Golf Course Safety: Why Tree Trimming and Removal Are Essential 

Photo by Adrian Siaril on Unsplash

Golf courses are some of the most beautiful places on the planet. When golfers need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, they head to the golf course to swing their clubs, surrounded by nature and tranquility. 

By nature, golf courses are peaceful and safe spaces. But steps need to be taken to keep them that way. Nobody wants to twist an ankle, meet a dangerous critter, or get hit on the head by a falling tree branch! 

Here’s why tree trimming and tree removal are essential to golf course safety. Not only does a well-manicured golf course look pretty and contribute to that feeling of peace, but it’s also a valuable safety measure that courses need to take! 

Reduced Risk of Injury to Golfers and Staff 

Trees might not seem like a danger. They don’t move, they’re pretty easy to see, and they’re obviously fairly predictable. But they can be the source of numerous potential hazards, both the golfers on the course and to staff maintaining the course. 

Diseased or dead tree limbs can easily fall without any warning. Even healthy trees can drop branches without warning for a variety of reasons. 

Aside from the potential for falling branches, trees can obstruct visibility on the course, making it harder for golfers to see potential hazards ahead or to see flying golf balls approaching. 

Another potential hazard is trees that fall too close to power lines. This carries a very real risk of electrocution, more for golf course staff than golfers, but it’s still a risk no golf course should be willing to take. 

Regular tree removal/relocation and trimming can significantly reduce the chances of any of these hazards becoming a reality. 

Improve Course Playability 

To be popular with golfers, a golf course needs to be easily and enjoyably playable. Staying on top of the trees on your course can improve course playability and make swinging their clubs at your course a much more enjoyable experience for golfers. 

Maintaining Clear Sightlines 

To make accurate drives and approach shots, golfers need a fairly clear line of sight down each hole. While you will find the occasional course using a tree as a hazard right in the middle of the fairway, playability will be enhanced if there are no wayward trees or foliage obstructing sightlines. 

Removing trees or taming wild foliage can improve sightlines, making holes less intimidating and opening them up to more novice golfers. Even advanced golfers will appreciate better sightlines so they can more accurately visualize and make decisions on what shot to play or what golf club to use during play. 

Improve the Overall Health of the Turf 

Dense trees can add beautiful aesthetics to your golf course. But they also have the potential to block sunlight and hamper airflow in certain places, making it more difficult to maintain the quality of your turf. 

Areas of the golf course that get less sunlight due to trees blocking it might be more susceptible to developing mold and moss as they don’t dry out as easily as others, creating conditions for mold to thrive. 

Removing or substantial trimming of these trees can allow sunlight to filter in and air to flow more easily, keeping your turf healthy. In the end, this requires less maintenance and improves playability by keeping the turf consistent without dry patches. 

Enhanced Fairway Width 

Removing trees can widen fairways that would otherwise be difficult and unforgiving, especially for less experienced golfers. If you’re going to a hard drive that demands accuracy, then keeping your trees closely packed can help you achieve that. 

But if you want to open the course up to be more friendly to golfers of all levels, wide fairways are a must. An experienced tree trimming company will be able to strategically remove enough trees to make your course more forgiving without ruining the aesthetics of a tree-lined fairway. 

Reduced Obstructions 

Another important element of playability is hazards. Trees can make for great natural hazards, but they can also cause frustration for higher-handicapped golfers. Remove or relocate trees that might be an unnecessary hazard on any hole, and you’ll find that your course becomes a lot more playable for golfers of all skill levels. 

This makes it easier for golfers to plan their shots and get a good score. Feel free to leave in one or two trees to add some challenge, but it shouldn’t be the norm. 

Simpler Recovery Shots 

Wooded areas can add a beautiful aesthetic to any hole. But should a golfer land their ball there, they’re going to have a nightmare of a time getting it out if the trees are densely packed. 

Thinning out wooded areas and removing trees from the rough can add to the playability of any course, making it easier for golfers to recover from a bad shot and keep the pace of play going. 

Storm Damage Prevention 

Trees are susceptible to storm damage, especially if they’re weak or overgrown. We can’t control the weather, but you can keep your trees in check to make sure they don’t get nailed in bad storms! 

Keep your trees maintained so they’re less likely to be uprooted or lose limbs in high wind. Uprooted trees can damage the ground as well as anything they may fall on, which means closing holes while repair work is done. Removing excess foliage also means there’ll be less clean-up needed after storms. 

Disease and Pest Management 

Leaving your trees unchecked means they can become home to disease and pests. These can not only weaken trees and make them more susceptible to damage like falling limbs and being uprooted in the wind, but they also make it easier for pests to move from the trees to your turf. 

Fire Prevention 

Removing dead trees gets rid of one big fire hazard! Cleaning up the trees around your golf course can help to reduce the chance of wildfires spreading to your course. It can also be valuable to reconsider trees around the perimeter of your property and limit them to provide a “buffer zone”. 

Cart Path and Infrastructure Maintenance 

Trees left to grow with maintenance can begin to obstruct golf cart paths, irrigation, and even the smooth surface of the green. Keeping them trimmed and removing or relocating trees that have the potential to become problems is the best way to prevent this from happening. 

Enhanced Aesthetics of the Course 

Golf courses are known to be places of beauty! Keeping your golf course’s trees trimmed and pretty adds to its aesthetics, making it look sleek and stunning. Let them grow wild, and your golf course might just look like any old park. 

About the Author

Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence.