We get asked all the time how we maintain such firm, healthy and smooth greens. The answer is simple – constant light weight rolling and precise mowing. Fifteen years ago we pioneered the use of rolling on greens becoming the first club in Utah committed to a Rolling First concept that reduced the over reliance on mowing greens unhealthily short. University researchers have shown the shorter and more frequently greens are cut, the more stress and damage it creates. With modern rolling equipment, faster and more consistent green speeds can be achieved by rolling more while mowing less at factionally higher cutting heights. Our rolling techniques have been copied by other clubs, but we are proud to have shown others the path.
A greens roller is a simple piece of equipment much like an asphalt roller used in road construction just smaller and not as loud. The benefits of rolling turfgrass are massive. Rolling creates greens that are healthy, firm and smooth while also reducing thatch, disease, weeds, ball marks and even the amount of water needed. Rolling as a drought mitigation technique – that is awesome!
We roll greens every day from opening in April until the closing bell in November. Rolling daily in combination with planned mowing and careful brushing, verticutting, and sand topdressing not only produces the firmest and healthiest greens but helps maintain our greens pace at around 10.5 feet on the stimpmeter. At this pace, history has shown the greens perform wonderfully for golfers of all abilities. Any slower and balls stick on some slopes and any faster balls can roll off greens and many hole locations are eliminated. Of course, early in the season we allow the greens a bit less pace (+/- 9.5 feet) to protect against the unpredictable spring weather that can damage turf and in the summer months we pull back keeping speeds below 11 feet to protect the playability of our undulated surfaces.
We have built a greens management program that is the envy of all turfgrass experts. But, we are raising our game once again by expanding Utah’s largest fleet of rolling equipment with our new Jumbo Heavy Rolling Program. We are adding bigger, faster and more aggressive rolling equipment to cover more terrain, more efficiency and with more enthusiasm than ever. This includes the purchase of the gigantic Tranz-Former Roller shown in the video. Once again, we are leading turfgrass management in Utah.
At Red Ledges, we are not merely looking to do things better than other clubs, we are looking to do the things others have never thought to try. Our pioneering Rolling First concept lead the turfgrass industry fifteen years ago and our new, revolutionary Jumbo Heavy Rolling Program continues that legacy of innovation. Let the good times Roll!