Why Top Dressing A Green Is Important for Its Health

As most greens keepers at golf courses around the world know, the number one important thing to a golf course is the health of its greens. This is why on a regular basis they will use a top dresser to spread sand and other mixes across the greens for their benefit.

Sometimes the quality a golf course’s greens will be low for a couple weeks per year as they must undergo an aerification process. This means holes will be punched in the green to let it breath and a good amount of sand mixed with other organics will be applied to the surface. While golfers won’t be able to play for a week or two depending on the moisture applied/rainfall during that time, they have the greens keeper to thank for  this upkeep so they can enjoy healthy greens for the rest of the year.

Providing a green with a spread of sand organic compound with a top dresser or a turf sprayer is 99 percent beneficial to the health of the green. Here is a list of things that top dressing a green does for its health:

  • The sand will work its way into the turf canopy and will settle between the crowns, or growing points of each plant. This will help prevent scalping by mowers because the crowns of the plant will be partially buried.
  • The prevention of mowers scalping the plant will also help protect against unwanted diseases entering the green. If a disease is introduced to a green, the costs of repairing it can be enormous.
  • Sand will help break down organic matter, making it easier for the plant to breath.
  • The speed of a green after undergoing this process will go up. The sand allows greens keepers to firm up and smoothen the greens.

When golf first started, the greens mostly consisted of clay content on “push up” mound-like greens that weren’t able to drain very well after heavy rains, and would essentially bake in the summer months. As top dressing and aeration methods became more and more efficient, golf course greens became more and more sustainable, and more undulating.

With the variety of golf courses today, there are a variety of different needs from a equipment to do maintenance on them. There are wide and open golf courses, and there are very narrow golf courses. Choosing the right equipment to fit the course is essential.


Guest post is provided by Global Turf Equipment, a company offering a variety of makes of the Reel Master along with parts and other turf equipment. Visit www.globalturfsupply.com for more information.