Maintenance HUD and it’s importance
I use spreadsheets to record my data around what’s happening with our greens, after all they are alive and change daily so why not record changes. The idea of a HUD is not new and I first came across this from Jason Haines, a superintendent from Canada, or genius as I like to think of him. You may have seen some past tweets with snap shots from my HUD displaying certain bits of information. My maintenance HUD is short for heads up display and gives me all my separate spreadsheets and data in one place. The information displayed are weather forecast, growth potential, precipitation, disease pressure, grass clipping volume, ideal growth vs actual growth, soil PH, soil temperature, growth potential, greens firmness and more, all of which I can use to to make informed decisions about the timings of maintenance procedures on our greens. In short this is my greens program and this can be anything from general mowing to aeration, verticutting, feeding and top dressing. But don’t worry the golf calendar still bares strong influence on my timings for disruption. I also have a problem green section where our 3 problem greens are displayed and improvements tracked.
One example of how all this information helps me make the right decisions at the right time is my clip volume measurements. I first learned of this technique from Jason and after reading a book called “a short grammar of greenkeeping” by Micah Woods. This book opened up a whole new way of greenkeeping for me and many others. The staff record the total amount of grass clippings from each green and this enables me to track growth and choose the correct time to feed or slow the growth down, which by my calculations of past guess work of Nitrogen inputs should reduce our inputs and ensure they are applied when needed. This technique also tells me when to top-dress. When we have removed a total of 500ml of clippings /m2 that’s time to get the top dresser out, any later could result in excessive thatch build up, any earlier and we are probably wasting money and time.
So now you know, all my maintenance to our greens will be based on science that I can track and alter my program accordingly to hopefully produce the best putting surfaces possible within my constraints.
Now don’t expect massive improvements from the off this is a long term plan and the start of a recovery mission in many ways.