When it comes to turf management, golf course superintendents know topdressing is one of the most important practices for healthy greens. Topdressing is the process of spreading a layer of sand, or a mixture of sand and nutrient-filled amendment – across the green, that has been punched so that the topdressing sand can penetrate and aerate the roots.
What is it about topdressing sand that benefits a course?
The main purpose of topdressing is to dilute the layer of thatch below the surface of the turf, increasing putting green smoothness, firmness and allows for better turf growth.
Topdressing sand benefits
- Putting Green Smoothness
Space exists within the turf canopy between turfgrass leaves and stems, causing inconsistent ball roll. Sand topdressing helps fill these spaces to provide smoother putts.
- Dilute Thatch
A mix of dead and living plant material, thatch forms at the base of grass plants, where stems meet roots and soil. Thick thatch blocks water and fertilizer, and grass roots get trapped, where they become vulnerable to heat, drought and stress. Water from irrigation can accumulate in the thatch layer. Too much thatch can hold water and make the golf course soggy. Finally, thick thatch can create a breeding ground for lawn disease and insect pests.
According to the USGA, a small amount of thatch helps putting greens receive shots and withstand traffic, but an excessive amount results in soft conditions, deep ball marks, foot printing, undesirable putting conditions and a host of other agronomic issues. Topdressing to dilute thatch as it accumulates is necessary to maintain firm, smooth and healthy putting greens.
- Improved Turf Recovery
Occasional turf thinning can occur on putting greens. Topdressing sand will help a green or fairway recover from soil compaction, nutrient deficiency, and water or heat stress.
- Increased Firmness
Regular sand topdressing, along with core aeration, improves surface firmness and resiliency.
When, and how often should you topdress your greens?
Golfers often express frustration that superintendents topdress greens during peak playing season. But, there are reasons for this. First, it is important to apply the topdressing sand when the grass is growing and that means warmer weather. This ensures the sand can be absorbed. Topdressing in cooler weather can result in disease activity. Greens not topdressed on a regular basis are more likely to have poorer turf quality and the surface can become uneven, resulting in frustrating play. According to the USGA, many highly-regarded golf courses maintain quality putting greens by topdressing every seven to 14 days.
Finding Quality Topdressing Sand
At Shoreline, we pride ourselves in providing top quality materials for every project. We only use superior materials to create our topdressing sand.
Our topdressing sand:
- Greens Grade Topdressing Sand – No Fines
- Meets all USGA® recommendations for greens topdressing
- Has consistent particle sizes
- Has great percolation and infiltration rates
Choose Shoreline Aggregate Solutions for your topdressing needs. When you order from Shoreline Aggregate Solutions, you are ordering high quality materials at a great price. Contact us today to discuss your latest golf course project.