Golf Australia chats to Metropolitans David Mason

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How is your lawn looking as a result of COVID-19 lockdown? Has your practice chipping turned your backyard into a chopped-up mess? Now is the time to get your lawn back in shape with some helpful tips to help you grow grass just like the pros.

Whether you play golf on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis, chances are you’ve taken the occasional practice swing on your front or back lawn and caused damage to your turf.

The odds of that happening have probably doubled during the coronavirus pandemic periods of hibernation. With that in mind, we spoke with some of the country’s best superintendents and grass gurus to get their top tips on how to rejuvenate your lawn.

There are few golf courses on the planet with better playing surfaces than those found at The Metropolitan Golf Club on the Melbourne Sandbelt. So, naturally, the club’s superintendent, David Mason, was our first port of call.

How does Mason – together with his team – produce and maintain Metropolitan’s superb couch fairways and bentgrass greens?

“Constant assessment and works are undertaken to ensure shade is not impacting areas of play. Although some shade is acceptable, constant heavy shade creates the ideal environment for weeds to thrive, cause turf to thin and less desirable species (such as poa annua) to grow,” Mason told Golf Australia magazine.

“Golf course turf also requires herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and other products to be applied to not only protect the susceptible dormant grass – during the winter months – but also to make sure that come the warmer weather, it is protected from pests, diseases and weeds that ‘wake-up’ from the winter slumber as well.

“Spring is really the time for preparing the turf for new growth and the warmer months. On the golf course, large pieces of equipment are used to renovate the turf due to increased inputs of water, fertiliser and pesticides.”

With each of the aforementioned principles in mind, how can you rejuvenate or establish pristine lawns at home?

“If the area drains, gets plenty of sunlight, can be watered during summer and doesn’t get too much wear, seeding is a good option,” Mason said.

“If there’s plenty of sunlight, I would suggest warm season grasses like couch, kikuyu or buffalo. If the lawn areas can be watered during the heat of summer, cool season grasses like fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue or rye grass are great year-round grasses.

“Sod can also be used if an instant lawn is required. It’s more expensive but it certainly saves time.”

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