The objective measurement of bowls green performance has at best been dabbled in up until now. Bowls greenkeeping is littered with anecdotal evidence in relation to green performance. Whether it’s bad roads caused by setting the rinks off the head or bumps, hollows and ripples caused by lack of top-dressing; both myths, the management of bowls green playing performance could never be accused of being too scientific!
That’s about to change and clubs that are serious about improving the game and their own fortunes must join in this push to be more objective about the measurement of turf playing performance. Measurement of course is just the start as we then have to develop management programs to tackle the underlying agronomic conditions, ensuring that we can reap the rewards of objective measurement in the shape of Performance Bowling Greens.
But what do I mean by the measurement of turf playing performance? The implication here is that I am aware of turf quality parameters, particularly those which contribute to functional rather than visual quality – smoothness/trueness, green speed, firmness, density, texture, growth habit – and that I understand the factors that contribute to them. You can catch up on these measurable parameters by reviewing the series of articles here. Based on this awareness and an understanding of how to objectively measure performance we can formulate turf management programmes that move us nearer to a Performance Bowling Green.
The fact is that I’m revealing nothing new here. Greenkeepers have been aware of this for years, but in the absence of numbers, of objective measurements, we have found it hard to make a serious argument against the all powerful experts who tell us to continue with the desertification, over fertilising and over watering of our greens. That’s all going to change when we start routinely measuring these performance parameters using scientific methods and equipment.
But what is Objective measurement? It works like this:
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