topdressing sand #182056 - Ask Extension


topdressing sand #182056

Asked May 15, 2014, 6:21 PM EDT

I live in Christmas Valley & am a board member for the Park & Recreation District here. We have a 9 hole course that was built back in the 60's. Does it matter what type of sand is used for the greens? If so, what do we need to use?

Lake County Oregon

Expert Response


Yes, the type of sand you use is absolutely critical or else you will create for yourself a huge problem - your greens will not drain and may not even take water. 

You need to use United States Golf Association (USGA) spec sand.  It is available from Fazio sand in Vancouver, WA and from Walrath Sand in Washington State.  You need to request "greens topdressing sand".  The key to this sand is that a very small percentage of it has "fines" - really small particles that prevent water from draining.  The USGA Greens Section website has the particle size analysis that the sand needs to meet.

I have posted the table from this article below:

Table 3PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION OF USGA ROOT ZONE MIX Name Particle Diameter Recommendation (by weight)

Fine Gravel 2.0 - 3.4 mm  

Very coarse sand 1.0 - 2.0 mm  Not more than 10% of the total particles in this range, (1.0 - 3.4 mm) including a maximum of 3% fine gravel (preferably none)

Coarse sand 0.5 - 1.0 mm
Medium sand 0.25 - 0.50 mm
Minimum of 60% of the particles must fall in this range (0.25 - 1.0 mm)

Fine sand 0.15 - 0.25 mm Not more than 20% of the particles may fall within this range

Very Fine Sand 0.05 - 0.15 mm Not more than 5%

Silt 0.002 - 0.05 mm Not more than 5%

Clay less than 0.002 mm Not more than 3%

Total Fines - Very fine sand + silt + clay Less than or equal to 10%

Double check these values with the actual article as the table tabs were not maintained when I cut and pasted it.

I hope this helps.

Brian McDonald Replied May 16, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

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