The key to quality turf begins in the quality of the soil the turf is grown on and the fertilizer/organic matter that is found in the soil. Over the past couple of years we have been sending soil samples to International Sports Turf Research Center (ISTRC). ISTRC is a company based out of Lenexa, KS that specializes in soil analysis for sand-based greens, push-up greens, and athletic fields. ISTRC has a great reputation around the golf community dealing with many of the top courses in America.
We took samples out of five greens and four fairways and compared them to samples from the same greens and fairways taken in 2009. The results brought back some good news confirming that our topdressing and vertical mowing programs are working. The greens are accumulating an adequate percentage of organic matter from the decaying thatch as a result of the vertical mowing. Topdressing the greens, along with aerification, is creating more macropores deeper in the soil bed, thus helping the greens retain adequate moisture. Like the greens, the fairways yielded positive results.