|Equipment Log showing total number of recorded rolls in the last year in bold.|
The biggest affect rolling is going to have on your putting greens is compaction. Broad statements are often made that rolling leads to increased compaction and extra traffic stress. In a broad sense this is very true. Essentially what you are doing when you roll your greens is you are squishing down the leaf blades, the thatch layer and even the soil. Come to think of it every time a golfer steps foot, mower makes a pass, employee changes a pin you are compacting the soil and turf canopy. When you roll the putting greens you are essentially uniformly compacting the surface because that's what we want right? Uniformity. Now compaction can be a problem for putting greens so the key is to managing this compaction. It is important to note that the studies being conducted at Michigan State University have shown no significant increase in soil compaction on sand based putting greens that receive regular sand topdressings.
Essentially there are two types of rollers. Lightweight and Not lightweight. I classify lightweight rollers as anything with a ground pressure of less than 5 psi. This ground pressure is typically the same as a golfer walking across the green. Other rollers have much higher ground pressure and would therefore increase the rate of compaction. The theory behind lightweight rolling is to roll the green lightly with many rollers thus achieving the same smoothing effects as the heavyweight rollers without all that compaction.
|Thinning caused from rolling when soils are saturated.|
|Knowing your VMC can help you manage your soil|
|Poa Toupee on 6x daily rolled plot.|
|Skidding and wear caused from changing direction too|
quickly on a self propelled lightweight roller.
So no, "extreme" rolling isn't all happy time and flowers like you might think I've made it out to be. There can be negative issues if rolling is done wrong just like all cultural practices. I hope that what I have learned over the years can help you avoid the mistakes I have made and have a very successful rolling program on your golf course.
|These greens are still very much alive 200 rolls later! Sept 17, 2012|