The primary focus of golf courses maintenance has long been on the putting greens given their impact on the game. That focus sometimes does not include the collars, which are critical to the overall playing condition of the putting green complex.
In recent years, however, the collars and approaches are receiving much greater attention. Golfers, especially low-handicap players, recognize the benefit of top playing qualities such as uniformity, firmness, and lack of grain in these areas and understand how these factors impact play onto and around the putting surface.
Despite receiving more attention of late, for many courses these areas continue to be problematic. This can be partly attributed to the increase in the topdressing of the greens with spin-type applicators. Other times sand accumulates at the collar’s edge as a result of brushing sand into the turfgrass canopy or aeration holes, following a topdressing application. More specifically, the circular patterns commonly used to brush or drag the sand into the turf push sand that doesn’t work its way into the canopy to the outer edges of the greens, where it accumulates in the collars. This often goes unnoticed at the time because the higher height of cut in the collars allows the turf to receive more sand.
Eventually this creates buildups, or “artificial collar dams, “ blocking surface drainage off the putting surface.
Beginning Sunday, March 26 Maderas Golf Course began a complete collar reconstruction. We look forward to sharing the results of that project with you when we reopen on Wednesday April 5.