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moparman426

Course maintenance

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The caretakers at my local course apparently are intentionally letting the rough grow out to ridiculous proportions this year.  They have no intentions on mowing it any time soon, which is a huge problem for any shots not on the fairway as it is.  It's already 6 to 7 inches deep in most parts, right up to the fringe of the putting greens.   We were out for our weekly men's league, and there were more people out just walking in circles than actually taking shots, on account of not being able to spot their ball.

Doesn't this neglect actually change the rating and slope of the course?  I thought the course would at least have to be maintained to the condition it was in when it was last rated, would it not?

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Let me guess hot and dry? They did it two summers ago at this rinky dink course I play and it was torture. I griped to the pro, told him it was unfair given the low rating of the course. It was so high if you grounded an iron the grass was inches above the top of the hosel. My scores there were higher than courses rated 2-3 strokes higher and much longer. They have new staff there so the rough is back down to tolerable height.

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Cool and wet, actually.  It's just so aggravating.  I mean, it's not just me complaining about it.  I would prefer the course to be a bit more challenging, but not in this manner.  From what I have been reading, the rating can be effected by up to .75 and the slope by as much as 5 points.

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Cool and wet, actually.  It's just so aggravating.  I mean, it's not just me complaining about it.  I would prefer the course to be a bit more challenging, but not in this manner.  From what I have been reading, the rating can be effected by up to .75 and the slope by as much as 5 points.


At the course where I work it's just the opposite.

Last year between the tree lines there was about an equal amount of Bermuda rough and Bermuda fairways but the owner decided to cut all Bermuda to fairway height to save money. It's a lot cheaper in labor cost and fuel to mow fairways than it is to mow rough.

Now the only "rough" areas are some native grass areas that are seldom in play for decent golfers.

Hard for me to tell how much easier it made the course because the greens have been bad but I'm pretty sure once the greens are back everybody's scores will be a few strokes lower.

P.S. It was taking me 16 to 18 hours every week last year to mow the rough and this year it's taking me 7 hours.

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At the course where I work it's just the opposite. Last year between the tree lines there was about an equal amount of Bermuda rough and Bermuda fairways but the owner decided to cut all Bermuda to fairway height to save money. It's a lot cheaper in labor cost and fuel to mow fairways than it is to mow rough. Now the only "rough" areas are some native grass areas that are seldom in play for decent golfers. Hard for me to tell how much easier it made the course because the greens have been bad but I'm pretty sure once the greens are back everybody's scores will be a few strokes lower. P.S. It was taking me 16 to 18 hours every week last year to mow the rough and this year it's taking me 7 hours.

My course is similar to yours, except not quite as extreme. My course has rough that, much more often than not, will either tee up the ball or be thin enough to not have to worry about it more than a little bit less spin on a shot. Kind of nice though since recently I've been hooking my drives like no tomorrow, so at least I'm not brutally penalized while I fix it.

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A nine hole course I play on occasion does something similar. Between tee and green, all grass in reasonable line of play is either fairway or first-cut rough.

Now, the rough is criscrossed with a lot of medium oak trees, so a shot out of the  rough is often a recovery, as you have to dodge the trees. But, at least you can find your ball and hit back to the fairway.

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My home course tried the change the rough height a few years ago, too.  I don't know if it was done as an experiment or what, but as soon as they sow the way it slowed the pace of the course, they went back to the way it had been.  All they did was increase the height by about 1/2", but it made the balls settle in and disappear - you often had to be within 5-10 feet to see a ball even though the rough was only about 2½" at most.  Players were actually losing balls in it, yet it wasn't all that much harder to play from when you did find the ball.

Actual recorded round times showed that it was taking an average of some 10-12 minutes longer to play each round.  One of the starter's jobs is to record the turn and finish times for every group, so those numbers were easy for us to track.  When they dialed the rough back to 1¾-2", the pace dropped back to normal too.

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My home course tried the change the rough height a few years ago, too.  I don't know if it was done as an experiment or what, but as soon as they sow the way it slowed the pace of the course, they went back to the way it had been.  All they did was increase the height by about 1/2", but it made the balls settle in and disappear - you often had to be within 5-10 feet to see a ball even though the rough was only about 2½" at most.  Players were actually losing balls in it, yet it wasn't all that much harder to play from when you did find the ball.

Actual recorded round times showed that it was taking an average of some 10-12 minutes longer to play each round.  One of the starter's jobs is to record the turn and finish times for every group, so those numbers were easy for us to track.  When they dialed the rough back to 1¾-2", the pace dropped back to normal too.


At the club where I used to be a member they always grew the rough in advance of the club championship tournament.

Plenty of people at that club normally shot somewhere around par or a little better so when I shot a 76 the first day I thought I was completely out of the tournament. I was shocked to find out I was tied for the lead.

(Of course I came back to real life and blew it the second day).

It's amazing how much difference it makes when you can't find your ball in the rough.

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Have you asked them why?


That does sound like the most reasonable course of action.

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When they did it here it was a conservation effort in an attempt to stave off drought stress. It made sense but the course played much more difficult than the rating that summer.

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Have you asked them why?


Yep.  "We don't feel like cutting it"......

I guess enough people complainted, as I went out last evening and they were trimmed.  No first cut rough, just fairway to 3" rough, but still better than it was.

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