Using Crumb Rubber on Golf Courses: What is success?

A profile of a ‘rubber thatch layer’ in a perennial ryegrass/Kentucky bluegrass stand. Photo courtesy New Dimensions Turf

By J. Tim Vanini, PhD

This author believes defining ‘success’ is important. Too often, when new products or techniques are discussed, the mentality can be this will make the turfgrass bulletproof (especially in the context of synthetic turf).

This author was talking to a superintendent last year about trying one tonne of crumb rubber for free for the end of the cart paths. This author asked him what deciding factor would make him use more crumb rubber, to which he replied he wanted his cart paths to always look good. Instead of re-sodding them two to four times annually, if he only had to re-sod once annually or once every two years and manage the turf, that would be success for him and he would buy more.

This was a good answer. Grass is neither bulletproof nor synthetic. It wears, rips, and thins out. Hence, turfgrass on a golf course has to be renovated, restored, and maintained constantly at a high level, and this is the golf course superintendent’s job. Crumb rubber can be a great tool to have in one’s management arsenal, and should be considered for high-traffic situations in any turfgrass environment.

Read the full article: Using Crumb Rubber on Golf Courses

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