Golf Course Maintenance

Taking Care of Golf Courses

Golf course maintenance isn't just the job of the superintendent and grounds crew at a course, it's also the job of golfers - through the proper repair of ball marks and divots for example. This page provides golf course maintenance tips for golfers, and we'll also be adding more information here over time about how courses are cared for by the professionals.
ball mark repair
During a tournament on the Champions Tour, Mark Johnson (center), Morris Hatalsky (left) and Ben Crenshaw take time to repair their ball marks. Dave Martin / Getty Images

There's a right way and a wrong way. Learn the difference between the two. And then put that knowledge into action by repairing your ball marks on the putting green. It greatly helps the health of the turf.

golf course maintenance Golf
Divots are the scars left in the fairway (and sometimes on teeing grounds) when iron shots dig up a little turf. (That turf that is sent flying is also referred to by the term "divot.") Here is an explanation of how to repair those divots.
How to Rake a Sand Bunker

Yes, there is a correct way to rake a bunker, a way to do it that leaves the bunker in good shape while also minimizing the chances of causing damage to bunker lips and faces.

This section of our Golf Glossary is devoted to terms relating to course design, setup and maintenance. You can find definitions of terms such as "aeration," "Stimpmeter" and "overseeding," for example.

Aerification. You may know it as the time of year when your home course punches holes in its greens. Why do golf courses aerify? This article from the GCSAA explains the process and its benefits to turfgrasses.
Golf Cart
Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images

Yes, riding in a cart is a golf course maintenance issue because golf carts damage the turf. That's why you should always observe cart rules such as cart-path only and the 90-degree rule when they are in effect, and why there are certain places on a course you should never take a riding cart. This article goes over some of the do's and dont's when it comes to driving a golf cart around the golf course.

This definition of the golf course term "overseeding" explains what the process is and why golf courses do it.

Some folks believe that Ben Hogan is responsible for the creation of the closely mown pathway that, on some golf courses, is mowed from the rear tee box to the front tee box, or from the teeing grounds to the fairway. Is that true? Here's a blog post where we answer the question.

Were green speeds on golf courses really slower in the old days? And if greens are faster now, do we have any idea how much faster they've gotten? Let's find out.
The GCSAA is the trade organization for golf course superintendents in the United States. This link takes you to a GCSAA microsite devoted to explaining the role of superintendents to the golfing public, and answering questions about golf course maintenance.
The trade organization for superintendents and Great Britain and continental Europe.