Course managers told to tackle rough after survey reveals pet hates among golfers

Greenkeepers are being urged to take advantage of good autumn growing conditions to tackle thick rough, identified in a survey as number-one enemy for golfers.

Syngenta’s golf player survey revealed thick, coarse rough was the biggest complaint among golfers. Over 50 per cent were unhappy with the state of thick rough, with over 70 per cent stating ease of ball location as a high priority.

Loch Lomond Golf Club course manager David Cole said rough areas had grown out of control but thinning these areas and bringing back the original Fescue-dominant swards was paying dividends.

Repeated over seeding and the installation of drainage in the rough areas along with applications of fertiliser and iron had helped improve rough areas without "impinging on the players’ game too severely".

London Club in Kent’s course manager Peter Todd, meanwhile, said the club wanted to adopt new technology and agronomy techniques, adding that Rescue herbicide treatments had proved successful in managing coarse grass invasion in the rough.

Syngenta technical manager, Dr Simon Watson said: "Incredibly wet conditions encouraged excessive coarse grass growth and prevented mowing, resulting in almost unplayable conditions on many golf courses.

"Wet, warm soils and vigorous growth are good conditions for Rescue treatment to selectively remove ryegrass and create a more open sward of fine Fescue grass species. The conditions will also help with over sowing or reseeding rough areas with fine Fescue grass."

Dr Watson said difficult playing conditions caused by dense rough would make players and club management more receptive to initiatives to tackle the issues and to support investment in improvements.

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