Performance Greens Program – How to Get Started Fast and Cheap

The Performance Greens Program…How to Start it Quickly, Cheaply and Easily…Now!

With the new bowling season bearing down on us fast, I’ve received a good few emails and calls asking me whether or not it’s worth trying to start the Performance Greenkeeping Program from scratch so close to the new season?

Several of these contacts had the feeling that there was no point starting at this late stage and that it might be better to wait until the autumn, but all that would guarantee is yet another season of conventional greenkeeping and mediocre green performance.

The truth is that of course it would be great if every club could get in touch well in advance of the season opening day and request a full soil analysis and greenkeeping plan to work from, but all is not lost if you haven’t done that yet and there is a way you can usefully get started now.

Start Now

Spring Starter Pack

If you’ve been a reader of Bowls Central and/or Performance Bowling Greens for any length of time, you will know that the conditions that make greens perform badly, on the whole originate from decades of conventional greenkeeping.

This has featured excessive use of high salt mineral fertilisers, lawn sand, sulphates of iron and ammonia and in many cases the over use of sand top-dressings. To top it off, there has been a frequent need for fungicides to combat outbreaks of turf disease.

All of these problems combine to form what I’ve termed the Circle of Decline.

Circle of decline

Therefore changing this condition around is the answer and you can do that by starting to liven up your soil’s biology now.

Spring Kick Start

I’ve put together a package of materials you can use to get started  on improving the soil in your green this spring.

If you look after the soil, it will serve you well by encouraging the finer, perennial grasses and start to reduce the percentage of annual meadow grass and it’s associated problems.

Before and After

I had a nice email from a Bowls Central reader yesterday with before and after photos related to him starting to follow the advice on the site here.

Thanks Ron!

Healthy soil = healthy turf = healthy soil

A beautifully made film that explains how our turf grasses can interact with soil bacteria and fungi to build the perfect, disease free bowling green eco-system if only we’d let them.

So how can you make 2018 the year you finally make a start on this process at your green?

  1. Become a Free Member of Bowls Central here
  2. Take advantage of the offer I’ll send you when you join to have your soil analysis and report written specifically for your green.
  3. Start following the program I will detail for you and allow me to guide you through the process.

What will the results look like?

  1. Your green will improve in surface performance (faster, smoother and truer) year after year .
  2. Your green keeping costs will reduce.
  3. Your green will behave more consistently and problems like disease, moss and dry patch will disappear.

Watch the video then start the process here.

Other articles related to this:

The Circle of Decline

Compost Tea, what is it and what can it do for your green?

Managing Turf Disease

Poa annua to fine grass transition


Academy Membership

Bowls Central Academy

Online training and many other benefits

Academy Membership offers a series of new benefits to members, most importantly a growing range of online educational courses in Greenkeeping and related subjects.

Academy Membership Benefits

Of course I’ve given a great deal of the focus of Academy Membership over to education and the online study courses, but there will be a long list of other benefits for members.

The available courses, levels of study and other member benefits will be added to on a monthly basis.

  • Online educational courses in Greenkeeping and related subjects, starting with Level 1 Introduction to Greenkeeping.
  • Free Study Materials related to each course
  • Links to further recommended reading materials you will find useful
  • Free eBooks
  • Club Website Offer and free access to Web School Membership
  • Permanent Discount on Bowls Central Publications
  • Permanent Greenkeeping Materials Discounts
  • Communication Tools like Infographics, slides and presentations
  • Permanent Soil Analysis Discounts
  • Access to in-depth articles and studies


Academy Membership
Academy Membership
Academy Membership brings a long list of benefits to members of Bowls Central, including online training courses, discounts, offers and free resources to help you with your greenkeeping and club management. Join today for only £10 per month.

Free Soil Sampler (worth £65) with Soil Analysis…only 6 available!


Soil Chemical and Peak Sand (Texture Analysis) with Free Soil Sampler
Soil Chemical and Peak Sand (Texture Analysis) with Free Soil Sampler
FREE Soil Sampler when you order Comprehensive Chemical Analysis and Peak Sand (Texture Assessment) of your green's soil (rootzone). You will receive a soil sampling kit with instructions for taking and returning (freepost) your soil samples to the lab. The results will come back to you from Bowls Central with a full report detailing all Primary, Secondary and Trace elements, Cation Exchange Capacity, Base Saturation, Electrical Conductivity, Organic Matter, pH and your soil's position on the Soil Texture Triangle (assessed by the Laser Diffraction method and alerting you to your greens proximity to Peak Sand). Includes a full report written by a Master Greenkeeper with comprehensive 12 month greenkeeping program for your green. Unlimited support and further advice will be provided as required. Limited Offer...
Available Qty: 2
Price: £95.00
Your name, Club Name and Address please::

Winter Greenkeeping Plan

Deep Slit Tining

I've had a lot of requests to supply a general set of recommendations for winter maintenance for bowling greens. Although the full program for any green should be based on a thorough inspection and soil analysis, there are some general rules you can follow. I've also put together a suggested package of materials to help you apply this program more easily.

Read more

Winter Greenkeeping Strategies

damage to frosted turf

Winter Greenkeeping Strategies have to a large extent been based on preventative fungicide, putting the green to bed and hoping for the best. This overlooks the huge opportunity greenkeepers have to make a real difference through applying some sound Winter Greenkeeping Strategies right through the closed months.

Read more

Performance Greenkeeping Tasks for September

Bowls Central

Greenkeeping Tasks for September and October have become to some degree a bit repetitive. This would be fine if the desired results followed, but in the majority of cases this can't be said to be true. This month John explains the science behind the perfect autumn renovation plan to get your green started down the road to consistent high performance.

Read more