Golf courses are a haven for Singaporean golfers – those who play professionally and the ones who enjoy golf as a health and stress-relief option. Of course, the beautiful greens of golf courses are not just a sight for sore eyes, highly maintained greens are the parts and parcels to golfers’ satisfaction in the ultimate golfing experience. A golfer survey indicated that the condition of the putting green surface is the number one thing golfers care about.

What is rolling the greens?

Rolling is a process that goes hand-in-hand with mowing and it helps to improve surface smoothness, uniformity and elevates green speed. Rolling greens play a vital role in the management of green speed and putting green performance alongside the cultural and cultivation programmes on the golf course facility.

The important benefits of rolling greens on golf courses

Before we get into the details of the benefits, here is a video introducing the benefits of rolling greens by Dr Thom Nikolai from the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University.

It is a common sight to see the superintendent of the golf course doing his or her rounds on the rolling machine, and such regular practice can make great differences to the greens. Here are some of the important benefits of rolling greens.

  • Allows for raising the cutting height while maintaining green speed

Study shows that plots that are frequently rolled maintained at the higher height of cut can achieve green speeds as fast as plots mowed at the lower height. Furthermore, consistent rolling and increasing the height of cuts will reduce brown patches and promote the health of the green turf.

  • Promotes smooth surface conditions

Rolling improves the health of putting green, producing a smoother green turf surface.  This surface smoothness will last up to forty-eight hours after the roll, leaving a residual effect and high green’ speeds, significantly improving the quality of the playing surface, without requiring daily rolling.

  • Helps with the incorporation of sand topdressing

Sand topdressing is important to smooth the surface and dilutes organic matter. A test was conducted to see the effect of rolling and topdressing the greens. It was concluded that approximately 40 percent less topdressing sand was collected in the buckets when plots were rolled after sands were applied. The tested plot also showed an increase in green speed.  

  • Reduces growth of weed, moss, algae

Weed, moss, and algae are pests that thrive in sunlight and the dampness of greens. Michigan State University tested plots that are not rolled, in comparison to the ones that were and the results showed that rolled plots have the reduction of weeds, moss, and algae growth on the greens. It was speculated that the effect of rolling, which increases turfgrass density, caused the decrease of these pests.

  • Decreases dry spot

When the turf is not wholly green, chances are those are dry spots. A soil sample taken from regularly rolled plots showed that the soil retained more moisture and had more root mass, compared to the unrolled plot. This finding indicated that the increased soil moisture and healthier roots can reduce the dry spots on the greens.

  • Reduces dollar spots on turfgrass

A dollar spot is a foliar disease of turfgrass. If maintained poorly, this disease will spread, causing dollar coin size patches on the golf course. They are not only unsightly but also expensive to treat. It was hypothesised that regular rolling removes dew and decreases the wet duration of the grass, which will significantly promote turfgrass health.

Having ideal greens are important to customer satisfaction, especially for golf players and enthusiasts, as explained by Dr Thom Nikolai.

While rolling seems like a simple practice for surface maintenance, there are many refinements involved that must be executed properly to achieve desired green speed and surface conditions. While ball speed, smoothness, and continuity of roll are all very important, so is being able to raise the height of the cut which reduces stress on the grass. The right equipment, rolling frequencies, weather conditions, and proper agronomics can provide the putting green with optimal health, making the greens highly sought after by golfers. Besides, the benefits of consistent rolling frequencies can also save golf course businesses money from treating foliar diseases and fixing the greens overall

If you are looking for effective roller machines, look no further than Tru Turf’s Golf Green Rollers! One of the pioneers in the market of lawn and turf rollers, this particular model bears all the hallmarks of the original rollers albeit utilising all the cutting edge technology to deliver the best performance in this day and age. Find out more about Tru Turf’s Golf Green Rollers or our other products, don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance!