Evaluate Golf Course Conditions with Accuracy and Consistency~

After conducting countless golf course maintenance evaluations I wanted to share two of the most important tools that you will need to do an accurate evaluation of your golf course conditions that is consistent month after month.


Best Possible Conditions Criteria –

The first tool is your Best Possible Conditions criteriaYou will use your BPC criteria to score or rate your course conditions. I highly recommend your BPC criteria be approved by management and become part of your course management policies so everyone is on the same page.    For the criteria itself, I recommend you consider the BPC criteria that I have developed and used over the years.  It consists of the those conditions that most significantly affect presentation and playability.


Rating Guideline –

The next tool is the Rating Guideline which is used to score your actual conditions against your BPC criteria.  It is important to keep in mind that when rating your course conditions you rate them as you observe them.  Rating conditions too high or too low will not be helpful in the long run.  I have used the Rating Guideline below for close to 4 decades and it has proven extremely workable for any golf course, from a public course to a championship course. 

Here is how you would use the Rating Guideline. Let’s say you are evaluating green #1 against a Best Possible Conditions criteria,  “No signs of mechanical damage.”  You observe your green with this criterion in mind and rate it using the guideline below –

  • A 9 – 10 would indicate achievement of the best possible conditions for tourn- ament play as you might see for a televised US PGA Tour event. 

OBSERVATION:  This criterion means virtually what it says.  When looking  at the green there are no signs or telltale signs of recent scalping, uneven mowing or other mechanical damage, such as grease or oil leaks. This green would look great televised!

  • A 7 – 8 would present conditions that are quite acceptable for play by members and guests both for presentation and playability.  The feature may have minor visual issues evident but the feature has good presentation and no interference with playability. 

OBSERVATION:  You might see slight evidence of scalping but it would be in an area that does not distract from presentation nor interfere with playability, such as an edge of the green.  The remaining area is free of any signs of mechanical damage.

  • A 5 – 6 would present conditions with some minor yet noticeable problem areas that need correction and may detract from presentation and may even affect playability. 

OBSERVATION: You will see signs of scalping or other mechanical damage that are fairly noticeable and in areas that could be in the line of the ball. The scalping, or other mechanical damage, could distract the golfer and may even interfere with his putt.

  • A  3 – 4 would present conditions with more noticeable problem areas that need immediate correction.  They easily detract from presentation and will most likely interfere with playability to some degree. 

OBSERVATION: The golfer can easily see scalping, or other mechanical damage, on more than one area of the green.  It is affecting the presentation of the green and the damage is severe enough and in a location that will interfere with his putt. 

  • A 1-2 would present conditions with serious issues that are highly visible and strongly detract from presentation as well as  interfere with playability. The feature might even have areas that are unplayable.

OBSERVATION: The golfer is presented with major scalping of the green and this immediately detracts from presentation.  Damage is severe enough to affect playability for most golfers.  

Conclusion – 

By using this guideline and the same criteria you can more accurately rate your course conditions as well as be consistent with your ratings month to month.  The Best Possible Conditions criteria should be established then approved by your management team.  Or, you can download our evaluation system (Tee 2 Green LITE) from your app store for your monthly evaluations.  The LITE version is preset so you cannot customize.  You can rate your tees, fairways and greens.  The Pro version can be customized for your course, you can rate all features and add special features, save evaluations and create trend graphs.  The main point is start doing your monthly evaluations using a Best Possible Conditions criteria and a Rating Guideline to evaluate and report your course conditions monthly!

 I hope you found this helpful and look out for my next article on Tips to do an Evaluation Efficiently!

Tony Taylor, CGCS

Tony Taylor, CGCS

Golf Course maintenance consulting and evaluations for nearly 40 years.

Download and try Tee 2 Green Benchmarking
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