The Experts Put Fairway Rolling to the Test.

RESEARCH AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

“Research confirms that fairway rolling results in firmer surfaces which should lead to longer ball roll. Most important it significantly decreased clipping yield, localized dry spot and dollar spot which should lead to economic savings.”

–Thomas A. Nikolai, Ph.D., College of Agriculture Michigan State University

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Although the study is preliminary and far from complete, there are significant indications that:

  • Soil firmness is likely to be increased.
  • Mowing height may be increased, resulting in healthier grass plants.
  • Moisture retention is maintained.
  • Less mowing is required which would result in labor savings and less wear on expensive equipment.
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Significant decrease in localized dry spot (LDS) due to rolling. This is significant when you consider the cost or limitation of water in many areas. Wetting agents could be decreased or eliminated on rolled fairways.

RESEARCH AT UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS

“Tests indicate Rolling Fairways can Reduce Dollar Spot up to 65%”

– Geunhwa Jung and Jay Popko; Stockbridge School of Agriculture

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  • 40-65% reduction in dollar spot
  • 8 out of 9 rolling studies showed reduced dollar spot.
  • Increased rolling frequency increased dollar spot control.
  • Threshold-based programs can reduce dollar spot apps with rolling (2-3 apps vs 5 apps).
  • Rolling = better spring green-up/turf quality.
  • Does not provide complete control, but can extend fungicide-control intervals at golf courses with difficult-to-control dollar spot.

Different fungicide spray schedules were tested (Threshold vs Calendar at 21-day interval) and results indicate rolling can reduce fungicide applications up to 65% if threshold-based spray programs are used. This should be a major cost reduction.

Smithco has been working with the College of Agriculture at Michigan State University and Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts to better understand the benefits of rolling fairways. Because we think rolling fairways could become as normal as rolling greens.

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