Above are 2 photos of the 3rd hole. The top photo shows the temporary green and the lower photo shows the regular green.
But why are they so different in playability? Let's look at the numbers.....
- Mowing: 5-7 times/week in spring, summer and autumn; 1-2 times/week in winter
- Mowing height: 3-5mm year round
- Topdressing: 50-60 tons/year
- Aeration: 20-30 operations/year (slitting, vert-draining, micro-tining, sarel rolling, coring, grooming, scarifying)
- Overseeding: 3-4 times/year with bent and fescue grasses
- Fertilising: 50-60kg/hectare using granular and liquid fertilisers
- Irrigation: as required
- Fungicide applications: as required - usually 3-4 times/year dependent upon disease pressure
- Average staff hours: 20-30 hours/week in summer, 15-20 hours/week in winter
- Hole changing and pitch mark repair: 2 times/week year round
- Greens area: 3200 square metres for 11 greens
- Approximate materials cost to maintain: £4000-£4500 excluding labour & machinery costs
- Mowing: 1-2 times/week in spring, summer and autumn; as required in winter
- Mowing height: 9-12mm dependent upon season
- Topdressing: none
- Aeration: vert-draining (time permitting)
- Overseeding: none
- Fertilising: none (grass clippings are removed to control growth and encourage finer grasses)
- Irrigation: according to rainfall
- Fungicide applications: none
- Herbicide applications: 1-2 times/year
- Average staff hours: 5-6 hours/week in summer, as required in winter
- Hole changing: as required
- Temporary greens area: 550-600 square metres total
- Approximate materials cost to maintain: £100 excluding labour & machinery costs
The differences are obvious and quite staggering.
The reasons are mainly due to time allocation (greens are more important than temporary greens), size (greens can spread wear more easily than the tiny temporary greens) and budgetary input.
Temporary greens are used for frosty weather mainly. Otherwise, regular greens are in play.
In conclusion, temporary greens can be as good as regular greens if they were to be a similar size and could have the same time allocation and budgetary input. That would require the golf club to either increase membership fees or drive visitor revenues substantially.
Otherwise, temporary greens will remain a green mown out of the fairway.