It’s safe to say, that due to the popularity of golf in the United Arab Emirates, there is a fair amount of wear and tear brought onto the 31 golf courses across the UAE.

In a way, I guess it’s a good problem to have?!

That being so, keeping them well-maintained is a round-the-clock job. But adding to that, each golf course’s agronomy team has to find the time from somewhere to get further renovations done, to make sure they are in the best playing condition possible (for the longest period of time) for the following 12 months.

What actually is summer renovation?

Renovations are fulfilled on the courses to give them a chance to recover from the year-round pressure of general golf shots, machinery and golf buggies – all of which are putting actual physical pressure on the grass which is then being compacted, resulting in creating thatch. More on that later…

On the greens themselves there are four main renovations completed:

– Aggressive scarification

– Aeration or compaction relief treatment at greater depth

– Amendment applications

– Top dressing

It may not look pretty and be unsettling to putt on, but in the long run it will benefit the turf and only last a couple of weeks.

What is thatch?

Thatch is formed between the layer of grass and the soil being forced together. This then makes it tricky for water and nutrients to reach the soil.

Therefore, the grass will become fragile as the roots aren’t able to grow deep into the soil and be able to thrive!

How is thatch removed?

There are three steps to removing thatch. These are Scarification & Coring, Amendment application, and Topdressing.

Scarification is carried out with a scarifier, which drives sharp blades just into the thatch. As well as removing the thatch, it also creates an element of aeration and reduces sponginess.

The coring process means the compacted turf expands and allows the moisture to be more easily absorbed, as well as removing amassed fibre in the roots of the grass. This consequently allows the poor soil to be exchanged for a better one through top dressing. That’s why the greens are normally covered in a sandy top dressing after they’re cored.

In the amendment application “Gypsum” is used to reduce the compacted soil and improve the structure of the soil. This will increase the air movement and reduce water run-off on the greens. Not forgetting the granular seaweed applied to improve the structure of the soil to help the moisture and nutrient retention thanks to the calcium and magnesium within the seaweed.

And finally, topdressing is then completing the process. A layer of sand is applied to the grass to help with level, firmness and root development.

There are various positives to these renovations once completed. In the long-term, it helps encourage new growth in the grass, increases the air and light circulation, and minimises fungal disease to name just a few.

But most importantly, it will benefit all your playing experiences throughout the next golfing year.

Happy golfing!

Main Image: Jumeirah Golf Estates