roll.  The greens will be mowed lower, the greens will be sprayed frequently with iron (ferrous sulphate) and the use of plant growth regulators will be applied.  Iron is the most essential nutrient needed for turfgrass.  It allows for the plant to properly uptake sunlight/nutrient and metabolize efficiently.  Plant growth regulators slow the vertical growth of turfgrass while not affecting lateral growth.  This allows for a smooth, firm surface, and less mowing (growing lots of grass on putting greens is not ideal).”    
At Haggin Oaks, we currently have Poa Annua, more commonly known in America as annual bluegrass on our putting greens.  Over time, we want to increase the percentage of Bent Grass on the greens with a plan to reduce the non-preferred turf grass called Poa Annua.  As the stand of Bent Grass increases, the greens will continue to putt smoother and more consistently. Jim writes, “Poa Annua does not like iron or plant growth regulators which is the reason why it is being applied.  Bentgrass is naturally stimulated by iron and plant growth regulators.  As a greenskeeper,  my objective is to have bentgrass putting greens rather than poa annua greens.  You can eliminate poa annua over a period of time and you can have greens free of poa annua.  This process will take a few years to complete.”

Why are the greens more golden or orange now on the Alister MacKenzie Golf Course? 
Our recent changes in agronomic practices will turn the greens to more of a golden or orange color like what is seen at PGA and LPGA tour events.  This color comes from mowing practices that mows the stem of the plant on the greens closer to the root of the plant as well as applications to hold back the growth of Poa Annua.  Several Superintendents in Northern California are adopting these new modern agronomic practices.

We have great things to look forward to seeing at Haggin Oaks in the coming years and our goal is to keep improving the golf course to give you the best experience in golf in Sacramento. Our #1 goal is to maintain Stemp Meter Readings of between 9.5 and 10.5 throughout the year.  PGA Tour Stemp Meter Readings usually are between 11 and 12.  

Leave a Reply