Cart Traffic Patterns

The persistent warm and dry weather this year is beginning to show in the usual areas of cart traffic wear.  The constant traffic on these areas and the resulting soil compaction leads to a shallower root system and a weaker plant.  We have ropes placed to control cart traffic in these areas, but the golfer can help us by dispersing traffic patterns as they move around the course.

These two pictures show the traffic patterns of the carts on the course.  It is evident in the top picture how concentrated the traffic is between the bunkers on 9 fairway.  The weak turf in this area is a function of the cart traffic.  The picture on the left shows the usual traffic pattern down the middle of the 8th fairway.  Next time you are on the 8th fairway, look at the turf in the middle of the fairway and compare it to the turf on the left half of the fairway.  As much as I want to believe the weaker turf in the middle is a result of relentless play from the middle of the fairway, my observations lead me to believe that cart traffic may be the offender.  The turf on the left half is in much better condition due to the lack of traffic.  Helping the turf in the middle is as simple as make a conscious effort to drive on the left half rather than the middle.

This picture illustrates how we are able to move the traffic patterns with the ropes.  Even with the ropes up, we would still like golfer to try and disperse traffic from the usual pattern.

Areas where carts leave the cart path are notorious for traffic wear.  If you see an area like this, and there is no rope, try to drive a little farther on the cart path before you make your way to the fairway.  This will help these areas until we are able to change the ropes in that spot.
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1 comment:

  1. It seems like a constant rotation is required to keep any one area from being compacted. I wonder if a modified cart (lighter) would help?