Playability or Aesthetics - What Really Matters?. Tom Vlach • Director of Golf Course Maintenance Operations, TPC Sawgrass Bill Hughes • General Manager, TPC Sawgrass Collier Miller • Director, TPC Agronomy. Presenting sponsors:. Aesthetics, or Playability What Really Matters?.
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Tom Vlach • Director of Golf Course Maintenance Operations, TPC Sawgrass Bill Hughes • General Manager, TPC Sawgrass Collier Miller • Director, TPC Agronomy
What Really Matters?
How it plays
TPC Network Agronomic and Conditioning Philosophy is consistent with PGA TOUR Player Expectations
Firm, fast playing conditions are the priority
Touring Professionals want firm and fast playing conditions and have less concern for visual appeal.
The key is balancing the playing conditions with the environment, economics, and still providing a product people will pay for.
Spring / Fall
Club is marketed and sold on playing conditions
Educating and selling the membership is critical (Brown “can” be beautiful)
Allow for use of poor water quality
Easier to manage for dry and firm conditions
No spring/summer and fall transition
Positive public relationsNot Overseeding allows for -
Irrigation Control System
Irrigation Control system
Irrigation System Design and Distribution
A must – to utilize available technology and management tools
Weather Stations / ET
Hand / Spot Water
Alternative Playing Surfaces
You can’t get much better than this when it comes to ball lie.
A Case Study
THE PLAYERS Stadium opened in 1980
Overseeded entire Stadium golf course each year in October
- 36,000 lbs. seed
- 50,000 lbs. fertilizer
- 1500 man-hours
- 25% electrical increase
- $20,000 transition sod, 2 acres-
Thatch and organic mat management are critical to providing firm conditions
TPC Sawgrass took the fast track
Regular topdressing required to maintain firm conditions
Alternative to rebuilding and longer term strategy is through core aerification and topdressing program.
Green is good,but Brown “can” be
Talk about “Firm and Fast” conditions versus the overseed conditions of the past which were “Soft and Slow”
Fully disclose all agronomic practices that a guest could encounter during their time at the facilityMaking the Reservation
“Due to our desire to provide our members and guests with firm and fast conditions throughout the winter months, we have moved away from overseeding. It is better for the golf course from a playability perspective and much better for the environment due to a significant reduction in the water and agronomic requirements.”
Warm, sincere and genuine greeting of the Members/Guests/TOUR Players at Bag Drop Area
Brown is Beautiful, Too
Par 5, 16th Hole, PLAYERS Stadium
Famous American biographer and poet:
You will forget what I say, you will forget what I do, but you will never forget how I made you feel!