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Minimalist Management

Minimalist Plan of Management

In an effort to reduce course inputs, decrease potential environmental impact and reduce the amount of labor needed to maintain the grounds of the Marquette Golf Club we have adapted a minimalist approach to maintaining the grounds of MGC.  This approach or philosophy drives us on a path of sustainability. 
Our basic practices are stated below:

  • All fertilizer applications are done in small quantities utilizing slow release and organic fertilizers. 
Fertilizing this way will reduce any excessive growth patterns and minimizes mowing requirements.  Fertilizer inputs are kept to a minimum based on plant needs and never done in excess. 

  • Mowing is completed minimally; Bi-weekly for fairways, Approaches and Tees; weekly for the rough (if needed). 
Greens are the only exception in this area; they will be mowed daily during the high growing season but reduced to ‘as needed mowing’ in the spring and fall when growth is slow due to climatic conditions.  By controlling our growth we can achieve these reduced mowing intervals. 

  • Chemical inputs are kept to a minimum and only utilized when absolutely needed. 
When applications are applied, sub-label rate are utilized over the majority of the acreage.  We hold a higher than average disease thresh-hold especially on our fairways where no in-season applications have been applied to date.  If disease outbreaks occur on our greens we will look at the long term weather forecast to determine if climatic conditions will change in our favor, which can eliminate disease spread.  At that time we decide if a chemical application is needed.   

  • Cultural controls are our number one turf health insurance policy. 
Cultural controls are essential to sustainable management of turfgrass diseases.  Proper topdressing, vertical mowing and aerification are key components to this philosophy as they are needed for organic matter control and long term soil health. 

  • Water management can never be overstated. 
Reduced water use lowers our energy costs, aids in disease management, reduces turfgrass growth rates and creates a much more enjoyable golfing experience. 
Firm ground or ‘Thirsty Turf’ adds the element of roll and bounce back to the game of golf. 

  • Wetting agents are used on the greens and injected into the Greywalls irrigation system. 
We apply wetting agents as needed to gain more efficient water use and minimize the amount of hand watering needed on the greens.

  • We are ‘Down with Brown’. 
We do not worry about fairway or rough turf going dormant in the hot summer months and turning brown.  This is a natural cyclical process for the plant and it will recover very well, when the rains come again. 

  • Long grass areas have been expanded. 
We encourage out of play areas to go ‘Native’ and grow tall, reducing daily maintained acreage, improving aesthetics and increasing environmental habitat. 

  • Mower reels are highly maintained. 
The quality of cut is checked on a daily basis to reduce plant damage while mowing.  This is the most over looked area in our industry; by cleanly cutting all plant blades you dramatically reduce potential pathogen infection sites.  Plant energy use can then be directed towards proper development and growth and not healing.  

  • Mowing Heights are not pushed to the limit. 
We maintain our Height of Cut (HOC) at a moderate level.  Leaving more of the leaf attached to the plant increases its energy production capability and increases its overall health.  Greens are kept at an industry standard of .125” while fairways are .625”, Tees and Approaches are .360” to .450” and the rough is 2.25” to 2.5”

By maintaining a golf course in this manner we have the ability to allocate minimal budgetary funds where they are needed most thus eliminating wasteful spending. 

This management style reduces labor, saves fuel, reduces wear and tear on equipment (thus extending its useful life expectancy) and eliminates many potential environmental risks. 

We feel our grounds are a splendid example of low input maintenance and are a true joy to play the game of golf on. 

Land management must be carried out using these philosophies in-order to be considered a ‘true steward’ while maintaining golfing grounds. 

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